Jeeps ‘successful’ season will be rememberedFebruary 12, 2018
By JONATHAN SAXON
CAMPBELLSBURG — One of life’s hardest lessons is learning how to cope after you do everything you can for a goal and still fall short. The Northeast Dubois girls basketball team learned this Saturday, as the Jeeps (17-7) put up a valiant effort but fell short, 43-41, in their regional matchup against the Trinity Lutheran Cougars (22-6).
Jeeps coach Andy Chinn said he couldn’t have been more proud of how his girls played. He believes that even though they lost the close game, the Jeeps made themselves known to the audience at West Washington High School on Saturday.
“I can’t say enough good things about our team. I think that’s our best game of the year,” he said. “We were so detailed, and we played through so much adversity throughout the game. We’re going to hold our heads high knowing that we deserved to be here.”
Things started off well enough for Northeast Dubois, as seniors Tyla Rasche, Kourtney Quinn, and Adi Denu helped get the Jeeps out to a quick 5-1 lead over Trinity Lutheran. But the Cougars scratched and clawed their way to tie things up at seven apiece, then took a 10-7 lead on three-point shot by senior guard Jodi Goecker as time expired in the first quarter.
What followed was a 7-1 second-quarter run by the Cougars before the Jeeps started to respond. First, Rasche broke up the scoring drought with a driving shot in the lane. Then Denu added a long two-pointer that seemed to hang on the basket for ages before finally falling true.
After a couple of free throws by senior forward Clare Mangin, Denu was able to snatch away a steal and dish an assist to sophomore forward Amberly Jacob, cutting the lead to one point. Mangin delivered the final two points to complete the 12-2 run and give the Jeeps a 20-19 lead after one half of play.
Chinn said he was not expecting an easy out with the Cougars, but he did believe that if his team played tough, smothering defense, as they did to hold Trinity Lutheran to 19 points in the first half, they gave themselves more than a puncher’s chance in the regional game.
“We knew it would be a physical game, but we matched their physicality throughout the game,” he said.
However, Trinity Lutheran struck first in the third quarter, after senior forward Abby Hackman missed her first shot, collected her own rebound, and made the putback bucket to reclaim the lead for the Cougars. This was the first of six lead changes in the quarter, as both teams wrestled for control of their postseason fates with every made shot. Quinn was able to fight through three defenders to scoop in a layup, and the Cougars missed their final shot of the quarter, giving the Jeeps a narrow 31-30 lead to end the third.
The Jeeps and Cougars exchanged buckets to start the fourth quarter, and Trinity Lutheran senior Piper Acton tied the game at 34 after hitting both of her free throws. Denu came back with an old-school, three-point play to put the Jeeps up 37-35 with 4:19 to go, but the Cougars battled back and answered every shot that Northeast Dubois could muster.
Freshman forward Sydney Jaynes gave Trinity Lutheran their final lead after hitting a layup and her bonus free throw to put the Cougars up 41-38. Two more free throws by Hackman sealed it, as Mangin’s late three-pointer made no difference in the outcome.
Mangin led Northeast Dubois with 11 points, while Denu and Rasche both attributed nine points.
Chinn said his team went out and executed the game plan to a T, but Trinity Lutheran was simply better in the end. The girls gave everything they could on the court, which is all the coach has asked of them over the course of the season. They brought it, but just fell short.
But the Jeeps still have a lot to be proud of, even with the loss ending their season. They rebounded from a rough start, put together two winning stretches that featured really good basketball, and won a sectional title. It is hard to call this season a failure, and Chinn sees only good things for the girls basketball program moving forward.
“This year has been a success. And this shows for our younger kids, we’re right there,” said Chinn. “This is a year that will go down in history. This group of girls will be remembered together as the sectional champions. Knowing that we competed until the very end, we’re going to hold our heads high. I couldn’t be more proud to be a Northeast Dubois Jeep.”
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