By GREG MENGELT
Jeffersonville overcame hot shooting by Mount Lebanon (Pa.) and advanced to the Final 4 of the Bob Wettig Tournament in Richmond with a 76-67 victory on Friday.
Mount Lebanon hit 12 3-pointers and shot over 60 percent in the second half, but Jeff countered with 45 second-half points to advance.
The 7-1 Red Devils will battle defending Class 3A champion Guerin Catholic (9-1) 11:30 a.m. today at Richmond High School. Win or lose against the seventh-ranked Golden Eagles, the Red Devils will face either Class 4A No. 14 Columbus North (6-1) or Richmond (7-2) in the final round. With a victory, Jeff will play in the 7:30 p.m. championship game. With a loss, it would play in the 6 p.m. consolation game.
“We have our eye on the big prize,” Jeff coach Chad Gilbert said. “We’ll take them one at a time. The Final 4 is going to be tough. We have a lot of work to do.”
Especially defensively, Gilbert said. Jeff allowed the Blue Devils too many wide open shots on Friday.
“We’re going to have to execute,” Gilbert said of the matchup with Guerin, a private school from Carmel. “They’re a team that executes and they do a really good job. We had a lot of defensive lapses [against Mount Lebanon] and paid the price for it. We’re going to have to be a lot better defensively.”
Once again, Darryl Baker led the Red Devils with 23 points and nine boards. Both were team bests.
Drew Ellis added 19 points, including several big shots down the stretch, and Gilbert said Myles Harvey’s defense was a key to the victory.
But it was Keenan Williams who drew the most praise from his head coach. Williams had a season-high 20 points with four points in the first and third quarters and six in both the second and fourth.
“He had a really nice game,” Gilbert said of Williams. “He was our most active guy. I felt like it was his best game of the year.”
FLOYD, ROCK CREEK TO MEET
Floyd Central and Rock Creek Academy will face off at 11 this morning after both went 0-2 on Friday.
The Highlanders fell to Indianapolis Tindley 50-37 in their first game of the today, then 63-49 to Louisville Moore in the nightcap.
Rock Creek dropped a 67-43 decision in the day’s first game before a 59-50 loss to Indianapolis Metropolitan in the afternoon.
No further details were provided.