Wildcats ease to fourth consecutive victoryJanuary 10, 2020
By COREY STOLZENBACH
JASPER — Jasper’s first conference win of the season on Friday came against a longtime rival.
The Wildcats (7-2, 1-1) downed Vincennes Lincoln, 56-29, to improve to .500 in Big Eight Conference play, and also improve their season-high winning streak to four games in a row. Jasper coach John Goebel said his players are doing what they need to do to win the game, but also recognize that January and February is going to bring a tough schedule.
“There’s going to be peaks and valleys, but overall, we’re proud that we’re finding ways to win and we do feel like we’re making big strides in regards to playing as a team and sharing the basketball and playing team defense,” Goebel said. “Those are the things that we’re mainly worried about (and) focused on right now.
The coach thought it was a good win. The Alices fell to 2-6, but Goebel knew they were going to bring a fight just like they always do when they show up at Jasper. He thought his team’s defensive intensity and mixing the defenses ended up being the difference, and added that the Wildcats earned every point they scored.
Vincennes Lincoln kept the score close in the early going before Jasper pulled away on a 6-0 run in the opening quarter and the ball was going in for the Wildcats. Seniors Jackson Kabrick and Quentin Harmon had 21 and 13 points, respectively. The Wildcats connected on jump shots, and it was also their night from downtown to the tune of seven 3-pointers.
“That’s just the law of averages,” Goebel said. “When you get good looks, some of them are going to go down. We’ve had stretches this year where we just weren’t taking good shots and not always getting good shots because of careless turnovers. If you turn the ball over, you have a zero percent chance to score, obviously, but if you’ll be patient and you’ll run the offense and you’ll set good screens and you’ll keep the ball moving, we’ll get good looks and some of them are going to go down for us.”
Jasper built a 26-11 lead at halftime. The Alices got some buckets in the third quarter that forced the Wildcats to take a full timeout. Goebel wanted the Wildcats to collect themselves and be reminded why they built a lead in the first place. He thought they got careless with the basketball at the beginning of the third quarter, and had a step slow on defense, but thought they did a nice job responding.
The Wildcats go for a fifth in a row at 7:00 p.m. Saturday when they host another Big Eight rival in Mount Vernon (Posey) in an All-Wildcats matchup. Goebel said taking care of the basketball, executing offensively and talking on defense will still apply. Jasper will seek not to take a Mount Vernon team that has had a losing record for granted. Mount Vernon fell to 0-12 following a 64-61 loss to North Posey Friday.
“You hope the leadership takes care of that,” he said. “You hope the seniors have been around long enough to understand that anything can happen in a high school basketball game. If we think we’re going to come out and walk on the floor and just go through the motions and win because Mount Vernon’s having a tough year, it could be a long night for us.”
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