Jeeps host Cancer Night, win fifth straightJanuary 25, 2020
By COREY STOLZENBACH
DUBOIS — Northeast Dubois came away with a 55-48 win against Springs Valley Saturday night. The Jeeps (11-4) won their season-high fifth game in a row, but joined the Blackhawks in uniting before the game to show their support in hopes of an even bigger win — the fight against cancer.
Northeast Dubois held its Jeeps vs. Cancer Night, and did many things to raise awareness for the cause. People in the stands wore pink shirts, as did the Northeast Dubois cheerleaders. The Springs Valley cheerleaders all wore pink bows in their hair. Players for the Jeeps, and many for the Blackhawks, sported pink shoelaces on their sneakers. Northeast Dubois collected donations, raising $386.25 to donate to the Lange-Fuhs Cancer Center in Jasper. Cheerleaders and players for both teams received public introductions prior to the start of the game. Several had someone they cheered or played for on this night.
Jeeps senior Reece Bauer was one of those players. Bauer went up into the bleachers immediately after his introduction to hug his mother, Jennifer, a Stage One breast cancer survivor who has been in remission for five years. Jennifer sat above the scorers’ table, and told Reece she loved him as the two embraced. Jennifer wiped away the tears from her eyes after she hugged her son on this night.
“It just shows the support of the community that they care enough to back everybody that’s battling the disease,” Jennifer said.
“My mom’s the strongest woman I know,” Reece said. “She overcame cancer a couple of years ago, and it was just a big moment for me.”
Reece draws a lot of inspiration from Jennifer, having seen her go through a lot and overcome it all.
The Blackhawks closely guarded Bauer throughout the night, not letting him get away from them. They sometimes double teamed him. Even then, Bauer still came away with a game-high 18 points to help deliver career win No. 163 for coach Terry Friedman, a two-time cancer survivor who has previously dealt with Stage Four lymphoma and Stage Four prostate cancer. Both are currently in remission, with Friedman inquiring about his luck to survive both of them.
“Coaches vs. Cancer Night has always been kind of a special night for me personally, but I think it’s about the kids and the community and a purpose,” Friedman said. “It’s a purpose that cancer affects so many people. It’s hard to find anybody in their lives, somebody that they know or are related to, who hasn’t been affected by the disease. It’s a small thing that we can do to bring our community together and rally around. Something like that, I think it’s very special that our kids are involved. They get a kick out of wearing the pink shoestrings for this night, and we’re just proud that we could be a part of that.”
Friedman’s advice for those who currently have the disease is to know there’s support available. The 14th-year Jeeps coach, who doesn’t always wear his emotions on his sleeve during games, said people must stay positive and not give up the fight.
“I think it definitely helps your perspective on life and what’s really important out there,” he said. “It’s not that I don’t get on my players, I do. I think it has to be done in the right way, and always try to be as best as I can that way. I try to control my emotions as best as I can. It’s an emotional game out there, and my faith in God is probably my biggest asset, and my family.”
The Jeeps saw seven different players score for them. Junior Lane Knies posted 13 to join Bauer in double figures. Senior Ethan Ziegler had nine points and a trio of 3-pointers, one of which tied the game at 27 in the third quarter. Bauer retook the lead for them, 29-27. They preserved that lead in the fourth quarter, creating separation from Springs Valley in a close game as the final seconds wound down.
Friedman thinks his players are wanting to make the most of the season. He pointed to Bauer and Ziegler bringing strong senior leadership on and off the court.
“I think, when you have good senior leadership, then your team follows, and we seem to be doing a good job with that this year,” he said.
He said the Jeeps will work on defensive rebounding in practice this week, believing they gave up too many offensive rebounds against the Blackhawks. Friedman added Northeast Dubois will also focus on overall defense, as he wasn’t happy to give up 48 points in the game.
The Jeeps will put their five-game winning streak to the test Friday on the road against a Jasper team that has its own winning streak and will try for its ninth win in a row.
“We have a tremendous amount of respect for Coach (John) Goebel and the Jasper Wildcats,” Friedman said. “He does a great job there. Last year, they went into the (Class) 4A sectionals in Evansville and came out there with a sectional championship. So, it’s a strong program. They have a lot of tradition, and we’re going to have our hands full next Friday night.”
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