Stagnant shooting dooms host JeepsNovember 10, 2017
BY JONATHAN SAXON
DUBOIS — It was billed as a hard-nosed rivalry game with the potential for bruises, if not bloodshed. While no blood was drawn in Thursday’s matchup between Northeast Dubois and Paoli, the Jeeps succumbed to Class 2A No. 10 Paoli 51-31, but made the Rams (2-0) work for every point.
Paoli coach Scott Blankenbaker put great emphasis on Northeast Dubois’ toughness during his postgame radio interview.
“I knew it was going to be a physical game. The score is not indicative of how they played,” he said. “I thought they pressured us well, especially late in the game. (They’re) going to have a pretty good team. They’re physical and they get up and down the floor well. I thought they played well.”
Jacqlyn Rice had 12 points to lead Paoli, while Keaton Chastain and Callie Baker each added 11 to help the Rams to their second win in a row.
“We usually do not play too well against this team,” Rice said. “We held it together pretty well and came out with a W.”
Jeeps coach Andy Chinn praised the effort his girls put forth, mixing zone with individual efforts on defense to make Rice and Chastain fight for all their points. But Paoli’s depth coupled with Northeast Dubois’ offensive struggles was simply too much to overcome.
“I thought we did a good job on the two of them,” Chinn said. “They’re both good players and they’re going to find they’re points. They had some players step up and hit outside shots. That’s what good teams do, and that’s our goal in the future. We need to be able to do that and pick up the slack.”
Early-season shooting struggles continued to plague the Jeeps (0-3) as they fell behind 10-2 in the first quarter. They were able to cut into Paoli’s lead to close the first half down a manageable 19-12.
Madison Cave was the only Jeep to score double-digit points with 12, while Clare Mangin’s eight points in the first half were instrumental in keeping Northeast Dubois within striking distance after it failed to score a field goal until the second quarter.
“It’s tough to win games when you shoot 23 percent from the field,” Chinn said. “We talked on defense, we were detailed. We just didn’t make shots tonight.”
The Jeeps would go cold again in the third quarter, getting outscored by the Rams 16-5. Northeast Dubois tried to mount a late rally in the fourth quarter, but every time momentum started shifting in the Jeeps’ favor, Paoli would answer with a decisive bucket as Northeast Dubois eventually ran out of time to rally.
Despite the loss, Chinn was able to procure positive takeaways. He pointed to his girls’ continued hustle and persistence instead of quitting in the face of shots that missed their mark.
And even though it came too late to change the outcome, the shots did eventually start to fall. Chinn said he hopes to focus future workouts on shooting consistency so the Jeeps don’t find themselves in early holes they can’t dig out of.
“We scored 14 points in the fourth quarter. We moved the ball on offense, and we hit open shots in the fourth quarter,” he said. “We have to piece together a four-quarter game, and we haven’t done that yet. So that’s one thing we’re going to talk about tomorrow when we watch film, and on Monday when we get ready for two more games next week.”
Chinn said he was proud of the way his team competed, and believes that his team can correct these offensive struggles. The Jeeps are finding good opportunities on the floor, they simply need to have determination as shots aren’t falling. And Chinn believes the only way to create that is to keep shooting.
“We just need to get in the gym, keep putting shots up and get our confidence up,” he said. “I think that’s the biggest thing. We got good looks tonight. We moved the ball well. We didn’t turn the ball over very much the last three quarters, but the shots just weren’t falling. We took good shots. I’m happy the girls took those shots, and eventually those will fall for us.”
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