Jeeps fall in return to action

Photo by Corey Stolzenbach/The Herald
Northeast Dubois coach Terry Friedman (center) brings it in in the locker room Saturday night after the Jeeps fell, 48-36. Friedman told his players after the game that he won't take the loss, but he will take the effort that they gave against North Daviess.


DUBOIS — They waited so long for this moment, for the opportunity to finally take the hardwood. They were supposed to open Nov. 25 at Pike Central, but like other teams, their opener got delayed. Unlike other teams, their scheduled season opener kept getting delayed, and they soon became the last team in Dubois County not to open their season.

The waiting finally ended Saturday night for Northeast Dubois. The Jeeps (0-1) dropped a wire-to-wire 48-36 loss to North Daviess, but the game was closer than the final score might indicate, since it was a single-digit affair most of the way through. Northeast Dubois narrowed the gap, but couldn’t quite overtake North Daviess in a bid to win the first game it had played since winning a sectional championship nine months prior.

Jeeps coach Terry Friedman didn’t like the loss, but he was very pleased with how his team played.

“I was very pleased with our effort tonight,” Friedman said. “I thought our kids played extremely hard tonight. This was a very good North Daviess team. We competed and we gave ourselves a chance the last quarter to come out with a win.

The 15th-year coach told the Herald Saturday night that the long wait did have something to do with how hard the Jeeps played. Friedman said his players were looking forward to that opportunity to play, as they’d been practicing for more than a month. First the Jeeps had some problems, followed by their scheduled opponents dealing with some issues, and it became a back-and-forth problem.

“This is my last year,” said Jeeps senior Nick Lueken, who scored seven. “It was slowly getting taken away, and I couldn’t have my summer ball team camp — that was one of the better parts was getting in summer ball and playing a bunch of games, and it got cancelled.”

Northeast Dubois moved the ball around a bit in Saturday’s game, as senior Logan Mehringer scored a team-high 11 points, followed by nine for junior Colby Pieper.

“It’s been a while since we’ve ever got to play anyone, other than us in practice,” Pieper said. “So, we get to come out and play a different school, and in front of our home crowd — it’s a fun time.”

The Jeeps allowed limited offensive rebounds, fighting hard to reel those boards in. However, taking care of the basketball proved to be a challenge, and the Cougars capitalized from their turnovers.

“I think number one, North Daviess played very good defense but also I felt like there were times where we were just trying to do too much,” Friedman said. “Instead of waiting for the opportunity, we tried to do too much on a few occasions there and forced the ball in some situations we probably shouldn’t have.”

Friedman anticipates his Jeeps will be more focused and sharper in practice now that the team has a game under their belt. Northeast Dubois knows what it needs to focus on, and he hopes it will show in practice this next week.

The Jeeps are next scheduled to be at it Dec. 19 at Rock Creek Academy.

“I’m really happy with our defense tonight,” Friedman said. “I think our offense is still a work in progress. Without (senior) Lane (Knies) in there, he was our leading scorer from last year (among returners this year).

“So, we’ve got to try to make some adjustments without him in there, but I thought the kids responded well tonight — we had good balance tonight,” he continued. “I felt like Colby Pieper, Logan Mehringer and Nick Lueken all played exceptionally solid games tonight.”

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