Bryan Helvie The Herald-Tribune
The Batesville Herald-Tribune
---- — It was quite a season for the Jac-Cen-Del Lady Eagles basketball team.
Unfortunately, it came to an end on Saturday at the Class A semistate held at Richmond High School.
The Lady Eagles led much of the way, but Vincennes Rivet made it happen when it mattered most. The Lady Patriots outscored JCD 20-4 over the final eight minutes to post a 50-40 victory and advance to the IHSAA State Finals.
“Rivet is an excellent team ... they are so physical and play smart,” JCD head coach Scott Smith commented. “When you are the underdog a lot of things have to go your way.
“We had opportunities, but just could not convert at times,” he added.
Despite falling behind 8-3 early in the game, the Lady Eagles remained in tune with the game plan and gradually worked themselves back into the mix.
Senior guard Sydney Keene hit her second 3-pointer of the game to trim the deficit to 8-6 with 5:22 to play in the first quarter. She later tied the game with a field goal at the 1:44 mark.
Vincennes Rivet scored the final four points of the quarter to take a 16-12 lead at the first break.
A 3-pointer to open the second quarter by Jenna Hughes made it 16-15. The Lady Eagles grabbed their second lead of the game on a Keene field goal with 4:23 to play in the first half.
Keene scored the team’s final nine points of the second quarter to guide the Lady Eagles to a 25-20 halftime advantage.
The Lady Patriots struggled to contain the JCD guard as the third quarter unfolded. Keene scored the team’s next seven points to keep the Lady Eagles in front 34-30 just under the midway point in the period.
Hughes scored Jac-Cen-Del’s only other field goal to cap the third quarter scoring and make it 36-30.
Rivet guard Bailey Dreiman split the defense and scored to cut the margin to four points at the 7:22 mark.
What proved to be the turning point of the game came just over a minute later. Keene was whistled for her fourth foul and was forced to leave the game at 5:54 with the Lady Eagles leading 36-32.
Senior Brooklyn Ronsheim gave the Lady Eagles a nice lift in the absence of the team’s leading scorer, but Rivet capitalized and pulled to within 38-37 on a Dreiman field goal at the 3:30.
Coach Smith waited as long as he could to go back with his leading scorer. Keene re-entered the game at the 3:30 mark, but momentum was clearly shifting.
Katie Donovan hit a field goal and free throw to give the Lady Patriots a 40-38 lead with just under three minutes to play.
The Lady Eagles managed only a couple free throws the rest of the way. The shots that fell early in the game would not go when they needed them late. Jac-Cen-Del’s last field goal of the game came at the 4:39 mark.
Seniors Keene and Ronsheim led the Lady Eagles in the loss. Keene finished with a game-high 27 points on 10-of-15 shooting from the field, while Ronsheim had seven points and seven rebounds.
“The two seniors played well,” Smith commented. “The two of them kept us is the game.”
For the game, the Lady Eagles were just 14-of-44 shooting from the field for 32 percent, but Rivet was not much better connecting on 20-of 61 shots for 33 percent.
Dreiman led the Lady Patriots in scoring with 17 points followed by Luaren Herman with 11.
“This is a group of kids with a lot of heart,” Smith commented. “I am so proud of this team and what they accomplished this season.”
The Lady Eagles finished the season with a record of 19-4.
“We had a really good year,” Keene commented after the game. “Everybody really came together ... it was like a family.”
Jac-Cen-Del (40) Hughes 5, Keene 27, Day 0, Ronsheim 7, Menchhofer 1, Ke. Bowling 0, Ka. Bowling 0, Wagner 0, Smith 0, Bruns 0.
Vincennes Rivet (50) Dreiman 17, L. Herman 11, Donovan 7, Ivers 9, Niehaus 4, Waggoner 2, Meeks 0, M. Herman 0, M. Heinz 0, Emmons 0, V. Heinz 0.