story by: Jalin Ernest
The season opener is right around the corner for the 2017-18 JHS boys basketball team, as they look to build upon the core that was started during the 2016-17 season.
After losing just two seniors (Cameron Northern & Michael Minton) from last year’s 14-win team, the Red Devils will open the season on Nov. 22, as they travel to Indiana’s capital to face off against the Southport Cardinals. In last season’s meeting, at Johnson Arena, the Devils upset the Cardinals, 65-52.
“This team is more familiar with the style of play and is better prepared,” said head coach Joe Luce, who has a 29-23 record in three seasons as the Devils head coach.
For this season, the clear leader of this young team is senior Bailey Falkenstein. As a Junior Falkenstein averaged 21 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assist per game.
However the young talent for the Devils shined bright all throughout last season.
“We have a chance to make good run and anything’s possible with the type of team that we have but we’re just going to have to wait and see and let our actions speak louder than our words,” said Falkenstein.
Sophomores Tre Coleman and Jacob Jones looked to lead the team as freshmen. This season, the duo will look to improve on their already-impressive resumes: Tre Coleman picked up his first official Division 1 scholarship offer from the University of New Orleans on July 25, while Jones shined on the AAU circuit against some of the nation’s top teams in the Adidas Gauntlet.
The Devils finished with 14 wins and 11 losses last season, but their struggles came on the road, where JHS finished 1-7 away from Johnson Arena. However the team held an impressive 12-3 record at home.
Against other Hoosier Hills Conference opponents, the Devils finished 3-4, which was good enough for sixth overall.
The Devils look to add more length to their starting rotation, as Senior Jaden Coleman, who played JV last season after transferring from Rock Creek High School, looks to prove he can be a big factor on both end of the floor. “Our biggest strength is how long we are. This year our length should help us block shots, rebound, and deflect passes,” said Luce.