Jeeps, Rangers advance to semifinalsDecember 27, 2019
By COREY STOLZENBACH
FERDINAND — Northeast Dubois is on its way to the semifinals of the Forest Park Tournament after completing a double-digit comeback.
The Jeeps (5-1) found themselves a 42-31 hole in the opening round of the Access Storage Holiday Hoops Classic this morning against South Central. Northeast Dubois turned the ball over multiple times in the first couple of minutes, and shots were falling short of the rim. However, an 11-0 run in the third quarter tied it, 42-42, and a 9-0 run in the fourth helped the Jeeps grab the lead. They held on, 63-56, to complete the rally.
Northeast Dubois coach Terry Friedman credited the team's defense for helping to make that possible.
"The second half, we held them to five field goals," Friedman said. "We come in at halftime, we'd given up 36 points. That's not who we are. We came out the second half. We set the tone early defensively there. We were able to create some turnovers on them and get ourselves back into the ballgame."
Friedman wasn't sure that the Jeeps were ready to go when the game started in the early morning game. He didn't think they had the edge they needed in the beginning, but credited them for fighting back.
South Central senior Dylan Patterson made a pair of free throws to put Northeast Dubois in an 11-point hole. However, they gradually crawled back into it. Senior Reece Bauer, who had a game-high 24 points, helped lead the charge. He got after a ball that went down the court and dished a pass to junior Lane Knies, who brought it to 42-41. Knies proved to be a rim presence in this game, scoring 11 points. Bauer went to the free throw line for a one-and-one with 1.2 seconds to play. He made the first, which tied the game, but missed his second free throw. Senior Austin Tyree put the Rebels back out in front, 44-42, ending the 11-0 run. However, junior Logan Mehringer tied it, and Bauer found Knies again to give the Jeeps the lead.
They began expanding after that point and showed more adjustments. Northeast Dubois was 1-for-8 at the free throw line in the first half, but 14-for-21 in the second half, which Friedman chalked up to focus and concentration when getting to the line.
Junior Lucas Stewart scored a team-high 20 points for South Central, but the Jeeps kept him off the score sheet entirely in the final quarter. Friedman praised the job Bauer and junior Nick Lueken did on defense to keep Stewart in check.
The Jeeps will face either East Central at 6:00 p.m. tonight in the semifinals. The Trojans reeled off a 66-37 win against Mount Vernon.
"I think it's going to come down to ball movement," Friedman said on getting off to a better start. "We have to come out ready to go and in our ball movement, we'll have to be crisp and defensively, we'll have to really be on it."
Forest Park 55, Jennings County 53
"Our guys just grinded one out," Rangers coach David Welp said. "They played a very tough team. Jennings County's a very good team, a very physical team and our guys just made enough plays down the stretch."
Welp told his players after the game he's proud of them, but they have to move on. Forest Park will face Christian Academy at 7:45 p.m. tonight in the semifinal after the Warriors pulled off a 49-41 win against North Knox. Welp said Christian Academy is tough.
"We just to got to continue with our momentum," he said. "That's critical, but also, we got to play a little better defense. We got to continue to make sure that we're rotating and we're communicating. Offensively, we just got to execute a little better."
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