Jeeps can't overcome South Knox early spurt

Kaiti Sullivan/The Herald
Northeast Dubois' Haley Reckelhoff moves the ball down the court during Tuesday's girls basketball game in Dubois. South Knox defeated Northeast Dubois 56-37.

By JONATHAN SAXON
jsaxon@dcherald.com

DUBOIS — The early going has been rough on the Northeast Dubois girls basketball team, and it didn’t get any easier Tuesday night as the Jeeps (1-5, 0-1) dropped their Blue Chip Conference opener against the South Knox Spartans, 56-37.

Jeeps coach Andy Chinn thought the players settled when it came to their shot selection, which led to them struggling to find a rhythm for most of the game. However, Chinn applauded his players for not taking the easy way out, and fighting back until the final whistle.

“South Knox is a really good team, but I’m pleased with our effort,” he said. “We didn’t lay down, and I thought we played hard in the second half.”

The Spartans used a hot start to create quick separation from the Jeeps. Senior forward Hannah Ivers used a pair of layups, including an and-one play, and a three-pointer to power an eight-point charge right out the gate. Junior guard Lexi Detweller used a transition putback play to give the Spartans a 10-0 lead. Junior guard Mia Smith scored the first points for the Jeeps with a baseline jumper, and sophomore forward Hadley Fuhrman knocked down both of her free throws as the Jeeps fell behind, 14-4, at the end of the first quarter.

The Spartans kept the pressure on behind a pair of long jumpers from sophomore guards Macie Couchenour and Jordyn Derouin. Senior guard Madison Cave put a brief pause on the Spartans with a trilogy of free throws, but Couchenour added six more points to keep South Knox out in front. Iver added a three-pointer to cap a 9-2 Spartans run. The Jeeps ended their scoring drought at the end of the second stanza with scores from junior guard Jazlyn Sander, freshman forward Reagan Knies and freshman guard Rhylan Kalb, but they were in a 15-point hole going into halftime.

Couchenour opened the third quarter with a three-pointer, which sparked a 12-2 Spartans run. Fuhrman and Smith combined for eight points during the final half of the third, but the Spartans were simply too far ahead for the Jeeps to catch up. Still, they fought valiantly until the end. Fuhrman, Kalb and Knies combined for 10 points in the fourth quarter.

Ivers finished with 19 points, while Couchenour put in 11. Fuhrman led the Jeeps with 14 points.

“We came out with fight, we never gave up,” Fuhrman said. “Not all of our shots fell. We can definitely cut more, get our shots to fall and work on the offense. We should be fine.”

Though the early going has been slow for the team, Chinn is not discouraged by the Jeeps’ offensive issues. He said the team is still working out what each other's roles are on the floor, and they’ll work harder at finding the great shots instead of settling for whatever look they can get. He also hopes the Jeeps learn that getting locked in from the opening tip is crucial to their success, or else they’ll find themselves playing from behind all season.

“We’re struggling putting the ball in the hole, but we’re playing hard on defense,” he said. “We’ve got some kids that really like to get after it on defense and take pride in deflections, steals and rebounds. We’re starting to learn our roles, and we’ve got some kids that are proving to us that they can play. We’re just going to keep working. We have to be 100 percent focused every game, or we’ll see starts like we saw tonight when it was 10-0.”

 




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