Notre Dame boys basketball team spoils Jackson's homecoming

Sunday, January 27, 2013
Jackson’s Blake Reynolds looses control of the ball as he drives past Notre Dame’s Luke Mocherman during the Indians’ 70-62 loss to the Bulldogs on Friday at Jackson High School. (ADAM VOGLER)

Finding consistency within a game has been a problem for the Notre Dame boys basketball team, a major reason the Bulldogs have hovered below .500 much of the season.

"We've been good in stretches at times, but we've had trouble putting four quarters together," Notre Dame coach Kevin Roberts said.

The inexperienced Bulldogs, for one night at least, were able to give their troubles with consistency a swift kick in the rear.

Notre Dame, having arguably its best performance of the season, led virtually all the way and ruined Jackson's homecoming with a 70-62 win.

"It's been a problem putting all four quarters together," junior forward Jordan Barber said. "We knew if we came out and did what we needed to we would win this game."

Senior guard Cody DeBrock, who led Notre Dame with 23 points, said the Bulldogs finally played like they were capable.

"This was our first full good game. We put four quarters together," DeBrock said. "We just wanted to make a statement. This will help get us in a step toward the right direction and give us some momentum."

Roberts couldn't have been happier after the Bulldogs evened their record at 9-9 while dropping the Indians to 12-8.

"I thought we played a full game. The intensity was there all night long," said Roberts, whose squad graduated all five starters from last year. "We rebounded, we executed, we got to a lot of loose balls.

"I told them after the game, this is the kind of effort we need. If we don't play hard we're not going to be very good."

The victory allowed Notre Dame to win the season series from Jackson as the teams played three times.

Notre Dame erased a 19-point halftime deficit to win 64-59 in a first-round SEMO Conference Tournament matchup in early December in Sikeston, Mo.

Jackson evened the score with a 69-53 romp in the third-place game of the Southeast Missourian Christmas Tournament at the Show Me Center in late December.

"We knew they were going to come out and play well. We expected them to play well," Jackson coach Darrin Scott said after the rubber matchup. "You have to give them a lot of credit."

While a host of Bulldogs contributed to the win, especially on the boards as Notre Dame was able to hold its own against the much bigger Indians, DeBrock was the No. 1 star.

That might not have seemed likely just a few days ago because Roberts said DeBrock missed school and practice Monday through Wednesday because of the flu. He finally had his only practice of the week Thursday.

"He's a player. He's a scorer. He's stepped up so big for us," Roberts said.

DeBrock scored in a variety of ways, hitting two 3-pointers while also knifing into the lane for tough shots.

None was more difficult than his one-handed runner in the lane with just 4.5 seconds left in the first half, sending Notre Dame to the break up 35-24.

"He had a great game," Scott said.

DeBrock said he wasn't about to let his illness get in the way of performing against one of Notre Dame' major rivals.

"I just didn't want it to affect me. I just wanted to win really bad," DeBrock said. "Everything I shot felt good."

Jackson's only lead was 6-5. Notre Dame scored 10 of the next 11 points to go ahead 15-7 and the Indians had to battle from behind the rest of the night.

It was 17-11 after one quarter and Jackson found itself down by 11 at the intermission after DeBrock's tough shot. He had 11 first-half points, nine in the second quarter.

"We started off the game and were sluggish offensively. That seemed to put us on our heels," Scott said. "They got a lot of loose balls in the second quarter that gave them extra possessions and they made some shots."

Jackson made some runs in the second half but Notre Dame always had an answer.

DeBrock's 3-pointer early in the third quarter gave the Bulldogs their biggest lead of 38-26.

The Indians cut the deficit to 42-37 with just over one minute left in the period -- only to see DeBrock drill a long 3-pointer with 44 seconds remaining. It was 45-38 after three.

"I thought our effort was great in the second half," Scott said.

But the Indians could not overhaul the Bulldogs. Jackson twice got within five points in the fourth quarter but that was it.

The Indians had a chance to make things more interesting when they trailed 50-45 with under five minutes left and went to the free-throw line for a one-and-one.

Jackson missed the foul shot and junior guard Jordan Williamson answered with one of his two 3-pointers to put Notre Dame back up 53-45.

The Indians got no closer than six points the rest of the way as strong free-throw shooting by the Bulldogs iced the victory.

Notre Dame made 18 of 22 from the line in the final period, including 11 of 12 in the last 1:53 after Jackson was forced to foul.

"Everybody stepped up and did their roles," DeBrock said.

Jackson was paced by junior wing Karson King with 27 points, 12 in the fourth quarter as he tried to rally the Indians.

"Offensively he played well. I thought in the second half he made some plays," Scott said.

King and DeBrock were the game's only two players to reach double figures, but Notre Dame had more balance as 10 Bulldogs found the scoring column.

"It was a statement game," Barber said.

Notre Dame17181025--70

NOTRE DAME (70) -- Cody DeBrock 23, Quinn Poythress 3, Jordan Williamson 8, Patrick Williamson 4, Luke Mocherman 3, Trenton Schumer 9, Grant Ressel 3, Jordan Barber 9, Derek Hulshof 2, Tanner Shively 6. FG 23, FT 18-25, F 21. (3-pointers: DeBrock 2, Poythress 1, J. Williamson 2. Fouled out: Mocherman, Barber)

JACKSON (62) -- Braxton McDowell 3, Josh Friess 8, Braden Wendel 5, Karson King 27, Blake Reynolds 8, Brandon Lueders 3, Luke Stevens 8. FG 21, FT 15-24, F 23. (3-pointers: McDowell 1, Friess 1, Wendel 1, King 2. Fouled out: Reynolds)

JV -- Notre Dame won 59-23.

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