Three Pointers: Wildcats, others, return to floor

Marlena Sloss/The Herald
Jasper's Jackson Kabrick makes a layup during Jasper's 71-45 win against Evansville Memorial Dec. 13. Marlena Sloss/The Herald

This is a preview featuring some of the local teams in the first games of the calendar year.

Jasper boys

Record: 4-2

Opponent: vs. Evansville Central, 8 p.m. today

Series: Evansville Central leads, 8-6

Last season: Jasper won, 71-52

1. The layoff will end for the Wildcats today as they take the floor for the first time since a 59-35 win Dec. 21 at Tell City. Jasper has not played at home since a 71-45 win Dec. 13 against Evansville Memorial. It's the first of three back-to-back weekends of Friday and Saturday games for the Wildcats this month. They'll play on Saturday at Evansville North.

2. Jasper will look to tie its season-high second consecutive win today. The Wildcats have not put a long winning streak together, but they have yet to lose consecutive games as well. Last year's sectional championship team won consecutive games on five different occasions, including a season-high five straight from Dec. 28 through Jan. 11.

3. The Wildcats have gotten the better the better of the Bears in each of the past three seasons. Jasper could make it four in a row, considering Evansville Central has a 1-6 record heading into the game. The Bears started off 0-5 before finally breaking through Dec. 21 against Princeton. Senior Jackson Kabrick scored 10 points with nine assists in last year's Evansville Central win.

Forest Park boys

Record: 7-1

Opponent: at Paoli, 7:30 p.m., today

Last season: Did not play. Forest Park and Paoli last played Jan. 15, 2005. The Rangers won, 57-51.

1. Forest Park and Paoli's first meeting almost 15 years to the day is a high-stakes game as Forest Park comes into this one at 7-1, while Paoli is 8-1. The Rangers started off the season 6-0 before encountering their lone blemish of the season thus far in a 55-42 loss in the semifinals Dec. 28 of their own Forest Park Tournament. They rebounded with a 65-55 win against Northeast Dubois the next night for third place.

2. The Rams, meanwhile, lost their season opener, but have since reeled off eight wins in a row. They won the championship game of the Best Western Plus Holiday Classic at Springs at ease with a 61-26 win against New Washington. Paoli has had some close calls this season, too. The Rams have played in nine games, with five them ending in a single-digit score. 

3. This is the first game of a back-to-back for the Rangers, who are scheduled Saturday to play at Springs Valley. The Blackhawks are on the opposite end of the spectrum record-wise than the Rams and Rangers are. They lost each of their first six games, and have lost two in a row heading into Saturday's Forest Park game since getting their lone win of the season thus far.

Southridge boys

Record: 4-5

Opponents: vs. Christian Academy, 10 a.m. Saturday, Linton-Stockton/Barr-Reeve, TBD

Series: Southridge leads Christian Academy, 1-0

Last season: Southridge defeated Christian Academy, 45-35, did not play Linton-Stockton or Barr-Reeve.

1. This is the first annual Baird Winter Classic at Huntingburg Memorial Gymnasium. It is scheduled to last all day Saturday with all four teams playing two games each. Teams who lose their first round game are set to compete at 6 p.m. Teams who win their first round game are scheduled to square off at 8 p.m. for the championship.

2. Southridge has a chance to get to .500 or better on Saturday, but if the Raiders win their own tournament, it'll have come at the expense of teams that have had strong showings in the early going. They'll face a 6-3 Christian Academy team in the opening round. If Southridge wins that game, it would either face Linton-Stockton, which is 8-1 going into the tournament, or Barr-Reeve, which is currently 9-0.

3. Southridge and Barr-Reeve also competed in the Old National Bank Tournament Dec. 23, 27 and 28 at North Daviess. The two teams did not play each other. The Raiders lost, 57-54, in overtime, in the first round against Blackford, but bounced back to win their latter two games and capture fifth place. The Vikings, meanwhile, knocked off the host Cougars, 48-42, for the championship.

Southridge girls

Record: 7-6

Opponent: at Evansville Central, 8 p.m. today

Last season: Did not play.

1. Southridge will take to the floor for the first time since a 48-21 loss Dec. 17 at Heritage Hills. Sophomore Myah Montgomery went down to injury seven seconds into the game. Werner did not have a timetable on Thursday for when Montgomery would return. He said junior Kennedy Nalley and mostly Marie Tempel would be in charge with bringing the ball up the court.

2. Werner was not happy with how the Raiders performed in practice on Thursday. He told his players about adversity. Werner knows Southridge will have its backs against the wall with the schedule it has, but he doesn't want a team that gives up, regardless of what happens. He wants to see if players like Tempel, Nalley, sophomore Mikah Goeppner and junior Rose Tempel can all step up.

3. "Our job is to make these kids better and let these kids see the improvement and enjoy the improvement they're going to make," Werner said after practice Thursday. "I think they're capable of doing it. It just wasn't a good practice today and they're better than what they played today. They've just got to come focused and locked in and ready to get better every day."

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