May 21, 2024

We just got done covering the Linton-Providence game in Huntingburg. Both of the teams in our loosely-defined region were unceremoniously knocked out early. We had to decide where we were going to go next. We had a couple beverages at a very nice German restaurant in Jasper while we were waiting on the scores to come in. Then as if fate was calling us back to Loogootee, we get a notification that North Daviess will be playing in the Regional Final against a very good Borden squad. It was a no-brainer after that. We packed up our gear and made the 30 minute trek up 231 to iconic Jack Butcher Arena to witness the North Daviess Cougars beat the Borden Braves in convincing fashion 43-32.

Cougar Nation was hyped and ready to will their team to their first regional championship in 11 years. The game however did not start out with the same kind of energy that these kids had. Borden is a team that likes to play “stall ball” (insert comment about instituting a shot clock here) and they succeeded in taking the air out of the ball for most of the first half. North Daviess is no stranger to this type of game though and was able to take control early on with 5 early points from Logan Wilson along with a three from Markus Britton and a sweet runner from Jaylen Mullen. Borden’s tactic of slowing the game down did not work early as the cougars claimed a 10-5 lead at the end of the first.

There’s not much to say about the 2nd quarter. Defense was great from both teams and when they did get a look the shots just weren’t falling. The Cougars headed into the halftime break up 12-9.

The 2nd half is where things got interesting. We were lucky enough to be seated right behind the Cougars bench (being a reporter does have its privileges) and overheard Cougars Head Coach Brent Dalrymple in the huddle right before the buzzer rang to start the period. “It’s all up to you,” Dalrymple calmly told his team. Well coach, I think the team got the message. The Cougars came out as physical and determined as I’ve ever seen them. Borden would give them a bit of a challenge, even tying the game up with 2:22 left in the period. That momentum would be short lived however, as North Daviess would go on a tear culminated by a monster slam from 6’5 junior forward Brendan Stickles. This sent the Cougar faithful into a frenzy. I gotta tell ya this dunk was so good we’re gonna have to show it to you frame by frame thanks to some excellent photography from SINSportsNetwork Lead Photographer Corey Hall. Yall are gonna love this I promise. The Cougars would go into the final period leading by six 30-24.

The 4th quarter was no different. Another gigantic dunk by Stickles along with some great play by Logan Wilson and Devin Collins would seal the deal for the Cougars as they win the Loogootee Regional Championship by a final tally of 43-32. The Braves exited the floor and the party was on. It sure was a fun night to be a Cougar.

We Caught Up With Coach Dalrymple, Brendan Stickles and Devin Collins After The Game

The Cougars move on to face Jac-Cen-Del at Lloyd E. Scott Gymnasium in Seymour. The arena fits almost 9,000 people and I know a good portion of them will be wearing Orange. We’ll see ya there Cougar Nation!!

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