Wildcats use third quarter to get past JeepsDecember 19, 2019
By COREY STOLZENBACH
DUBOIS — A game that featured a competitive first half of basketball Thursday night turned on its head when it got to the third quarter.
Northeast Dubois led Jasper 25-23 on its home floor at halftime. However, the Wildcats (4-6) used their traps and managed to get points off of their defense. They outscored the Jeeps 24-2 in the third quarter. Jasper began the quarter on a 9-0 run.
Sophomore Hadley Fuhrman, who had a team-high 13 points, interrupted that run with a bucket, but the Wildcats carried on, ending the third on a 15-0 run. The Jeeps (4-9) scored more points than Jasper did in the first and fourth quarters. Both teams scored 16 points each in the second quarter when they traded buckets at times. It was the third quarter that made all the difference in a 51-34 Jasper win.
“They picked apart our half-court man defense,” Wildcats coach Jessica Mehringer said. “We went to the zone a little bit at the end of the first half, found that that worked. So, that’s why we switched to the trap zone full-court, and that really did work for us and generated some offense for us — some easy offense for us.”
Mehringer thought the first half was a matter of the Wildcats “withstanding the storm,” which is typical in their games against the Jeeps. She said Northeast Dubois played great. Mehringer expected a best effort out of the Jeeps since it’s a county rivalry.
“That first half of basketball we played shows how much we’ve improved and how good we can be,” Jeeps coach Andy Chinn said. “We looked really good out there, and it was nice having that lead at halftime.”
The Wildcats tried to trap the Jeeps in the first half, too. Chinn said they attacked Jasper’s press in the first half, but the Wildcats gave good pressure in the second half, and the Jeeps reverted back to some old habits in the second half.
Jasper swung the pendulum in its favor within the first minute of the third quarter. Senior Brooke Nottingham, who finished with a game-high 18 points, banked an open 3-pointer to give the Wildcats the lead for good at 26-25. Senior Claire Knies, who scored six points, had a steal for a layup not long after Nottingham’s trey for a 28-25 lead. The Jeeps took a timeout 51 seconds in, but Jasper was just getting started. Nottingham was feeling it from downtown, making a trio of 3-pointers in the third, and a total of 11 points in the quarter. Sophomore Aspen Sermersheim also made a shot from beyond the arc. All four of Jasper’s threes came in that quarter.
Northeast Dubois, meanwhile, was not able to get anything with its shots in the third after Fuhrman’s bucket. Chinn saw a drop in his team’s confidence when it came to shooting the rock. The Jeeps scored seven points in the fourth quarter, compared to three for the Wildcats. Chinn chalked that up to Northeast Dubois developing a “no-quit attitude.” He told his players after the game to keep their heads up and that they had a lot to be proud of.
Both the Wildcats and Jeeps worked on stuff for Thursday. Mehringer said Jasper watched film on Wednesday, and had her players do self-evaluations on how to improve offensively. The players noticed they weren’t cutting as hard as they could, nor were they making themselves hard to guard off the ball. Mehringer thought the Wildcats did a better job overall as a team. She said Jasper made one adjustment on offense, but didn’t really show it that much on Thursday because it saw a zone defense.
“We just moved our big out a little bit,” she said. “Our big has kind of been inadvertently in the way of cuts and curls and those kinds of things. So, trying to just give her a little bit more room to get open and give our kids that are making cuts more room to get catches.”
Chinn thought the Jeeps cleaned up some stuff from Tuesday’s 48-28 loss to Crawford County. He said they took care of the ball, especially in the first half, ran the offense very well, talked on defense and made the extra passes with a lot of assists on the made buckets.
Northeast Dubois played its final game of the calendar year on Thursday. The Jeeps are next slated to be back in action Jan. 4 at Evansville Reitz. He said they’d have a quick practice today in getting some shots up and continuing to work on everything.
“We’ve got to clean up those mental mistakes — we’re still making some unforced turnovers, and our decision making,” Chinn said. “Playing teams like tonight will help us down the road.”
Jasper, meanwhile, will head to the Vincennes Rivet tournament Dec. 27-28 as one of eight teams in the Niehaus Lumber Classic. The Wildcats are scheduled to face Lafayette Central Catholic in the opening round.
“We’re going to work on the mental side of the game — making better decisions, talking, watching a lot of film, breaking things down,” Mehringer said. “It’s easy to come out and just tell the kids what they’ve got to do. They can see it so much better when they watch film.”
Head to https://duboiscountyherald.com/b/wildcats-use-third-quarter-to-get-past-jeeps for more photos from the game.
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