Jeeps, Rangers to meet for 3rd placeDecember 27, 2019
By COREY STOLZENBACH
FERDINAND — Northeast Dubois and Forest Park will meet for the second Saturday in a row.
Both the Jeeps (5-2) and Rangers (6-1) dropped losses in the semifinal of the Access Storage Holiday Classic at Forest Park, setting up these two teams meeting in the third place game. Forest Park won, 60-53, Dec. 21 at Northeast Dubois.
The Jeeps took a 53-48 loss against East Central. Northeast Dubois had multiple leads by five in the third quarter. The Jeeps never led in the opening quarter, but went on a 16-6 run in the second quarter. Senior Reece Bauer drove to tie the game, 14-14, after his team was down, 12-6, after one. The Jeeps got into a groove, holding the ball in the waning seconds of the first half. Bauer managed to get an and-one, but missed his free throw. It was 22-16 at that point, but junior Luke Collinsworth of the Trojans got an inside bucket just before the end of the half.
East Central kept on pushing in the third quarter, though. The Trojans got a bucket from junior Logan Rohrbacher and then junior John Hotel off of offensive rebounds that helped trim into the Jeeps’ lead both times.
“We were in a zone (defense),” Jeeps coach Terry Friedman said. “Sometimes, we don’t rebound as well out of our zone there, and that was probably part of the problem. The other part is it was a very physical game. They’re big, strong kids and we didn’t get it checked out the way we should have.”
The Trojans retook the lead when junior AJ Messmore drained a 3-pointer to put the Jeeps down, 31-30. Rohrbacher added on with a triple of his own. Northeast Dubois trailed, 35-33, after three. However, the Jeeps could not climb their way back into the lead to pull off the victory in the fourth quarter. Northeast Dubois took a full timeout with 26.5 seconds to play and down, 51-45, after senior Ethan Ziegler banked a three. The Jeeps tried shooting from beyond the arc once more towards the end of the game, but it did not fall.
Friedman said the Jeeps must make free throws in order to avenge the Dec. 21 loss against the Rangers.
“It’s still early,” he said. “It was our seventh game. We still got to keep working — it’s still December and keep working on getting better every day.”
The Rangers, meanwhile took their first loss of the season Friday night, 55-42, after escaping with a 55-53 earlier that morning. Forest Park was in a 9-0 deficit to begin the game. Sophomore Drew Howard’s bucket got the team on the board, but 9-2 later became 11-2 and that became 19-8 after the first quarter. The Rangers never led in this game. Their shots did not fall. Forest Park missed layups and also buckets at the rim. The Warriors led the Rangers, 47-21, after three.
Forest Park tried to make something happen in the final quarter. The Rangers opened up the fourth on a 15-2 run, but could not trim their deficit to single digits.
“I thought they competed until the last whistle,” Welp said. “I’m very happy that they continued to play. We just have to have that sense of urgency, though, starting that first quarter.”
Welp said he had to continue to help motivate his players in that spot when they tried to make a comeback. He told his players after the game that they have to reflect both on the positive and what they need to work on while moving on to the Jeeps. Welp said the Jeeps gave the Rangers fits the first time around. He said Forest Park must take of the basketball while limiting the mistakes and turnovers.
“Reece Bauer and (Nick) Lueken and Lane Knies, they’re solid players,” he said. “We just got to make sure that we’re playing Ranger defense. We got to make sure that we are doing the little things to help us be successful.”
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