Jeeps drop tight 40-31 contest to LoogooteeJanuary 21, 2021
By JIMMY LAFAKIS
LOOGOOTEE — As the final seconds of the first quarter ticked down, Northeast Dubois (9-10, 4-3) junior Hadley Fuhrman made her moves to the basket. Fuhrman settled into rhythms from both inside and outside the arc and scored a game-high 21 points in the Jeeps’ 40-31 Blue Chip Conference loss to Loogootee on Thursday evening.
“When she shoots the ball like she’s capable of and like she did tonight, we’re going to be in position to win games,” Northeast Dubois head coach Andy Chinn said. “We were competing against one of the best teams in Class 1A, the defending state champions. They have about everybody back from last year’s roster. I thought we did a good job of controlling the pace — we got really good shots on offense.”
Throughout the first half, the Jeeps extended their halfcourt zone and forced the Lions to adjust. When Loogootee increased its ball movement around the perimeter, defensive communication proved to be critical.
“We talked a lot on the floor,” Chinn said. “I thought our bench talked a lot, as well. We let their shooters get loose a couple of times. When we let our guard down for a couple plays here and there, really good teams like Loogootee will make you pay. I think that’s what happened. That’s the difference in the game, but we did a really good job controlling the tempo.”
Fuhrman found her fair share of easy buckets throughout both halves. Jeeps sophomore Rhylan Kalb supplied an additional dimension to the offense. Kalb engineered the action alongside seniors Mia Smith and Jazlyn Sander.
“We’ve really been emphasizing it all week — more passing and less dribbling,” Chinn said. “Rhylan did a good job of letting the game come to her tonight. Mia, Jazlyn and everybody that was handling the ball did a good job of letting the game come to them and taking what the defense gave us. Hadley and our shooters were there to knock them in.”
Kalb finished with seven points, while Loogootee senior Kalea Fleming led the Lions with a team-high 20 points. Fleming knocked in four of the Lions’ six 3-pointers.
Loogootee mixed in a press defense against Northeast Dubois in the second half. The Jeeps handled the pressure and maneuvered through the Lions’ traps.
“It’s all about moving the ball,” Chinn said. “Our girls realized that less dribbling and more passing equals success. I think that’s what they saw. When they tried to press us late in the game, we were moving the ball so quickly that they didn’t really have time to set it up. Credit to the girls for figuring it out.”
Northeast Dubois will return for a 1 p.m. home game against Perry Central on Saturday. Matching up against the Commodores brings back some special memories for Chinn.
“I’m from down there,” he said. “I’m from Tell City. That’s our county rival down there, so I had some big battles with them back in the day.”
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