Jeep boys earn first win

Photo by Corey Stolzenbach/The Herald
Senior Dante Miller (35) gets ready for takeoff prior to a layup Tuesday in Shoals. Miller scored a team-high 15 points off the bench to help Northeast Dubois best Shoals, 63-45, for its first win of the year. 

By COREY STOLZENBACH
sports@dcherald.com

SHOALS - Northeast Dubois is officially in the win column for the 2020-21 season.

The Jeeps (1-3, 1-1) got off to their first 0-3 start in a season since Terry Friedman took over as coach back in 2006, but the drought ended Tuesday when they visited Blue Chip Conference rival Shoals. Much of the first half saw a tight game, but Northeast Dubois eventually found its rhythm for a 63-45 win.

"I think our mental approach had to get better," Friedman said. "So, we decided to make a little bit of a lineup change here tonight to maybe spark something, and I think we got what we wanted."

Northeast Dubois started sophomore Ty Kalb and had senior Dante Miller come into the game as a bench player, but the latter still scored a team-high 15 points. He helped Northeast Dubois create some breathing room with a nine-point performance in the second quarter for a 25-19 halftime lead, and Friedman was impressed with the bench play his team exhibited in the game.

The Jeeps saw four of their players get into double figures as sophomore Gaige Schepers chipped in 11 points off the bench. Senior Logan Mehringer also scored 11 and junior Colby Pieper contributed 10 points to go along with the 15 that Miller brought off the bench for to help make for a balanced scoring performance.

"I think (Miller) came out in the second quarter and did what he was very capable of doing - and that's he's very athletic," Friedman said. "He was very active going after the basketball and was able to finish some shots inside there."

Northeast Dubois trailed, 8-5, early, before going on an 8-0 run to finish the opening quarter. The Jug Rox made a push for things in he second quarter before Miller got some rebounds and some of his buckets to try to help Northeast Dubois gain some ground

The Jeeps did allow some offensive rebounds on Tuesday, but also blocked some shots and hustled after loose balls on defense. They took care of the basketball as they got more settled into the game. Friedman saw his players doing a better job protecting the ball, and added that it's something they've been focusing on in practice.

He told the Herald after the win that the Jeeps need to take the effort they gave tonight, and build on it. Friedman noted that the Jeeps know they have a long way to go, but this was a good start and a good way to head into the break.

They are slated to have Wednesday, Thursday and Friday off from practice before they're set to get back to it Saturday. Northeast Dubois is set to meet Vincennes Lincoln Dec. 29 in its first game of the Forest Park Tournament.

"We're going to continue to stay focused on our defense because I think when our defense plays well, our offense plays better," Friedman said. "If we get that defensive effort like we got tonight to start the game - our offense really feeds off of our defense. So, we're going to stay focused to trying to get better on the defensive end."




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