FRENCH LICK — Rivet coach Mark Bezy’s two keys for his team knocking off Northeast Dubois on Friday were containing Jeeps’ top scorer Reece Bauer and cutting down the Patriots turnovers. The first task went well, but the latter eluded Rivet, like it did much of the season.
Seven of the Patriots’ 19 turnovers came in a pivotal second quarter, and the Jeeps zoomed away down the stretch to take out Rivet, 50-35, in the Class A Springs Valley Sectional semifinal.
Tre’von Taylor notched 15 points and nine rebounds to pace the Patriots (5-16), and Austin Finch scored 13 with eight boards. Bauer led Dubois (15-10) with 13, but the Jeeps got contributions all around, as Lane Knies also scored 13 and Ethan Ziegler nine with five others finding the scoring column.
Led by Taylor’s 12 points, Rivet built an 18-13 lead with about three minutes to go in the first half. But then the turnovers came, and the Jeeps netted two of their eight 3-pointers in a 9-0 finish to go up 22-18 at the half.
Dubois led the rest of the way and limited the Patriots to four fourth-quarter points to pull away.
“We had a real tough fourth quarter, but overall we played a great game,” Bezy said. “The boys executed the game plan, and it’s probably the best game we’ve played all year. You can’t ask for more than that.
“We’d get close, but then we’d miss a box out, or miss a layup. We just seemed to have bad turnovers at the wrong time, but the boys gave everything they had, and I couldn’t be prouder with the amount of improvement this group has shown.”
Taylor had eight in the first quarter, and Rivet’s only deficit in the period was 6-5 as it pulled in front, 11-8 after one. It was tied at 13 when Taylor scored a two and Finch made a trifecta to give the Patriots their biggest edge.
Finch started the second half with a 3-pointer to make it a one-point margin, and it was 24-23 when Knies and Bauer buried 3s to take the Jeeps’ lead to seven. Finch tallied a late bucket to get Rivet within 36-31 through three, but it never got closer than six over the final four minutes.
It was the final game for seniors Taylor, Finch and Cedric Schleiss.
“This is the first group I’ve had for all four years, and it’s tough to say goodbye to them,” Bezy said. “Tre’von lost 18 pounds over the summer, and he’s a model of what hard work and dedication can get you. The kid loves basketball so much. I rode Austin so hard the last few years, but that’s because he has so much potential. He’s my guy. Cedric is a kid who doesn’t like basketball, but he’s a heck of a soccer player, and he plays for his teammates. He gave everything he had, including dedication and leadership.”
The Jeeps advance to play Evansville Day at 8 p.m. today. The Eagles (14-9) pounded Wood Memorial, 70-51, in the first semifinal Friday.
NORTHEAST DUBOIS 50, RIVET 35
Finch (f) 5 0-0 13, Taylor (f) 5 5-7 15, Herman (f) 1 0-0 2, Schleiss (g) 0 0-0 0, Niehaus (g) 1 3-4 5, Hinkle 0 0-0 0, Dunn 0 0-0 0, Catt 0 0-0 0, Ferris 0 0-0 0, Weiss 0 0-0 0. Totals: 12 8-11 35.
Knies (f) 5 1-2 13, Riecker (f) 0 1-2 1, Ziegler (g) 3 0-1 9, Bauer (g) 4 3-3 13, Lueken (g) 0 4-4 4, Peiper 1 0-0 2, Miller 1 0-0 2, Mehringer 1 3-4 6. Totals: 15 12-16 50.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Rivet |11-7-13-4 — 35
Northeast Dubois |8-14-14-14 — 50
3-pointers: Rivet 3 (Finch 3), Dubois 14. Fouls: Rivet 18, Dubois. Fouled out: Schleiss.