Three Pointers: Winding down regular season play

Photo by Kayla Renie/The Herald
Senior Jackson Kabrick hopes to deliver Jasper a fourth consecutive win Friday at Pike Central.

Here is a look ahead to the games for Friday and Saturday.

Jasper Wildcats

Record: 15-5

Opponent: at Pike Central, 7:30 p.m. Friday

Series: Jasper leads, 30-8

Last season: Jasper won, 46-32

1. Jasper is going for a fourth consecutive win Friday at Pike Central. The Wildcats won their third straight game on Tuesday with a 39-36 win against Princeton, clinching the last-ever Big Eight Conference championship, fending off the Tigers from overtaking them and reclaiming the lead in the fourth quarter.

2. Winning the final championship of the Big Eight wasn’t the only history they’ve made in the past week. Jasper found itself 0-5 all-time against Castle, and the Wildcats looked to change that Feb. 14. They had to wait slightly longer, as the two teams were tied, 61-61, after four quarters, but Jasper broke through with a 75-73 overtime win to make history.

3. The Wildcats lost three consecutive games from Feb. 1-8, the first time they lost back-to-back games all year, but their three-game win streak has them back on track with two games to go and the potential to close out the regular season on a five-game win streak. Beating the Chargers on Friday, and North Daviess Feb. 27 would give them 14 wins in their final 17 games.

Southridge Raiders

Record: 8-13, 3-4

Opponent: vs. South Spencer, 8:00 p.m. Friday

Last season: Southridge won, 41-30

1. The pieces are starting to come back into place for Southridge. Junior Colson Montgomery returned to the team in a 36-24 loss Feb. 15 against Tell City after missing the previous three games with an ankle injury. Fellow junior Camden Gasser is also expected to return to the Raiders.

2. Southridge has had a slide that began with a 56-41 loss Jan. 11 at Northeast Dubois and has spiraled larger ever since. The Raiders won five out of six from Dec. 27 through Jan. 10, but their lone win since came Jan. 25 at North Posey, 59-54. They have dropped four consecutive games since then.

3. The opportunity is still there to finish the regular season on a high note going into sectionals. The Raiders can make it to .500 in their Pocket Athletic Conference finale on Friday against the Rebels. They also can get a potential rematch of them as well, since South Spencer is in Southridge’s sectional.

Northeast Dubois Jeeps

Record: 12-9, 3-4

Opponent: at Loogootee, 7:30 p.m. Friday

Last season: Loogootee won, 54-44

1. A winning regular season is guaranteed for Northeast Dubois no matter what it does these last two games, and the worst the Jeeps can finish the 2019-20 campaign is with a .500 record if they lose their final two games of the regular season and their first game of the sectional.

2. Northeast Dubois finally pulled through Feb. 14 against Perry Central. The Jeeps lost five consecutive games from Jan. 31 until Feb. 11. Their winning record was in jeopardy. They allowed the Commodores to go on an 8-0 run and tie the game in the fourth quarter before winning it with one second left on a free throw from junior Logan Mehringer.

3. Three of those five consecutive losses came at the expense of Blue Chip Conference opponents. The Jeeps have lost four conference games this season, and three of those games were decided by a single possession. They have not won a conference game since posting a 57-39 score Jan. 24 against Vincennes Rivet. Friday is the conference finale.

Forest Park Rangers

Record: 13-8, 3-3

Opponent: vs. Pike Central, 7:30 p.m. Saturday

Last season: Forest Park won, 47-30

1. The Rangers once lost six out of eight games between Jan. 11 and Feb. 6. However, they’ll have the chance to maybe turn the corner heading into sectionals. They’ve already clinched a winning record, regardless of how the rest of the season plays out, and have a chance to build momentum before it’s sectional time.

2. Forest Park has won two out of its last three games, including a double overtime thriller on Tuesday against Boonville, 61-57. The Rangers have the chance to end the season with a three-game win streak and winning four out of their last five. They can also finish two games above .500 in the PAC if they take care of business against the Chargers and Titans.

3. “You can’t overlook any team really, is what we’re thinking,” junior Blake Hagedorn said. “We got to play to our best ability against Pike Central and can’t overlook anybody, really. We got to play team-first basketball and we got to play in the mindset that we’re going to go out there and start right off the bat and just keep going.”

Heritage Hills Patriots

Record: 17-3, 7-0

Opponent: at Tell City, 8:00 p.m. Friday

Last season: Heritage Hills won, 60-50

1. We’ve played this scene before. Heritage Hills is on another win streak — 12 in a row, with a chance to win the PAC for the third year running. The Patriots won 10 in a row en route to a conference crown in 2017-18 and 19 in a row when they repeated as PAC champs last year, with the hopes of also getting past the first sectional game this time.

2. The Pats have won 17 games this season, and have given it to the opposition good. Sixteen of their 17 wins have been by double digits. The latest one came on Tuesday with an 84-55 win against Evansville North, with the Pats making good on 14 shots from downtown. Three games remain, beginning Friday on the road against the Marksmen.

3. “They can flat shoot the basketball as well and they play extremely hard and very well coached,” Pats coach Nate Hawkins said. “Coach (Matt) Lynch does an extremely good job. His team will be prepared. They’re going to want try to slow the game, where in turn...we like to get up and play fast. So, I think it’s going to be just the style of play and if we can turn them over like we’ve been able to do with so many teams, I think we can have some success.”

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