Mehringer seeks consistency heading into sectionalJanuary 26, 2021
By COREY STOLZENBACH
JASPER — There are a few things Jasper girls basketball coach Jessica Mehringer is trying to get out of her players as the sectional tournament approaches.
Mehringer is looking for consistency in the individual performances of her players. The fourth-year coach of the Wildcats told the Herald that they have players who look great one day, but not-so-great the next day, and that’s true even in practice.
While some players got a lot of minutes last year, Mehringer noted that some of them are still also trying to gain confidence — as Jasper has players that are doing things the coaches are asking of them, but Mehringer said they need to do them confidently. Boosting the confidences of her players is a goal of Mehringer’s going into the sectional.
Despite her wanting more consistency, the Wildcats have indeed gotten consistency from some of their players. One of them is senior Emma Shelton, who went down to a season-ending injury early in her junior year, but Shelton has carried the load as a consistent scorer, often leading the team in points on a given night.
“I told her that she is our go-to for being able to get some points on the board,” Mehringer said. “We struggle to score because we miss a lot of easy shots. We get the layups and we can’t seem to knock them down. Emma does a good job of hitting threes and getting some put backs — she’s just kind of always in the right spot, but definitely her success is earned.”
Another player that stands out to her is sophomore Jasmin Mehringer, no relation. Jessica likes how consistent Jasmin has been since the Wildcats brought her up from junior varsity, and noted that Jasmin accepted the challenge of ascending to play point guard for the team. She knows that Jasmin is going to make mistakes because she’s young, but this a great learning experience for her.
“She’s done a great job, and I think that she’s been a consistent person for us,” Jessica said. “She probably spends more minutes on the court than anybody else on our team — mainly because we really don’t have another ball handler, but there’s no reason to take her out.”
Jessica hopes her players are locked in going into sectional — and she believes they will be because the end of basketball season is drawing near. She wishes that they could have such a mindset all the time, but sectional would be the right time to have it if there ever was one.
The Wildcats may have struggled with their win-loss record in the regular season, but teams can get overlooked going into sectional play. Oftentimes, it’s those teams who finishing with a losing record or around .500 who can either make a run at sectional or be the one to claim the hardware.
“I don’t think that we’re a team that anyone wants to overlook just because we do usually play pretty good defense — going to make things hard for you as much as we can with switching up between a couple of different defenses that we like to run,” Jessica said. “And we have the ability to press if we need to, and we have a lot of different people that can score.
“Yeah, Emma scores a lot of points for us, and (fellow senior) Hannah (Schwenk) probably follows her up in scoring points per game, but we have several kids that can hit shots, get to the rim, make free throws,” she continued. “I think that kind of is in our benefit, too, when you’re looking at making a run in sectional is getting all these kids to buy in, that everybody plays a role and everybody has an opportunity to make a difference in any given game.”
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