The Jeffersonville boys’ basketball team got on a roll in the fourth quarter and blistered visiting Jennings County 86-66 Thursday night.
The Red Devils (15-3, 7-0) clinched their second straight Hoosier Hills Conference title and back-to-back undefeated campaigns in the league.
“It’s never been done in the school’s history,” Jeff coach Chad Gilbert said about the consecutive HHC titles. “Our kids will be remembered at Jeff High. . . Anytime you win the Hoosier Hills Conference, it’s a great accomplishment. That (the conference title) was one of our goals. The sectional is our next goal.”
The Red Devils led 55-46 after the third quarter and then scored 31 points in the fourth quarter, hitting 11 of 13 shots. Jeff scored 20 points in the first 3:57 of the period.
“Again, we turned down good shots for great shots,” Gilbert said. “We got some pretty good opportunities (in the fourth quarter). And our guys are explosive. I thought our pressure wore down Jennings a little bit.”
Jeff had plenty of balance, as all five starters scored in double figures, led by Darryl Baker’s 20 points. Myles Harvey, who hit his first five shots, added 18 points. Drew Ellis, who hit two 3-pointers, chipped in 14 points.
Gilbert said the Red Devils are getting better. “We’ve gone from 30 turnovers at Ballard to five tonight,” he said. “We’ve made some great strides. But we’re going to be asking for more.”
Gilbert said the Red Devils, who have no one taller than 6 feet 3, are a tough matchup. “They have to guard us,” he said of the taller teams. “We’re a tough team to guard.”
Baker said it felt good when the Red Devils went into high gear. “When we get going, we get going,” he said. “We’re maturing. We’re growing up.”
Jennings County (11-7, 4-2) cut the deficit to 58-50 in the fourth quarter before the Jeff onslaught began. The Red Devils scored the next seven points, the last two a rim-rattling dunk by Baker on a pass from Keenan Williams.
From there, the cushion kept growing.
“They got hot and we kind of ran out of gas,” Jennings County coach Joey Hartwell said. “They were settling in the first half and they didn’t do that in the second half.
“They’re the most athletic team we’ve played all year.”
Guards Bailey Sanders and Dan Leach paced the Panthers. Sanders led the way with 22 points. Leach, who hit four 3-pointers, added 16 points.
* Jeff honored its 1993 state title team during the game.
Jennings County (11-7) – Sanders 22, Leach 16, Kirchner 6, Eder 6, Hunt 10, Taylor 6.
Jeffersonville (15-3) – Kwitonda 4, Chandler 10, Ellis 14, Baker 20, White 9, Williams 11, Harvey 18.
3-point goals – Sanders 2, Leach 4, Kirchner 2, Ellis 2, Baker, White Williams Harvey.