Frustrations bubbled, tempers flared, and then Jeffersonville took off.
After two technical fouls on Jeffersonville gave away the inner anger, the Devils reflected that into positive play with a second-quarter run than powered them to a 60-56 victory over the Bulldogs.
The aftermath of the Jeff snarling – a technical on Bailey Falkenstein, followed by one on Luce as he protested for his player – was obvious. What followed was Jeffersonville’s best stretch of quality play this season.
The Devils, prone to turnovers during a sloppy first quarter, didn’t have any during the next eight minutes, and it’s no coincidence they scored 24 points during that span and surged to a 17-point lead. That was barely enough, as Bosse (0-1) cut the deficit to a single possession in the fourth, but the Devils held on by their chewed fingernails.
“It got tense. Very intense,” Jeffersonville’s Demarre Sims said. “There was some frustration. Everybody stayed together and played hard the whole game.”
Jeffersonville (1-2) found a way. No shot was bigger than Falkenstein’s 3-pointer from the left wing that rattled home with 1:35 left for a 56-51 lead. No free throws were more important than the three Sims hit in the final 46 seconds.
“We found a way to get through it,” Luce said. “Culture is a huge part of success, believing you’re going to finish the game. That’s something we have to continue to build on.”
That second quarter was another cornerstone for success. Tommy Luce buried two bombs, Sims added a third, and Dominique Hunter drained a jumper as the Devils zipped to their biggest lead at 31-14 with an 18-2 burst.
“That was an extremely important quarter for us,” Luce said. “It allowed us to have a cushion in the second half to get through some things.”
That cushion almost went flat. Bosse’s Mekhi Lairy, a left-hander with a quick trigger, had 18 of his 21 points in the second half and 13 in the fourth quarter. The Bulldogs scrambled within 53-51 before coming up short in their season debut.
Sims led the Devils with 15 points. Gerrin Moore had 11 points and 7 rebounds while Falkenstein added 9 points.
Javein Langley and Ethan Thomas, two of the three Bulldogs who fouled out, had 8 points each for Bosse.