Bulldogs take down Jeff for fifth straight time 67-56
By KEVIN HARRIS
JEFFERSONVILLE – Class 4A No. 4 New Albany continued its dominance in its longtime rivalry with Jeffersonville this past Friday at a sold-out Johnson Arena.
The Bulldogs extended their winning streak in their series with the Red Devils to five games with a 67-56 victory. According to the Jeff High record book, New Albany (8-2, 2-0 Hoosier Hills Conference) now leads the all-time series 81-77. The Red Devils’ last win over the Bulldogs came in the 2013 Class 4A Seymour Sectional championship game 63-50.
It was another extremely productive night for New Albany All-State standout Romeo Langford. The 6-foot-5 junior guard tallied a game-high 32 points along with grabbing seven rebounds and dishing out four assists.
Two other Bulldog guards scored in double figures. Senior Isaac Hibbard poured in 13 points and junior Sean East had 11.
Despite the win, New Albany head coach Jim Shannon felt the Bulldogs could have played better.
“I wasn’t really pleased with the way we played. I thought we fouled way too much and we didn’t help each other very much, especially in the paint. They got into the paint quite a bit,” Shannon told WXVW-1450 AM in a postgame interview. “I think Jeff is much improved. I think they’re a really good basketball team and I thought they played hard tonight. I thought our kids played hard, too. But we had some mental errors that I wasn’t really happy with.
“I thought it was a really good game. I thought both teams got after each other.”
In the first quarter, New Albany took advantage of eight turnovers by Jeff (7-4, 2-1) to pull out to an 18-8 lead by the end of the period. The Bulldogs increased their lead by as many as 15 points in the second before the Devils made a run to pull within 34-27 at halftime. Jeff senior Mike Minton ended the first half in thrilling fashion by nailing a half-court shot at the buzzer.
The Red Devils trimmed their deficit to five early in the third. But following that, New Albany pushed its advantage back to 12 by the end of the third at 56-44 and was not threatened after that.
“We got off to a bad start. I think a lot of that had to do with our youth. A lot of that had to do with the fact that they came out and played very well early and made some shots. Once we settled in and got some stuff going, I thought we were very good,” Jeff head coach Joe Luce told WXVW-1450 AM following the contest. “I thought it was a very competitive game. If we could’ve capitalized on a couple of possessions, we could’ve made it a different game.”
Six-three junior guard Bailey Falkenstein paced the Red Devils with 20 points, making eight of his 10 field-goal attempts. Teammate Gerrin Moore had 14 points and six boards, while Minton ended up with nine.
NEW ALBANY 67, JEFFERSONVILLE 56
New Albany 18 16 22 11-67
Jeffersonville 8 19 17 12-56
New Albany (8-2, 2-0 Hoosier Hills Conference): Romeo Langford 32, Isaac Hibbard 13, Sean East 11, Julien Hunter 4, Derrick Stevenson 3, Blake Murphy 2, Savion Southers 2.
Jeff (7-4, 2-1): Bailey Falkenstein 20, Gerrin Moore 14, Mike Minton 9, Jacob Jones 4, Joe LaGrange 4, Cam Northern 2.Three-point field goals: New Albany 6 (East 2, Hibbard 2, Langford 2); Jeff 4 (Minton 3, Moore 1).