Rangers prevail over Jeeps on senior night, 56-48

Photos by Jimmy Lafakis/The Herald
Forest Park senior Emma Gray prepares to shoot a free throw during the fourth quarter of Tuesday evening’s game in Ferdinand. Forest Park bested Northeast Dubois, 56-48.


FERDINAND — Tuesday evening’s girls basketball contest between Northeast Dubois (8-4) and Forest Park (9-3) did not lack for suspense. As each tense moment ticked off the clock, both the Jeeps and the Rangers adjusted to the game’s quick tempo.

When the dust settled, the Rangers emerged victorious with a 56-48 win on their senior night. Prior to the victory, Forest Park honored seniors Emma Gray and Linda Jacob in a ceremony.

“Every year, you’re going to have a group of seniors that has been through years and years of basketball camps, open gyms, practices, blood, sweat, tears and all that,” Rangers head coach Tony Hasenour said. “This year, especially, we weren’t even sure if we were going to have a season. We didn’t know what the season was going to look like. We were glad that it worked out that we could have a year and we were able to honor those two.”

The Jeeps enjoyed a quick surge and stormed out to an early lead. As the second quarter began, the Rangers flipped the figurative switch and found a comfortable rhythm from behind the arc. Sustained success on drive-and-kick actions gave Forest Park a 31-19 lead at the break.

“We shot really poorly in the first quarter,” Hasenour said. “You don’t really expect it to do a complete 180, but it kind of did in the second quarter. As bad as we shot in the first quarter, we shot really well in the second quarter. We were able to stretch out a little bit of a lead and hold onto that in the second half.”

A pair of Forest Park sophomores provided critical contributions in the final two frames. Lydia Betz and Amber Tretter showcased their shooting abilities and poured in points from around the court. Betz finished with a game-high 20 points, while Tretter added 15 points.

Northeast Dubois attacked the basket throughout the second half. That strategy allowed the Jeeps to hang around and put some pressure on Forest Park.

“Our girls didn’t back down,” Northeast Dubois head coach Andy Chinn said. “There’s no doubt about that. We got a little loose in the second quarter.”

The Jeeps did not relent, but the Rangers stayed strong. Free throws and rebounding helped Forest Park put the game away.

“We’ve told the girls all year, ‘We need to be happy for what we get and not sad about what we don’t get with this whole COVID situation,’ ” Hasenour said. “Like I said, we didn’t know if we were going to have a season. We didn’t know if we were going to have a senior night. We’ve been very fortunate up until about two weeks ago. We were quarantined for a couple of weeks. We’ve missed about a week and a half to two weeks of practice and didn’t really know what to expect tonight going against a team that plays as hard as Dubois.”

Northeast Dubois sophomore Reagan Knies (right) drives while Forest Park sophomore Gabey Gray (left) defends during the third quarter of Tuesday evening’s game in Ferdinand. The Jeeps fell, 56-48.

After the game, Hasenour highlighted the Forest Park seniors’ careers.

“Linda has been with us for four years,” he said. “Just a really, really hard worker. Sometimes, we have to pull the reins back on her a little bit. She knows one speed — 100 miles per hour. It’s admirable, and I love that about her. Emma moved here last year, so we haven’t had as much time with her. She’s one that works hard and is a perfectionist. She gets so down on herself when she makes a mistake, but that’s another thing that I admire about her. I told her tonight, ‘It’s okay to make a mistake sometimes.’ ”

Junior Hadley Fuhrman scored a team-high 17 points for Northeast Dubois. Sophomore Rhylan Kalb notched 15 points for the Jeeps.

“I think you can take a lot of positives away,” Chinn said. “That’s what I told them in the locker room — ‘You should be proud of how hard we competed.’ I thought we made some mental mistakes. That’s what happens when you have that much defensive pressure. We made some mental mistakes, but our team got better tonight. We took another step forward, and we’re going to keep plugging away.”

Both teams will continue their seasons at approximately 7:30 p.m. on Thursday evening. Northeast Dubois will travel to Bloomfield, while Forest Park will head to Jasper.

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