An 11-game losing streak did not help the final record (5-17) a year ago, but some new additions are giving hope to the Jewell boys basketball program.
Enough hope to lead coach Mark Fick to say, “We might be the surprise of the league, if all the pieces fall together. We’re not going to be great, but we’ll be seven deep, with three or four guard-types that we can rotate, and four posts.”
Fick is focusing primarily on his team, but follows the league enough to know that “Falls City has a bunch of transfers in, with two or three big kids, so they might be good; and Perrydale and Crosshill will be tough, because they’re well-coached. Livingstone always likes to run, and they hustle and fire up threes, and fast break any time they can.”
THE BLUE JAYS
To begin with, Jewell will be a little bigger and stronger.
“We’re going to be a little better that way,” Fick said. “Corey Lyon is 6-4 and working hard; Nathan Kane (Sr.) is a stocky kid, pretty versatile, and can play post. He’s also a really strong kid.”
Which should give senior Ben Stahly more opportunities to play guard this year.
“Ben’s been there forever, he’s the most athletic player, can jump and run, and never runs out of gas. He’s going to play more guard this year. I have some bigger kids, and he’s a better ball handler.”
The point guard will likely be sophomore Ryan Kane, a quick player with a nice jump shot who sees the floor well. Stahly will be the off-guard, Fick said.
Senior Thomas Meehan is versatile, and “I can put him anywhere, and he’s solid,” he said. “Jacob Lilley (Jr.) is 6-2, has come light years from where he was, and has really worked hard.”
Senior Nathan Nelson has transferred in, “a strong kid, 6-1, big, husky; he will help us,” Fick said.
Freshmen on the roster include Eddie Berg and Desmond Chronister.
Jewell Boys Basketball
Coach: Mark Fick, 13th year
2016-17: 5-17 (2-12 league)
Key loss: Sean Hinson
Key returner: Ben Stahly