Falkenstein scores 9 of his 18 points down the stretch for Red Devils
Jeffersonville held off Class 4A No. 7 Southport in its season opener on Wednesday, and while the win was an upset on paper, it came as no surprise to the Red Devils.
The hosts began the game on a 9-0 run and led wire-to-wire in a 65-52 victory over the visiting Cardinals. With the win, Jeffersonville avenged its five-point loss to then-No. 1 Southport – prior to the transfer of 4-star Paul Scruggs – in last season’s opener.
“If our guys don’t expect to win every game, I’d be disappointed,” Jeffersonville coach Joe Luce said. “At the end of the day, our kids did expect to win, and we’ll expect to win when we go back at it next week.”
Junior Bailey Falkenstein led the Red Devils with 18 points and three steals, and fellow junior Gerrin Moore added 16 points and eight rebounds. Freshman Jacob Jones delivered 13 points and dished out three assists at the point guard spot, while senior Mike Minton tallied 11 and hit three 3-pointers.
Jeffersonville, with just one player standing 6-foot-5 or taller in Moore, managed to outrebound a Southport team with a 6-foot-9 starting center and three other players listed at 6-foot-5 or taller.
“We don’t pass the eye test,” Luce said. “When we get off the bus, there are not a lot of people who are going to say, ‘Oh my,’ but when you watch us play, we have a whole bunch of guys that play well together, and they’re very committed to doing small things.”
The Red Devils’ zone pressured Southport into an 0-for-3 start from the floor. Meanwhile, Jeffersonville went 3-for-3 to open up a 9-0 advantage early. A 3-pointer from junior Gabe Gallahar gave the Red Devils a double-digit lead at 19-9, but the Cardinals turned in a 7-0 run to make the 19-16 first-quarter score.
Jeffersonville went 1-of-4 to start the second but extended its lead to 28-19 midway through the period nonetheless behind a stout three-quarter-court press. The Red Devils, who went 6-for-13 from beyond the arc in the opening half, led 35-28 at the break.
“We were able to speed them up in the first half with our trap,” Luce said. “We played about three-quarters court. We got some fast shots from them. We really rebounded the ball well. … I thought kids did a great job of finishing plays, of coming up with those 50-50 balls and just being tough.”
Nine points combined from Minton and Jones in the third quarter gave the Red Devils a 48-39 lead heading into the fourth, which proved to be another display of sound Jeffersonville defense.
Falkenstein and Moore scored the quarter’s first seven points, and the Red Devils’ defense didn’t allow a basket until 4:21 to go. At that point, the Cardinals found themselves in a 55-42 hole. Falkenstein netted nine of his 18 points in the final frame to help seal the win.
Up next for Jeffersonville is a matchup at Evansville Bosse on Dec. 2 at 7:30 p.m.
Other area boys basketball results: Scottsburg 62, Austin 61; Salem 75, West Washington 48; Lanesville 85, Cannelton 34.
Southport: 16 – 12 – 11 – 13 – 52
Jeffersonville: 19 – 16 – 13 – 17 – 65
Red Devils (1-0): Falkenstein 18, Moore 16, Jones 13, Minton 11, LaGrange 3, Gallaher 3, Northern 1
Cardinals (0-1): Miller 16, Bennett 12, Hinds 6, Davidson 5, Scott 4, Jefferson 3, Dockery 2, Mabok 2, Haskins 2