The Washington Times-Herald

November 23, 2012

ND beats LHS

By Gregg A. Sims
Washington Times-Herald

LOOGOOTEE —

ELNORA — North Daviess found the passes that eluded Loogootee when it mattered most Tuesday at the Cougar Den.

The undefeated Cougars (4-0) scored the game’s first 22 points en route to a 61-19 win against the Lions.

“Four wins is a very nice way to start,” North Daviess coach Ron Knepp said. “We’ve started the other way, so it’s nice to have the experienced players we have, and they take care of their business.”

North Daviess used early pressure that caused turnovers leading to points in an 18-0 first quarter. The Cougars also found openings in a Loogootee zone defense to open the early advantage.

“Pressure is something that we focus on, and we really want to focus on our defense,” Knepp said. “One thing we really want to improve on is once we get a turnover, we want to convert. Offense has been a struggle, and we want to convert those turnovers.

“We’ve been talking about that in practice,” Knepp said. “Recognize what the defense is doing and take advantage of it. Read it, recognize and make something positive happen.”

And while the experienced Cougars were finding those turnovers and opening, the Lions (0-3) continued to find those openings elusive.

North Daviess scored the first 12 points of the game before Bailey Davis tried to stop the draught for the Lions with a pair of free throws at the 2:32 mark of the opening quarter.

Davis couldn’t convert, but did later with 5:41 left in the half after the Cougars had  scored the first 22. Gabrielle Ritchey got Loogootee’s first field goal with 2:54 left in the half, but North Daviess had a 31-4 lead that turned into the win.

While the Cougars were finding just about everything right, the Lions found frustration at nearly every corner.

“Just as we progressed from our first to second game, this game we went backwards,” Loogootee coach Josh Mullis said. “We weren’t sharp.”

Knepp understood Loogootee’s difficulty of having five freshmen on a 10-player team, but noted the Lions would see better days.

“I’ve started three and four freshmen at a time,” Knepp said. “I know what that is like. It’s difficult, but Loogootee is going to get better. (Gabrielle) Ritchey and (Taylor) Hayes are nice players, and those freshmen are going to learn.”

As for his Cougars, North Daviess is hitting on nearly every cylinder. However, Knepp cautioned there was a lot of basketball left to be played.

“We’re playing juniors and seniors for the majority now,” Knepp said. “This is their third and fourth year starting. We’ve been on the other side of these games, and they’re bigger, stronger and smarter. But this is only November. Everybody needs to keep that in mind. There’s a lot of basketball left to be played. It is early.”

“We can’t quit,” Mullis siad. “We have to compete. We really didn’t have a very good practice on Monay, and it continued into the game.”

Loogootee    0-   4    4  11 - 19

North Daviess  18  21  14-  8  -61

Loogootee (19) - Davis 2 3-6 0 7, Ritchey 3 0-0 0 6, Bateman 1 2-2 3 4, Hayes 1 0-0 1 2, Bough 0 0-0 2 0, Baxter 0 0-0 1 0, Riley 0 0-0 1 0, Wood 0 0-0 0 0, Searl 0 0-0 0 0, Lindauer 0 0-0 0 0. Totals: 7 5-8 8 19.

North Daviess (61) - Smith 6 3-7 2 15, Knepp 5 1-2 1 14, Swartzentruber 4 0-0 0 8, Moore 3 0-2 0 6, Milligan 3 0-0 0 6, Fitzgerald 2 0-0 1 4, Keith 1 0-0 0 2, Hollis 0 2-2 1 2, Reed 0 0-0 0 0, Woodruff 0 0-0 1 0. Totals: 26 6-13 8 61.

3-point goals: Loogootee 0, North Daviess 3 (Knepp 3).