The six seniors on the Jeffersonville boys’ basketball team went out in style on Friday night at Johnson Arena.
The Red Devils, ranked 20th in the latest Indiana Basketball Coaches Association poll, eclipsed the 90-point mark for the second time this week and the third time this season with a 90-57 victory over Indianapolis Howe on Senior Night.
It was a great tune-up for Jeff heading into next week’s Class 4A Seymour Sectional. The Red Devils (17-3) will face the host Owls at approximately 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday at Scott Gym.
“We’re excited to play Tuesday night,” Jeff head coach Chad Gilbert said. “We know there are a lot of great players and great coaches in this sectional. We just want to survive and advance. We want to go out on our terms.”
Eight Red Devils scored at least eight points against the Hornets (7-13).
Jeff senior Jonathan Ellis led the way with 13 points, while Red Devil senior Gary Kinnaird tallied 12. Ellis also grabbed six rebounds.
Jeff freshman Myles Harvey had 11 points and five boards. Red Devil seniors Bryce Roland and Jordan Ellis each scored 10 points, while teammates Marcus Gray and Darryl Baker each had nine. Jeff senior point guard Trice Whaley scored eight. Roland pulled down a game-high seven rebounds.
Gilbert praised the production from two of his senior bench players in Kinnaird and Gray.
“I’m happy for those kids,” Gilbert said. “They bring it everyday in practice. Those kids have the desire to get better. The guys deserve a good Senior Night. I’m happy for them.”
Jeff’s defense was too stifling for Howe. The Red Devils, who applied full-court pressure most of the night, forced 33 turnovers, converting several of those miscues into easy buckets. The Hornets shot 19-of-39 from the floor (48.7 percent).
Jeff’s prowess on defense was evident in the first quarter. Howe committed 13 turnovers, while the Red Devils made 11 of their 13 field-goal attempts in the stanza to go up 27-9 at the end of the first.
The Hornets continued to struggle against Jeff’s defense in the second quarter, making eight miscues and missing seven of 11 shot attempts.
The Red Devils outscored Howe 24-15 in the second to build a 51-24 halftime advantage.
Gilbert was proud to see his players’ high energy carry over from their 90-65 home win on Tuesday night against Columbus East.
“The kids came out and continued their intensity from the Columbus East game on Tuesday night. We’ve got to start games like that,” Gilbert said. “You’ve got to be able to lock down teams on defense because those things can bite you in the tournament.”
Jeff shot 30-of-54 from the field (55.6 percent), including 20-of-30 in the first half. The Red Devils also were 25-of-35 from the free-throw line (71.4 percent) and outrebounded the Hornets, 33-22.
INDPLS. HOWE 9 15 14 19—57
JEFF 27 24 15 24—90
Indianapolis Howe (7-13) — Berry 9, Williams 9, Taylor 8, Walker 8, B. Jones 7, T. Jones 6, Germany 2, Mann 2, McDaniel 2, Wilson 2, Alexander 1, Fisher 1, Epps 0.
Jeffersonville (17-3) — Jon. Ellis 13, Kinnaird 12, Harvey 11, Jor. Ellis 10, Roland 10, Baker 9, Gray 9, Whaley 8, D. Ellis 5, Williams 2, Chandler 1, Allen 0, Kwitonda 0.
3-point field goals — Howe 5 (Williams 3, Berry 2); Jeff 3 (Kinnaird 2, D. Ellis).
Rebounds — Howe 22 (Walker 7); Jeff 33 (Roland 7).
Turnovers — Howe 33, Jeff 16.
Free throws — Howe 14-24, Jeff 25-35.
Junior varsity — Jeff 55, Howe 44 (Jeff’s final record — 18-2).