Turnovers contribute to Jasper girls overtime loss

Claire Knies


JASPER — Ball security is something Jasper girls intend to work on in Wednesday’s practice, as turnovers on Tuesday caused a late fourth quarter lead to turn into a 65-60 overtime loss.

The Wildcats (9-11, 0-3) welcomed Big Eight Conference rival Boonville in an attempt to get to .500, win their second straight and get their first win in the conference. They held the lead for a good portion of the second half, including late in the fourth quarter. Senior Brooke Nottingham finished with a team-high 21 points. Her two free throws with 1:21 left to play in the fourth quarter put the Wildcats up, 52-47. Foul trouble and turnovers haunted them, however. The Pioneers made free throws in a span of about 14 seconds in the final minute of regulation. Senior Claire Knies, who scored 20, turned the ball over that senior Alaysha Brandenberger, who had a game-high 27 points, took it and tied it on a layup, 53-53.

Jasper still had an opportunity to orchestrate something with 3.5 seconds to go in the fourth quarter. However, Knies’ shot was short. The Pioneers took advantage of overtime, winning the tip off and jumping out to a 6-0 run. Booonville staved off any efforts of a Jasper comeback.

“It stinks to lose that way when you have a lead late and we didn’t make some good decisions, had some bad turnovers and they got some easy looks as a result of those,” Jasper coach Jessica Mehringer said. “We all know we gave it away. So, what we have to focus on now is moving forward.”

Taking care of the basketball proved to be a challenge throughout the game. The Wildcats held a 20-12 lead when the third quarter began, but multiple turnovers caused the Pioneers to go on a 7-0 run and get back in it with a 20-19 deficit. Mehringer credited Boonville for pressuring Jasper, forcing quick decisions and picking up the dribble. However, she noted turning the ball above the free throw line will result in two points for the other team, and she thought the Wildcats did that too much on Tuesday.

Jasper did, however, pull down many boards throughout the night. Knies and Nottingham got steals that allowed the Wildcats hold the lead for as long as they did in the first place, and Jasper also hustled after loose balls on defense, too.

“That’s just who we are,” Mehringer said. “I think that that’s kind of the pride these guys take in what they’re able to do.”

Brooke Nottingham

She thought Jasper didn’t set good screens or execute well on offense. Mehringer told the Herald after Saturday’s win the need to for the Wildcats to get catches on offense to score, but said they’ll continue to work on that because the catches weren’t that good against the Pioneers. Mehringer added Jasper didn’t set good picks, failing to set people up. She said the Wildcats will watch film to discuss spacing and how they’re getting ready to be screened for.

Mehringer said ball security is always an emphasis for Jasper, but she has some drills in mind for Wednesday’s practice, such as handling the ball when trapped and pressured.The Wildcats will hope to put Tuesday’s loss behind them and bounce back Thursday on their home floor against Evansville Reitz. Mehringer said Jasper being ready to play on defense is what’s needed for a win. She added executing on offense and trusting one another are also important.

Thursday is Senior Night at Jasper despite it not being the final home game of the year. Lexie Jerger and Isabelle Blazey join Knies and Nottingham as the four seniors for the Wildcats.

“Those kids want to get a W for those seniors, for sure,” Mehringer said.

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