Jeeps have high hopes, return everybody for 2019-20

Brittney Lohmiller/The Herald
Southridge's Monica Steckler guards Northeast Dubois' Jazlyn Sander during the girls basketball game in Dubois on Jan. 8.

By COREY STOLZENBACH
sports@dcherald.com

Northeast Dubois seldom sees losing seasons in girls basketball.

Last year’s 5-18 record was one of those seasons. That marked the first time since the 2001-02 season the Jeeps had a record below .500. They graduated five senior starters from the year before, and fourth-year coach Andy Chinn thought last year was a rebuilding year. The Jeeps didn’t graduate anybody off of last year’s team, and Chinn is glad to have the entire team back.

“We have high hopes,” Chinn said. “We’re a year older. We’ve all improved. The girls have done a great job individually working on their games, and we’ve worked hard as a team in the summer, in the fall, and now we’re going to work hard this winter and try to make something happen out of it.”

He said the team is motivated after giving up a game-winning, buzzer-beating layup against Springs Valley in last year’s sectional that eliminated Northeast Dubois. Chinn said every player and coach this year has watched that game on film multiple times. He said the team’s two seniors, Madison Cave and Haley Reckelhoff, have put a lot of time in going into this season, and said juniors Jazlyn Sander, Mia Smith, Becca Brosmer and Alexus Royer have done the same. Chinn said his players are more confident, and they believe in themselves after the way they ended last season.

The coach is expecting big things from Cave and Reckelhoff this year. Chinn said the two seniors have bought in to being leaders, and are trying to be an extension of the coaching staff.

Chinn said the team isn’t trying anything new. The offensive-minded coach believes in the motion offense like his predecessor, Alan Matheis, did. He added that the team has implemented things that he learned while playing under Marty Simmons at the University of Evansville. Chinn said the Jeeps do run other sets, but said the motion offense is their primary focus.

He added that Northeast Dubois will begin the year running a mixture of defenses, including the man-to-man and different zone defenses. Chinn hopes there’s a defense that will work well throughout the year for the Jeeps to run into February.

The Jeeps also have five freshmen: Emma Betz, Rhylan Kalb, Reagan Knies, Sara Livingston and Grace Lueken. Chinn called them a strong freshman class that had success in middle school. He had praise for all of them, and said they’ll be a big piece of Northeast Dubois’ future.

“It’s definitely one of the best freshmen groups that has come through Northeast Dubois High School girls basketball in a while just because there’s five of them,” he said. “They’re good friends. They play together and they play the right way. We’re just tremendously excited about what the [junior varsity] season holds this year, and it’s going to be exciting to watch a few of them try to work their way into the varsity rotation.”

Northeast Dubois scrimmaged Pike Central on Thursday, and is scheduled to open the season at 8 p.m. Tuesday at Heritage Hills. The Patriots went 17-6 last season, and Chinn has never beaten them in his three seasons as coach of the Jeeps. The last time Northeast Dubois defeated Heritage Hills was Nov. 12, 2015, by a score of 37-30. Chinn said the Jeeps must shut down the Patriots’ post play, limit their possessions and take care of the basketball in order to win.

“Heritage Hills is a great team,” Chinn said. “It’s going to be a tough test right out the gate, but I think it will be good to see how we look in live action against a real opponent.”

 




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