Jeeps moving on to sectional semifinalsMarch 3, 2020
By JONATHAN SAXON
FRENCH LICK — The Northeast Dubois boys basketball team operated with the disposition of a work crew as they traveled to Springs Valley High School for Tuesday’s 1A sectional first round game against Cannelton. There wasn’t anything fancy on the agenda except for solid defense and team ball, which the Jeeps (14-10) used to great effect as they defeated the Bulldogs (6-18) 62-41.
“We came out tonight and took care of business,” said Jeeps coach Terry Friedman. “We came here to get the job done, and now we’re moving on. This time of year, it ain’t about being perfect. It’s about getting the win and moving on.”
Junior forward Ty Riecker started the Jeeps off with an and-one play, but sophomore guard Jhett Garrett scored consecutive buckets to give the Bulldogs an early lead. The Jeeps hit back quickly with shots from Riecker and senior guard Reece Bauer. Junior guard Dylan Young tied the game at 7-all with a three, but Bauer, junior forward Lane Knies and senior guard Ethan Ziegler combined for a 7-0 run. Garrett put in one more shot, but another 6-0 run gave the Jeeps a 20-9 lead at the end of the first.
From there, the Jeeps strengthened their grip on the game. Bauer started the second with a putback score, and Knies added five more points for a 17-point lead. Junior guard Dante Miller and junior forward Logan Mehringer continued expanding the lead. Young and Garrett were the only Bulldogs players that scored in the second quarter with a combined four points. By the time Riecker and Bauer scored the final first-half buckets, the Jeeps commanded a 34-13 lead.
Knies opened the second half with three points. Garrett and Young had back-to-back baskets, but a three from junior guard Nick Lueken put the Jeeps up 40-17. The Jeeps and Bulldogs continued to trade baskets for most of the third quarter. Riecker, Mehringer, and sophomore forward Colby Pieper all made contributions to the Jeeps’ cause. Garrett, Young and junior guard Nolan Aders finished the third quarter on an 8-2 run, but the Bulldogs were in a 20-point hole going into the fourth.
Mehringer and Bauer combined for a 9-2 run that solidified the final outcome. Friedman sat most of his starting lineup with 4:41 left in the fourth, leaving only Knies in with the reserves. Knies took his seat on the bench a few minutes later as the Jeeps’ second line finished out the final moments of the first round.
Mehringer paced the Jeeps with 14 points, while Bauer finished with 12 points, seven rebounds and four assists. Garrett had 16 points, and Young chipped in 11.
“We put the pressure on and executed the way we needed to,” said Bauer. “We came out a little slow. They got ahead of us early. I didn’t feel like we played to our full potential, but ultimately we got the win.”
“We came out with our heads high,” added Mehringer. “This is one of my best scoring games.”
The Jeeps flipped a lackluster end to their season, which included dropping six of their last eight games, and turned in a solid performance that saw almost every one of their players put points on the board. Friedman said the tournament is what all the work during the season goes towards, and he was proud his team’s efforts were enough to advance to the semifinals.
“We work the whole year to get ready for the tournament,” said Friedman. “Right now is the time we have to step up and be ready to go. The kids were ready to go and we’re moving on.”
The Jeeps will face the Vincennes Rivet Patriots (5-15) at 8 p.m. on Friday for a spot in Saturday’s sectional final.
For more photos from the game, click here.
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