Jackson preps for Notre Dame and its demoralizing 'runs'

Notre Dame's Leah Jansen (20) takes the ball down the court near Oran's Heather Gosche (10) during the Bulldogs' 49-39 win in the semifinals of the 2019 First State Community Bank Holiday Classic Girls Basketball Tournament on Thursday at the Show Me Center in Cape Girardeau.
Jacob Wiegand ~ Southeast Missourian

For three of the four quarters that Jackson battled Notre Dame earlier this month in the SEMO Conference Girl’s Basketball Tournament, the Bulldogs only outscored the Indians 35-31.

However, in the decisive third quarter of that 52-34 Notre Dame victory, it rolled Jackson 17-3 to breathe comfortably for the remainder of the game.

“They are going to go on a run at some point in time,” veteran Jackson coach Tyler Abernathy said of the Bulldogs. “Their press is so good. (Notre Dame senior) Riley Burger is so good out there, at some point in time, they are going to create two or three turnovers in a row.”

The two teams will meet tonight at 6:30 p.m. in the championship game of the First State Community Bank Holiday Classic at the Show Me Center.

In the earlier Bulldog win, they ran off 15 consecutive points against a talented Jackson squad that is now 6-1.

Notre Dame (7-2) created offensive opportunities off its defense and with shooters like junior guard Delaney Dohogne, and drivers such as Lexi Rubel, the game can get away from the opposition in a hurry.

“You have to handle their runs,” Abernathy said. “It has to be a 4- or 6-point run, not a 12-point run.”

Saxony Lutheran pressed Jackson late in Thursday’s semifinal and it ended up being both good and bad for the Indians.

The Indians were a scorching 16 of 18 from the free-throw line (including 9 of 11 in the final quarter). However, the Crusaders were able to force a couple of Indian turnovers in the final minute.

But overall, Abernathy liked what he saw from his team, which bodes well for tonight.

“These kids have played in a lot of big games,” Abernathy said. “They’ve had a lot of tight games.

“I did not feel (against Saxony Lutheran) that the moment was ever too big for anybody that I put out there. That was a big key.”

The Notre Dame defense was not only effective with its pressure but also even in the half-court, the Bulldogs got done what they needed to in routing Jackson.

Indian junior forward Madison Lambert was limited to seven points in that initial game. In the two games in this event, she has totaled 29 points, including 19 against Saxony Lutheran.

“She can score,” Abernathy said of Lambert. “She shoots it well. Her first two years, she was a shooter. Now she does a much better job of putting the ball on the floor and getting to her spots.

“She scores in the paint and she really stretches you out. Overall for us, she kind of completes us. We have other good players in their role. She is somebody that allows them to do their role.”

The Bulldogs have ridden a balanced offense in this tournament.

Senior Emily Kellum has scored 21 points in the two wins, while Dohogne (19), Rubel (19), and Burger (16) have also been solid with their production.

Today's schedule

The schedule for the final day of the 2019 First State Community Bank Holiday Classic at the Show Me Center is as follows:

7th place game - Meadow Heights vs. St. Paul Lutheran, 2 p.m.

5th place game - Cape Central vs. Woodland, 3:30 p.m.

3rd place game - Oran vs. Saxony, 5 p.m.

Championship game - Notre Dame vs. Jackson, 6:30 p.m.

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