Jeffersonville vs. Floyd Central Sectional Semifinal Preview

Story by Tristan Jackson

After an exciting year of basketball, the Hoosier Hills conference sports three top-6 teams in state. No. 6 Jeffersonville, No. 3 New Albany, and No. 4 Floyd Central have a combined record of 65-5.

Unfortunately, two of these teams won’t make it out of the Seymour sectional. Jeffersonville and Floyd Central will face off in the semifinals, and the winner will likely face off against New Albany, who is two years removed from a state championship, and led by the No. 5 prospect in the nation, senior Romeo Langford.

Assuming New Albany beats Seymour, Jeff and Floyd will determine the finals matchup. The last time these teams went head-to-head, Floyd won in a 55-51 grudge match at home, with no team leading by more than six at any point of the game.

My point of view:

Jeffersonville- Jacob Jones will dominate Weimer in the open court, if Jeff gets fast break opportunities Jones will be able to get by Weimer with ease. Bailey Falkenstein can get it done from anywhere on the court, and there’s no one on Floyd who can shut him down for four quarters. The Coleman brothers are both freak athletes, and both can knock down an open three when given the opportunity. With these two roaming the paint Floyd will be forced to take more jump shots than they are accustomed to. Zeke Smith is probably Jeff’s least refined offensive player, but is a strong defender and glass eater, and can shoot the three when he is able to get open. I see him pulling down some important offensive boards on Friday night.

Floyd Central- Luke Gohmann and Cobie Barnes will handle the majority of Floyd’s scoring. They are both very talented players and Jeff will have a hard time defending them both. Floyd’s guard play is a liability on the offensive end, but they are decent defensively. Hobson is tall and lengthy center, so he’ll be able to lockdown Jeff’s guards in the paint. However, he’s not as athletic or as strong compared to Jeff’s big men, so the Coleman brother will likely get by him fairly easily. Floyd are as a whole better jump shooters, but they can’t match Jeff’s athleticism.

As I stated in my last preview, this matchup will be decided by the pace in which the game is played. A fast paced game plays into Jeff’s hands, as Floyd will not be able to keep up with Jeff’s high flying bunch. However, the last game was a slow paced, half-court dominated game, and Jeff still stayed in the game the entire way through. Knowing what I know about the previous meeting, I think Friday will be a different story. On a neutral court Jeff will be able to play more of their own game, and I think they’ll be able to come out with a victory on Friday if they do so.

Just like the last game, this one is too close to call. Jeff and Floyd will both travel well, so neither team will have an advantage when it comes to fan support. That is a huge variable that is changing from the last matchup, which was played in Floyds Knobs. I personally believe Jeff will win on a neutral court, but either way it goes I think both sides will be pleased with the talent shown on Friday night. You can expect a hard fought battle on both sides.

Seven Years Later

Story by Carlos Molina

This year marks the seventh anniversary of the historic season from the Jeffersonville Lady Red Devils basketball team.

In 2011, the Lady Red Devils won the IHSAA 4A state championship, only the fourth state title in school history. (Three of the four state titles have come from female sports team: track – twice – and basketball.)

In the Class 4A championship game, the girls defeated Penn by a score of 42-29. The win vaulted JHS to an overall record of 28 wins and two losses during the season, the best final mark ever from a girls’ team.

During that championship run, head coach Chad Gilbert had the luxury of returning players, partnered with a little bit of luck.

“The experience was one you dream about,” Gilbert, now the athletic director at Charlestown High School, recalls. “To win a state championship, you have to be good and you have to be lucky. The state championship was one that we worked extremely hard for many years to achieve the goal. We felt like we won the state championship for everyone that ever wore a Red Devil uniform before us, and everyone that has worn a Red Devil uniform after us.”

Former basketball player Jamice Williams led the team with 3.8 assist per game, and still reminisces about the championship.

“Winning state meant the world to me,” Williams says. “The team and I worked so hard to accomplish this goal and it was well worth all the sweat and tears. I wish I could put into words how much it actually meant to me, but it’s hard. It was a one-of-a-kind experience.”

Senior Jacinta Gibson is currently a four-year starter on the girls basketball team. Growing up in Jeffersonville, Gibson looked up to the girls’ team that won state.

“Winning a state championship has always been a dream of mine and to see those girls accomplish that gave me a lot of hope for my future as a Red Devil,” Gibson said. “ I look up to all those girls”

Averaging 61.2 points per game during the season, the Lady Red Devils convincingly beat their opponents, winning their regular season games by an average of 31.5 points per contest.

“We had a talented team that were great players, but even better people.The team and coaching stuff really enjoyed being around each other,” Gilbert recalls. “We trusted each other. We believed in each other and we know when we walked out on the court together we would not be defeated.”

Jeffersonville vs. Floyd Central Boys Basketball Preview

The Jeffersonville boys basketball team (10-1) faces another tough rival on the road next Tuesday — the game was scheduled for Friday, but will be pushed back due to incoming inclimate weather– less than two weeks after an 85-61 loss to the No. 3 New Albany Bulldogs.
Jeff will travel to Floyd Central (10-2) to take on the Highlanders, a match-up between two top-20 teams in the state. Floyd’s home court advantage will play a big factor against Jeff, but will be nothing in comparison to what the Red Devils faced against New Albany in the Doghouse.
For Jeffersonville, they head into this game with something to prove. Expect a quick start for the Red Devils, and for leading-scorer Bailey Falkenstein to come out firing. If Floyd comes out in their typical 2-3 defense, Jeff will look to dominate the low block, and kick out to Falkenstein and Jacob Jones once Floyd’s help defense starts to collapse.
If FC comes out man-to-man, Floyd may not have the athleticism to match-up with Jeff, especially the Coleman brothers (Jaden and Tre). Either way, I think Jeff has too much fire for Floyd to contain them on the offensive end.
Cobie Barnes and Luke Gohmann will handle the bulk of Floyd’s scoring, as per usual. These two are both very talented scorers, but will be put to the test against Jeff, who likes to push the pace on both sides of the court.
With that said, both players will put up a good offensive performance, but Jeff has the ability to limit their impact if they come out aggressive on the defensive end and force turnovers.

Pace will determine this game.
If Jeff is able to move the ball up the court and get quick transition buckets, their athleticism will be too much for Floyd to contain, and Jeff will dominate the game. If Floyd is able to slow the game down and work in the half-court, Jeff will have trouble stopping the two-headed monster of Barnes and Gohmann.
I won’t predict a score because this game could really go either way, but I’d lean towards Jeff coming out with a victory. Whoever comes out on top, you can expect a hell of a game in Floyd County.

The Jeffersonville sports fan in me wants to say they will dominate come Friday, but the reporter in me knows this one is too close to call.
No matter who you’re cheering for, you can expect a great game next Tuesday. I believe fans in the stands will be pleased by the performance from both star-studded teams.
Starting Lineups
Jeffersonville- Jacob Jones, Bailey Falkenstein, Jaden Coleman, Zeke Smith, Tre Coleman.
Floyd Central- Matt Weimer, Gabe Shireman, Luke Gohmann, Cobie Barnes, Brendon Hobson.

Boys Basketball Preview

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.

Restoring History: the story of the Schnatter-Nachand Fieldhouse

story by Kyle Sanders

At 601 E. Court Ave in downtown Jeffersonville sits one of the city’s most historic buildings: the Nachand Fieldhouse.

This building, which used to hold Jeff High’s basketball games until 1971, is now seen as a place for friends to have a great time and hangout. However after being around for 80 years, the Fieldhouse has fallen in need of renovation.

The city of Jeff had visions of saving the historic gym, but would require major work, both inside and outside of the building, that would cost upwards of $1.8 million.

While this goal seemed impossible months ago, a recent donation from one of Jeffersonville’s most famous citizens has turned this pipedream into a reality.

“This location (the Fieldhouse) holds a special place in my heart,” said John Schnatter, JHS alumni, and founder and CEO of Papa John’s Pizza. “I grew up watching sports here as a kid, including local legends like Indiana’s Mr. Basketball, Mike Flynn. Jeffersonville has been good to me and I wanted to show my support for the community.”

Schnatter’s donation of $800,000 brings the Fieldhouse closer to meeting its goal of $1.8 million. Once this amount is reached, it will be renovated by the Jeffersonville Parks Department’s workgroup, Save the Fieldhouse.

The workgroup plans to use the money to pay for exterior brick work, restoration of the front facade, replacement and upgrades to both electrical system and bathroom, as well as replacing the heating system while adding air conditioning.  

“I think it’s wonderful,” said Charlie Nachand, son of former Jeff Parks Director Charles Nachand. “Without a donation like this, we would have no chance of reaching the $1.8 million we need to.”

Thanks to Schnatter’s donation, the Jeff Parks Department chose to add the southern Indiana native’s name to the historic fieldhouse, which will now be known as the John H. Schnatter-Nachand Fieldhouse.

We were tasked to determine the fate of the John H. Schnatter-Nachand Fieldhouse,” explained Bill Burns, president of the Jeffersonville Park’s Authority. “At our first meeting, we knew the only option was to restore the building. Out of that, (the) workgroup born the thought of a private-public partnership to raise the money to restore the Fieldhouse.

“This project has been one of the most rewarding project I have had the privilege to work with,” Burns continued. “I never dreamed that the Fieldhouse had touched so many lives.

According to the Parks Department, the Fieldhouse serves more than 15,000 people annually. Through the basketball and volleyball leagues, summer programs and Zumba lessons, the Fieldhouse still is in use to this day.

“I go to the Fieldhouse all the time,” said senior Tyler Wheeler. “These renovations are (going to) help bring in more people to play basketball with, and make the Fieldhouse even better than it already is.”

The John H. Schnatter-Nachand Fieldhouse is a historic building in Jeff that’ll continue to live on, and is expected to remain open throughout the renovations.


Athlete Spotlight: Bailey Falkenstein


story by Tristan Jackson

Kenneth Groth, Brent Falkenstein, P.K. Falkenstein, Kasey Falkenstein and Kooper Falkenstein — the Falkenstein family has been churning out Jeff High basketball greats since the 1930’s.

Brent’s son, Bailey, is next in line.  

Bailey has been playing on the Varsity team since his freshman year. Now a junior, he is the team’s top scorer (18.9 points per game) and has solidified himself as a leader.

“There’s definitely some pressure there,” Falkenstein said about being a top scoring option for Jeff. “But I have to do it for my team.”

With guard/forward Michael Minton being Jeff’s lone starting senior this season, Falkenstein has stepped up and made strides in his own game. He has become a role model for underclassmen, who have also played a large role in the team’s success this year.

“It motivates you to want to elevate your game and get to the level he is at,” said sophomore Drew Taylor on playing with Falkenstein.

Since Falkenstein’s freshman year, the team has seen constant improvement. After a 2014-15 season that saw Jeff only managed an 8-14 record, new head coach Joe Luce was brought in to return JHS to its winning ways. Last season, the team posted a 19-13 record in Luce’s debut.

“Bailey has gotten to the point where not only is he a fantastic scorer and a go to guy for us,” Luce said. “He has learned to make others better around him, and I think that’s why we’ve been able to play better basketball.”

Along with the excellent skillset Falkenstein brings to the floor on a nightly basis, a winning mentality is something he prides himself on.

“I just want to be remembered as a great player who won. That’s really what I want to bring to Jeff — winning,” Falkenstein said.

In the hotbed of basketball talent in southern Indiana, Falkenstein says he is motivated by hearing what other players are doing on the court, and believing that he is just as good, if not better, than every opponent he faces.

A lack of confidence has never been an issue for Falkenstein, as he feels his work ethic has put him in position to not only be a leader on the basketball team, but to also headline a star-studded baseball team at Jeff.

“Bailey is always showing leadership by getting people focused, giving constructive criticism, and letting others know when he made a mistake,” said pitcher, and teammate, Gabe Bierman.

Falkenstein looks for both teams to have great seasons this year and next, and said his goal for the upcoming baseball season is to win a state championship.

Additionally, Falkenstein credits all athletes for finding the time to balance school and a sport. Although it’s difficult to put the work into two different sports, he says sports helped make him a better person and “the man (he is) today”.

As talented as he is on the court, it’s hard to imagine Falkenstein choosing another sport over basketball in the future, but it’s very possible.

Falkenstein is one of the team’s top baseball players, and he believes that he is talented enough to wind up playing professionally at some level.

Battle of Blue Bloods

Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

In a day full of upsets, the Kentucky Wildcats managed to escape the Wichita State Shockers, 65-62, thanks to stifling defense at the buzzer.

The win advances Kentucky to the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Tournament for the sixth time in John Calipari’s eight-year tenure as head coach. But, the road to Phoenix gets bumpy when the Wildcats hit Memphis.

The second-seeded Wildcats have a re-match with another blue blood program, the UCLA Bruins.

UCLA and Kentucky met in a high-scoring affair back in December, but the Bruins managed to knock off the Wildcats in Lexington, 97-92.

In December, these two were nearly identical teams. They scored almost 100 every game and didn’t worry too much about the other side of the ball. Now, Kentucky’s offensive has taken a dive shooting-wise, so they made changes on defense.

These two teams have gone in different directions since their last meeting, Kentucky focuses on defense while UCLA outruns their opponents. They have bought into their systems and have taken completely different paths to the Sweet Sixteen.

A highlighted match-up will be UCLA’s Lonzo Ball against Kentucky’s De’Aaron Fox in a battle of elite freshman point guards.

Fox has taken control of the team from the moment the SEC Tournament started, driving to the rim strong without turning the ball over. With Malik Monk still coming out of his slump, Fox will need to continue to lead his team if they want to get past UCLA.

Ball is another type of monster when it comes to point guards. Coming off a near triple-double against Cincinnati, Ball proved just how explosive he can be when his team needs him to take over.

Kentucky’s got a player that can take over a game, but he hasn’t been much of a factor since March began.

Monk has been slumping since Kentucky’s final regular season game against Texas A&M in which he only scored six points. The freshman shooting guard changes his team when he’s knocking down his shots.

Granted, Kentucky hasn’t lost despite the shooting woes for Monk, but that won’t cut it against UCLA. To beat a high offensive team such as the Bruins, they will need a big game from their star.

Kentucky and Monk have had their backs against the wall on many occasions this season, managing to take charge during these high pressure situations.

Chalk this meeting in Memphis up as just one more obstacle Kentucky will have to overcome on the road to Phoenix.

Jeffersonville defeats Ballard 83-64 on senior night

Photos by Phillip Steinmetz

Jeffersonville defeats Corydon Central 82-52


Photos by Phillip Steinmetz


Red Devils roll past Panthers 76-59

Photos by Phillip Steinmetz

Red Devils knock off Evansville Harrison 81-64

Photos by Phillip Steinmetz