Wildcats rally for county winJanuary 26, 2021
By COREY STOLZENBACH
JASPER — What started off as an action packed first quarter Tuesday night did not continue that way between county rivals Jasper and Northeast Dubois. The game slowed down, the coaches from teams liked their players’ defensive efforts, but in the end, Jasper emerged victorious, 39-30.
The Wildcats (5-10) held an 18-13 lead on the Jeeps (10-11) after the first quarter of play, but turnovers allowed Northeast Dubois to get back in it, and some buckets from sophomore Reagan Knies had the Jeeps out in front, 21-18, on an 8-0 run. The Wildcats didn’t score in the second quarter, and turned it over a final time in the closing seconds before the half.
“I just challenged them to make sure that they were making good, basic passes,” Wildcats coach Jessica Mehringer said. “I mean, we were trying to pass to the right people. We were just making bad passes — at their feet, over their head, getting tipped because we weren’t pass faking, we weren’t doing any fundamental anything.”
Mehringer felt her players did a better job of taking care of the basketball in the second half, and the Wildcats quickly reclaimed a 22-21 lead on a 4-0 run, thanks to buckets from senior Hannah Schwenk and sophomore Jasmin Mehringer.
However, the Jeeps held tight to a 24-22 lead after three quarters, as sophomore Rhylan Kalb tied the game on a free throw, and Knies retook the lead for the Jeeps. Northeast Dubois had itself a 26-23 lead in the fourth quarter.
Then Schwenk did her thing and tied the game from downtown, 26-26.
“We had a couple possessions where we had a couple of good looks — we got a rebound, we got another good look and we just didn’t knock them down, and you’re going to have that,” Mehringer said. “Credit the kids for not getting desperate and trying to do something they can’t do. We finally ran our set and good (a) catch where we wanted to catch. It was a good pass, got a good catch and we were able to get a shot off.”
The Wildcats managed to make things happen down the stretch, making 10 free throws in the fourth quarter. Meanwhile, the Jeeps only mustered four points after Schwenk’s tying three, and taking care of the basketball proved to be a challenge for Northeast Dubois.
“We made some mistakes down the stretch,” Jeeps coach Andy Chinn said. “We made some crucial turnovers there. We had our opportunities tonight. I thought we had a good game plan coming in, I think the girls bought into it — their energy and their mentality about the game was in the right spot. We just didn’t get it done.”
Northeast Dubois could not win its second straight game after posting a 55-25 win Saturday against Perry Central. Chinn told his players after the game that he thought their effort was good enough to win, but told them about some of the mental lapses they had. He thought the Jeeps played very hard for 28 or 29 minutes, but had three minutes of mental struggles scattered in.
The Jeeps will go back to practice Wednesday and try to finish their regular season on a winning note Thursday against Vincennes Rivet.
“We just to keep taking care of the ball,” Chinn said. “Our defense was good enough tonight to win that game. We just got to keep taking care of the ball, getting the shots we want and not beating ourselves — I think that’s key down the stretch.”
Meanwhile, Jasper will get a couple of days before they conclude their regular season on Friday at Southern Indiana Athletic Conference rival Evansville Memorial.
“Memorial’s long, they’re fast,” Mehringer said. “So, we got to make sure our passing is going to be the right passes at the right time. So, (we’re) really going to be looking at what they like to do and where our openings are going to be.”
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