Jeeps falter at home to No. 2 ranked RivetJanuary 24, 2019
By JONATHAN SAXON
DUBOIS — All roads eventually come to a close and last night was the end of the line for the Northeast Dubois girls basketball team’s regular season. Unfortunately, the Jeeps had to finish up against the undefeated Class 1A No. 2 Vincennes Rivet Patriots, who defeated them at home 55-19.
Jeep head coach Andy Chinn thought his girls played with a lot of heart and gave it everything they had, but they just had the luck of facing down one of the hottest teams in the state.
“I’m very proud and pleased with our effort tonight,” he said. “Energy-wise we matched what Vincennes Rivet brought. Ultimately, the difference in the game was they’re the best team in the state. It’s tough to match their height and physicality, but I thought we tried our best.”
The separation between the two teams started early as Patriots (23-0, 8-0) junior guard Tia Tolbert and senior forward and Indiana University recruit Grace Waggoner cobbled seven quick points to start the game. Tolbert put in two three-pointers and junior guard Macee Hamilton worked inside to compliment Waggoner’s early barrage, all of which came together for a 12-0 Patriots lead. Sophomore guard Jazlyn Sander was able to get a layup for the Jeeps’ (5-16, 3-5) first points of the game, but the height and length of the Patriots cleary bothered the shorter Jeeps team.
The Jeeps were hassled on offense as they tried to move the ball around the outstretched arms of the Patriots. Coupled with the task of working through the trees in the paint for any sliver of the rim, the Jeeps hand their hands full when it came to mounting any sort of attack. The other end was just as arduous; the Jeeps tried to zone their zone to create a collective defensive effect against the the bigger Patriot team. However, time and again the Patriots were able to either get inside for a layup or kick the ball out to the perimeter for an open look. Waggoner was able to get almost anything she wanted, scoring eight points en route to an 18-5 first quarter lead.
The train didn’t slow in the second quarter as Waggoner once again started to work inside against the Jeeps. Junior guard Haley Reckelhoff connected on a three-pointer, but Waggoner would score on the next two possessions for 22-8 lead with 3:06 left in the second. Tolbert and sophomore center Lauren Carie cashed in another couple consecutive buckets to extend the lead as the Patriots ended the second quarter on a 12-0 run and went up 32-8 at halftime.
The Patriots slowed down slightly in the second half, posting 12 and 11 points respectively across the final two quarters as Waggoner eclipsed the 1,700 point mark for her career in the fourth quarter. The Jeeps could only muster 11 points total in the second half, and the Patriots finished it by a margin of 55-19 by the time the clock reached zero.
Waggoner finished the game with 24 points and Tolbert finished with 13. Jazlyn Sander finished the game with six points to lead the Jeeps.
“We gave all of our effort, but they’re a pretty good team,” said Reckelhoff, who had three points in the game. “We did the best we could.”
Chinn doesn’t want his girls hanging their heads over a game like this as they get ready for the postseason next week. Yes, it would have been nice to finish the year with a win and the momentum that comes with that, but Chinn thinks that the Jeeps’ sectional title is still very much theirs to defend and believes they have a shot against whomever they should draw in the semifinal round.
“What we talked about after the game is that’s the best team we’ll see all year,” he said. “We’re looking forward to practice tomorrow. Our girls’ attitudes are good and we’re ready to go back to work.”
The Jeeps drew a bye in their bracket and will play their first game against the winner of the Springs Valley/Wood Memorial game on Friday, Feb. 1 at Springs Valley.
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