The Washington Times-Herald

Local Sports

December 13, 2012

Cougars have found way to keep winning

Glade's Games

WASHINGTON — Through defense all things are possible for the North Daviess girls’ basketball team, it’s who they are.

Standing at 8-1, the Class A No. 11 Cougars are one win shy of last year’s win total of nine. Head coach Ron Knepp said before the season the goal for regular season wins was 15, which at the time seemed like a lofty goal considering the 9-14 finish last year.

One factor those outside of the program took for granted was the veteran experience that has been building for the last three years.

In his fourth year as the Cougars head coach, Knepp has a 26-48 record, but if you look closer he has been building something special in Elnora. In his first two seasons, he won a combined nine games, and last season he equaled the first two years with a nine win season. Along the way, the key contributors on this year’s North Daviess team got experience, took their lumps and now are playing with a wealth of confidence.

“I can’t stress enough, Larynda Keith, Meghan Knepp, Sabra Smith all started on varsity as freshman,” Ron Knepp said. “Larynda is a senior; Meghan (Knepp) and Sabra (Smith) are juniors. That experience that they got back then as freshman they are using now. It is a huge benefit with the minutes they got back then. Back then we got beat, our record was not good. As a young team we didn’t win a lot of ball games getting that experience, but now that experience is paying off.”

While getting key contributions from Keith, Meghan Knepp and Smith, the Cougars have a new batch of young players that are getting to learn on the fly. Sophomore Taylor Mallett and freshmen Sarah Fitzgerald and Brooke Moore are the future of the program, and unlike the current upperclassmen, are winning and learning at the same time. Ron Knepp thinks this will lead to success going forward past this year.

The 8-1 start, however hasn’t come without bumps in the road. After starting the season 5-0, North Daviess fell 34-18 at home to Washington, a game that Ron Knepp thought was a measuring stick for his team and has a direct correlation to the biggest win of the season thus far.

“It allowed us look at things Washington did as a team, and as individuals,” Ron Knepp said. “We picked out some Washington players and things they did fundamentally, and it showed us what we were not doing very well. It brought a light to several things.”

Following the loss to the Hatchets, the Cougars won road games against Eminence and North Central in convincing fashion.

North Daviess then got everybody’s attention with an upset of then Class A No. 4 Barr-Reeve at Kavanaugh Kourt, defeating the Vikings 39-29, and 26-12 in the second half. While it just counted as one win in a game that the Vikings were without Cori Cummings and Hannah Bullock, Ron Knepp said the victory was great psychologically for his team.

“When you have not had a lot of success in the past, while playing younger players you need to win games to gain confidence,” Ron Knepp said. “Last year is where that started; we started winning games that we were not favored to win. The first one was Bloomfield, they’re in our conference and we hadn’t beaten them in a number of years. That started the run at the end of the year, we get into sectional, and they make it to the sectional final game. When they got to the sectional final game, they got a confidence that made them think anything is possible.”

The cornerstone of Ron Knepp’s message has been defense first, and his preseason goal was to rank in the top 25 in the state in defensive scoring average. Through nine games, the Cougars are allowing 23.7 points per game, which is good for second in the state.

“We want to focus on the defensive end, and the defensive game planning for each team,” Ron Knepp said. “We talk about imposing our will on the other team, and being the most aggressive team on the court. We also talk about on the offensive end, valuing the basketball and cutting our turnovers down. We feel like if we can do those things, we can be in basketball games at the end, and from our experience in the past has taught us in January and February, if you’re in the game anything can happen.”

That message has come to fruition already once this year when North Daviess won a two-point thriller at the Cougar Den against Shoals when Meghan Knepp hit a game-winning three-pointer as time expired.

The Cougars are getting it done on their own path paved by defensive intensity. It may not be pretty, but that’s perfectly fine with them.

 

1
Text Only
Local Sports
  • SPT-WT-042414-ADAM GRABER PIC Vikings rout Warriors, 11-1 MONTGOMERY -- It's a simplistic approach, but baseball isn't rocket science. Hit the ball, catch the ball and throw the ball. Wednesday night that approach proved successful for Class A No. 11 Barr-Reeve (7-2) in the Vikings' 11-0 five inning win ov

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Area Baseball Statistics AREA BASEBALL STATS BATTING (Minumum 15 at-bats) BATTING AVERAGE A.J Graber (B-R) .423 C. Miller (LHS) .386 H. Bell (LHS) .381 L. James (B-R) .348 L. Bell (LHS) .321 A. Wittmer (ND) .320 L. Graber (B-R) .318 N. Gingerich (ND) .310 J. Blackwell (LHS)

    April 23, 2014

  • SPT-WT-042314-ASHLEY ELLIOTT PIC BNL downs Washington, 11-1 The Washington softball team lost another game Tuesday night, but coach Bret Graber sees signs of improvement that could pay dividends down the road. The Hatchets have yet to win a game this season, and to an outside observer, the 11-1 loss to Bedfo

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • ND downs B-R 6-2 MONTGOMERY - The Lady Cougars scored four runs in the top of the third inning and that was enough for the victory as they went on to beat Barr-Reeve, 6-2 on Saturday. Molly Wallace started on the mound for the Vikings and took the loss, as she gave

    April 22, 2014

  • SPT-WT-041914-LHS_WHS01 Loogootee defeats Washington, 16-6 LOOGOOTEE -- In the game of softball, a good offensive attack doesn't always mean the number of hits you can record, but rather the patience you can show at the plate. Loogootee used a big second inning to defeat Washington 16-6 in six innings due i

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Friday's Sports Briefs Hatchets beat Lions LOOGOOTEE -- The Washington girls tennis team defeated Loogootee 3-2 Thursday afternoon. Loogootee won the first two singles matches with Emily Bateman defeating Chelsee Brown 6-7 (3), 6-2, 6-4 and Erin Nelson defeating Audrey Rog

    April 19, 2014

  • SPT-WT-041714-JAKE BEDWELL PIC Hatchets get first win over Loogootee LOOGOOTEE -- The Loogootee baseball team had its chance to get back to .500 and pick up its fifth win of the season, but instead the visiting Washington Hatchets flipped the script to get their first win of the season. The Hatchets (1-4) scored four

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sports Briefs Vikings beat Cardinals MONTGOMERY -- The Barr-Reeve girls tennis team defeated Washington Catholic, 5-0. Allison Hoover beat Macy Kane at No. 1 singles (6-2, 6-0), Melody Rohrer beat Claire Burch at No. 2 singles (6-0, 6-1) and at No. 3 singles, Beth

    April 17, 2014

  • Area girls tennis teams strive for sectional championship Spring is here and that means we have traded snow showers for almost daily thunderstorms, but the temperatures have warmed up and the girls tennis season is in full swing. Washington, Washington Catholic, North Daviess, Loogootee and Barr-Reeve all f

    April 17, 2014

  • SPT-WT-041614-BrianHughes Hughes named District 3 Coach of the Year Bryan Hughes has been coaching basketball for more than half of his life, he's received numerous accolades for his team's success, but one award in particular still brings him great pride. For the third time, Barr-Reeve's Bryan Hughes has been named

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
AP Video
Facebook
Clicker Ticker
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide