Scherry scores 1,000th point, Pats win againFebruary 9, 2020
By JONATHAN SAXON
JASPER — Simon Scherry said he was aware of how close he was to the 1,000-point milestone, but once the game tipped off, he didn’t really think about it. He’s happy to join fellow senior Murray Becher in the 1,000 point club, and sees it as a reflection of the time invested on the court.
“Once I hit it, Coach (Nate Hawkins) said something about it, some of the guys said congrats and after the game we talked about it a little bit,” he said. “It felt great. For me to get to 1,000, it credits all the hours that we’ve put in the gym, and all the hard work is starting to pay off.”
Scherry stood at exactly 1,000 points after Heritage Hills (15-3) picked up their 10th win in a row over the Jasper Wildcats (12-5), 77-45, Saturday in a throwback affair at Cabby O'Neill Gym.
Hawkins praised his players for staying locked in throughout the game and not falling into the trap of relaxing with a big lead, as they've done at times this season.
"This might have been the best that we've attacked," he said. "(We were) just consistently on the attack. We weren't really worried about what the scoreboard read. It was about making sure each possession was great."
Senior guard Murray Becher and junior forward Blake Sisley scored the Pats’ first six points before senior guard Jackson Kabrick tallied the first Wildcats (12-5) basket. Sisley and Becher tag teamed another 6-0 run, and the Pats added more backcourt scoring from junior Jake Johnson, as well as seniors Cole Sigler and Cayden Kratzer. The Wildcats got a few more points from junior guard Caleb Burger and senior guard Reece Day, but trailed 22-8 after the first quarter.
Becher and Kratzer kept up the charge at the top of the second, and an and-one play from Sisley put the Patriots up 30-10. Kabrick connected on a three, but Sigler and Sisley came right back with consecutive scores to keep the pressure on the Wildcats. Day and senior forward Quentin Harmon cut the lead to 15, but Johnson snuck one in before the buzzer to put the Pats up 36-19 at halftime.
Becher and Burger exchanged buckets to start the third quarter, and the Patriots built another 20-point lead with contributions from Sigler and senior guard Simon Scherry. Kabrick, Burger, senior forward Elliot Hopf and sophomore guard Isaac Day managed to find the rim for the Wildcats, but the Pats avalanche kept on mounting to the tune of a 59-34 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Becher, Scherry and Sisley powered an 8-2 run that gave Heritage Hills their final push to the finish, and Scherry recorded his 1,000th point after knocking down a three that put the Patriots up 71-42. Both coaches sat the starters shortly after that and let their benches finish up the closing minutes.
Becher led the Pats with 23, Sisley had 17 and Scherry finished with 14 to reach the 1,000 point milestone. Sigler also had 11. Harmon and Kabrick each had 11 for the Wildcats.
“We played really well today,” said Becher. “We really pushed the ball up the floor and got that pedal going the whole second half.”
Wildcats coach John Goebel said the Patriots were just the better team on Saturday, and they present a lot of problems for anyone trying to defend them. He noted the Wildcats didn't help themselves with the turnovers they committed, but in the end the Patriots simply overwhelmed them with their press and firepower.
"The better team did win," said Goebel. "I am proud of the way the kids approached the game. We could have helped our own cause a little better, but athletically we were outmatched."
Hawkins said maintaining high intensity levels has been a major growth area for the Patriots. He’s been harping on them getting the most out of their possessions instead of wasting them with lapses in concentration or shooting too quickly, and their current win streak is the fruit of those efforts.
“That’s one thing we’ve been talking about all season,” he said. “Our focus and concentration level would wander a bit, especially early in the season. I felt like that has been so good these last few games. I think that’s why we’ve seen a good (scoring) margin in our victories.”
Goebel acknowledged it’s been a tough stretch for the Wildcats, but believes the team can learn from this patch of games and use it as a preview for the kind of teams they’ll face in their sectional. The major key is to stay positive and not let the losses create doubts about their capabilities.
“We’ve lost to three really good basketball teams,” he said. “There’s no shame in losing to good basketball teams. The thing that’s disappointing to us is in all three games we haven’t been as competitive as we needed to be. It’s a good learning process for us.”
The Wildcats will be back 8:00 p.m. Tuesday as they host the Evansville Mater Dei Wildcats (13-4). The Patriots return 8:00 p.m. Friday to host the Forest Park Rangers (11-7).
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