By GREG MENGELT
> SOUTHERN INDIANA —
After Rock Creek opened the season with a hard-fought loss to Clarksville then back-to-back wins over ranked teams in Attica and Loogootee, it appeared it may be a special season for the Lions.
Then came this past weekend.
Rock Creek allowed rival Christian Academy to come in and steal a victory on Friday then it took a 20-point loss to Louisville Iroquois at Saturday’s Louisville Hoopsfest.
The Lions had a chance to win both games but free throws cost them on Friday and the Raiders pulled away in the fourth quarter on Saturday behind 27 points from Devon Johnson.
Rock Creek coach Chris Brown said he hopes his team learned some lessons from the two contests.
“When it comes down to close games against great teams, you have to do the little things,” Brown said. “We squandered some shots and missed free throws. We left too many points at the free throw line.”
Brown said on Friday that, despite forcing 25 turnovers, his team didn’t play well enough of the defensive end to win.
“It comes down to the little things,” Brown said. “We can only get better. It puts things into perspective. Maybe we’re not as good as we thought we were. [Friday’s loss] was a humbling loss. We’re going to have to fix some things if we’re going to beat good teams.”
There are still several unbeaten teams in Southern Indiana high school basketball, led by Borden’s girls, who are now ranked 12th in Class A after a 6-0 start. Borden beat Lanesville 57-17 and Mitchell 46-34 last week and should cruise into its Jan. 9 battle with rival Silver Creek at 9-0.
On the boys’ side, Jeffersonville went 2-0 over the weekend for a 2-0 start. The Devils are 2-0 in Hoosier Hills Conference play, as well.
In the Mid-Southern Conference, Clarksville (4-0) and Silver Creek (3-0) are tied atop the conference standings at 2-0 with Brownstown Central.
Of course, Borden’s boys — the third-ranked defending state champions — are 4-0 after wins over South Central and Crothersville over the weekend. The Braves beat the Rebels and Tigers by a combined 55 points in the first two conference games of the 2013-14 season.
Providence is now 2-0 after a 52-45 win over Scottsburg on Friday.
New Albany is no longer unbeaten after a surprising 64-60 loss to Corydon Central on Saturday.
The loss came on the heels of Friday’s 49-45 escape of rival Floyd Central.
It’s hard to tell which are the true Bulldogs — the team that won at Bloomington South to open the season or the team that struggled to beat winless Floyd and fell to Corydon Central.
The truth is New Albany simply couldn’t put the ball in the basket against Floyd, going 9 of 30 from the foul line and 18 of 59 from the floor, and Saturday they were without leading scorer Dre McBirth.
It would be wise to withhold judgment of the Bulldogs until after the New Year when they face teams like Reitz, Castle and Jeffersonville with their full compliment of players.
BIG WINS, TOUGH LOSS
There’s no doubt that Jeffersonville’s girls’ basketball program is being resurrected under first-year coach Mike Warren.
The Red Devils opened the season 5-1 but hadn’t really been challenged. That all changed after last week’s win over Floyd Central.
Jeff made its biggest statement in three years on Thursday when it beat Kentucky No. 2 Sacred Heart 59-56 after falling behind 21-8 after one quarter.
Jeff looked to continue its success on Saturday. While the Devils were impressive in getting to overtime at Columbus East, the Olympians ended three-game winning streak by outscoring the Devils 5-3 in overtime.
Jeffersonville’s boys’ basketball team moved up to No. 13 in the latest Indiana Basketball Coaches’ Association single-class poll. New Albany went from No. 16 to receiving votes. The Devils are now No. 9 and the only local team in the Associated Press Class 4A poll.
Possible 4A regional opponent Columbus North is No. 2, Evansville Harrison is No. 7 and Evansville Reitz is 24th.
Corydon Central moved up to No. 7 in the Class 3A poll after its win overNew Albany. Clarksville’s Dec. 23 opponent Bowman Academy is No. 2.
In Class 2A, Providence stayed at No. 6 and Clarksville moved up one spot to No. 7. Paoli (No. 10) and Crawford County (No. 20) are from the same sectional as Clarksville and Providence.
Borden moved up to No. 2 in the Class A poll, behind only potential regional rival Barr-Reeve. Christian Academy entered the poll at No. 22 after knocking off Rock Creek.
Eastern (Class 2A No. 13) and Providence (Class No. 17) join Borden as the only local teams in the Indiana Girls’ Coaches polls.
GIRLS’ PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Natalie Ruedinger, Borden
Rueinger scored 17 points in the Braves’ 57-17 Southern Athletic Conference victory over Lanesville on Tuesday and came back for another 18 as Borden knocked off Mitchell 46-34 on Saturday.
WEEK’S TOP PERFORMANCES
• Caroline Ricks, New Washington: Ricks had a huge double-double with 15 points and 16 rebounds as the Mustangs improved to 5-3 with a 55-37 win over Southwestern.
• Haley Vogen, Jeffersonville: Vogen scored 23 points on 10 of 12 shooting and eight rebounds in the Red Devils’ 59-56 upset win Sacred Heart.
• Claire Rauck, Providence: Rauck scored 17 of Providence’s 36 points in the Pioneers’ 36-33 victory over Henryville on Friday. The freshman also had nine boards in the victory.
• Madison Kaiser, Floyd Central: Kaisier had 17 points, nine rebounds and two assists in the Highlanders’ 52-50 loss to South Oldham on Wednesday. Kaiser added another 17 points in Saturday’s 78-71 win over North Harrison.
• Emily Hollis, Henryville: Last Tuesday, Hollis scored a game-high 23 points as the Hornets defeated Trinity Lutheran 62-43 last Tuesday.
• Justice Burdin, Charlestown: Burdin had 10 points and a team-high nine boards in the Pirates’ 48-37 win over rival Silver Creek on Saturday.
• Catie Troncin, Rock Creek: Troncin had a team-high 11 points as Rock Creek fell to Medora 44-39 on Thursday.
• Brittany Knight, New Albany: Knight scored a team-best 16 points in Saturday’s 65-54 road loss to Jennings County.
BOYS’ PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Logan Miles, New Washington
In the Mustangs’ season opener, Miles tied a school-record by knocking down nine 3-pointers and scoring 29 points as New Washington defeated host Southwestern 72-45 on Friday. As a team, the Mustnags were 16 of 29 from behind the 3-point arc.
WEEK’S TOP PERFORMANCES
• Keenan Williams, Jeffersonville: Williams followed up a 14-point performance in Friday’s win over Seymour with a career-high 30 points in Saturday’s 92-85 victory over Madison. Williams went 11 of 15 from the floor, 5 of 8 from the foul line and knocked down three of his five 3-point attempts in the Hoosier Hills Conference victory.
• D.J. Coleman, Clarksville: Coleman had 25 points and grabbed seven boards as Clarksville defeated Eastern 80-72 on Saturday.
• Myles Harvey, Jeffersonville: Harvey had 26 points on 8 of 14 shooting and 10 of 12 from the foul line in Jeff’s win over Madison.
• Davon Winburn, New Albany: Winburn led the Bulldogs with 20 points off of the bench in Saturday’s 64-60 loss to Corydon Central.
• Nic Reed, Christian Academy: Reed scored 23 points, including 17 in the first half, as the Warriors won at Rock Creek, 58-56 on Friday.
• Caleb Hart, Borden: Hart hit four 3-pointers and scored 14 points as the No. 3 Braves bounced Crothersville 81-49 on Saturday.
• Christian Reed, Silver Creek: Reed had 15 points and 13 rebounds as Silver Creek took down North Harrison 72-53 on Friday.
• Braxton Robertson, Henryville: Robertson scored a game-high 17 points as the Hornets fell to Charlestown 40-38.
• Myles Ervin, Floyd Central: Ervin led the Highlanders with 22 points in Friday’s 49-45 loss to rival New Albany.
• Grant Goad, Providence: Goad led the Pioneers with 17 points in Saturday’s 52-45 win over Scottsburg.