NORTH VERNON —
Jennings County got big games from Brad Hunt and Adrian Kirchner on Thursday night at Hurley Gymnasium and knocked off Hoosier Hills Conference rival Jeffersonville 72-60 for its first win against the Red Devils since 2008.
The Red Devils started out in a 2-3 zone against the Panthers in the first quarter. That limited the 6-foot-9 Hunt, so Jennings had to rely on its jump shot if it wanted to break through against the defense. It came in the matter of two 3-point baskets by Kirchner in the first quarter to put the Panthers (10-7, 3-3 HHC) ahead 19-11.
“Adrian came up big for us in that quarter when he was hitting down those shots,” Jennings coach Joe Hartwell said. “Once he made them, it forced Jeffersonville to stretch their zone out a little. From there, that was when we got Brad involved.”
“My teammates set great screens for me and were able to get me the ball when I was open to knock down the shots,” Kirchner said. “We are a very diverse team. We can play an outside game or inside that makes opposing defenses hard to adjust to. If they try to take away our perimeter, we will beat you in the post and vice versa.”
“Jeffersonville couldn’t adjust their zone accordingly once Adrian got going,” Hunt said.
The Panthers’ defense stepped up in the second and forced Jeffersonville (8-9, 2-4) into several turnovers, putting the Red Devils in a five-minute scoring drought. The Panthers took advantage as they went on a 10-2 run to go ahead 29-13.
Jeffersonville decided to answer right back after it scored its first basket to end the drought, then chipped in back to back 3-point baskets for an 8-2 run to make it 34-24 at halftime.
“Our communication wasn’t perfect, especially early in the season,” Hunt said. “It was great communication tonight, though. Credit to our other teammates on the team. Those guys made key contributions and have developed nicely as the season has progressed.”
Frustration started to mount for Jeffersonville in the middle of the third quarter, as Red Devils senior Drew Ellis was assessed a technical foul for arguing a call. Panthers senior Johnny Scruggs knocked down all four free throws that capped off a 13-6 run.
An additional technical was assessed on the Red Devils’ bench in the fourth quarter, as they just could not find an answer to the Panthers’ offensive rhythm.
Kirchner, along with Hunt, shared the game-high scoring honors for the Panthers with 21 points apiece. Dan Leach contributed 12.
“It was an all-around great effort for this team,” Hartwell said. “Our role players on the team played their part and have developed nicely. This was a key win for us.”
Ellis paced the Red Devils with 17 points. Also for Jeff, Keenan Williams scored 14 and Demarre Sims had 11.
Jeff will host Evansville Bosse on Saturday afternoon.
JENNINGS COUNTY 72, JEFFERSONVILLE 60
Jeffersonville 11 13 11 25—60
Jennings County 19 15 13 25—72
Jeffersonville (8-9): Keenan Williams 5 4-5 14, Drew Ellis 5 4-5 17, Demarre Sims 5 0-0 11, Tyrise Major 0 0-0 0, C.J. Lambus 0 0-0 0, Chad Hudson 2 3-4 9, Leonard Kwitonda 0 0-0 0, Chandler Dale 0 0-0 0, De’Chaun Lewis 2 2-8 6, Ronnie Todd 1 0-0 3. Totals 20 13-22 60.
Jennings County (10-7): Adrian Kirchner 5 8-11 21, Dan Leach 3 7-9 13, Johnny Scruggs 0 4-4 4, Richard McNamee 0 0-0 0, Brad Hunt 7 7-13 21, Tyler Vogel 3 3-4 9, Jonah Woods 0 0-0 0, Hunter Euler 0 4-4 4, Ethan Jarvis 0 0-0 0, Ethan Jarvis 0 0-0 0. Totals 18 33-45 72.
3-point field goals: Jeffersonville 6 (Ellis 3, Hudson 2, Sims); Jennings County 3 (Kirchner 3).