2018 Jackson Heights Boys Basketball Preview
After finishing second in the Northeast Kansas League during the 2017-18 season, the Class 2A Jackson Heights High School varsity boys basketball team, again under the direction of Head Coach Chris Brown, is ready for another great season in 2018-19.
“We have a great group of kids who are very coachable and fun to work with,” coach Brown said. “They will play hard and give us a chance to compete in each game we play.”
Cobra basketball fans will have their first chance to see the team in action this Friday with a season-opening home match against Jefferson County North, it was reported.
Last year, the Cobra boys finished with a 10-2 record in the NEK League and a 14-6 overall record, getting as far as the Class 2A sub-state semifinals before losing to Lyndon.
This year, with returning seniors Levi Olberding, Kolby Rethman and Lane Thomas, Brown — currently in his fifth season of coaching the Cobras and his eighth year of coaching basketball — is hopeful that the team will go even farther in post-season play.
“Lane, Kolby and Levi are our returners with the most experience,” Brown said. “I expect all three to be dynamic two-way players for us, and all three of them should compete for post-season league honors.”
Other prospects for the ’18-19 Cobras include senior Curtis Niehues and juniors Joel Kennedy and Cable Wareham.
“Curtis will see a big uptick in minutes and will give us size inside, along with Joel, who will be joining him on the inside in his first year of varsity basketball, and we will rely on both of them for rebounding and defense,” Brown said. “Cable will see major varsity minutes for the first time this season as well. He is a great defender.”
Brown noted that Maur Hill — the only NEK League team the Cobras couldn’t beat last year — will likely return to the top of the league standings, although Jackson Heights will give the Ravens a run for their money.
“Maur Hill is very good, one of the best teams in 3A,” he said. “We’ll just have to be able to rebound well and hold our opponents to one shot per possession.”
Brown said that strategy will extend to all other teams in the NEK League, which will be led by Maur Hill, Jackson Heights, McLouth — “they might be the most improved team in 2A,” he noted — and Valley Falls.
“The rest of the league, I believe, will be a log jam,” he added.
As head coach of the Cobras, Brown currently has an overall record of 74-19 in the past four years. He will be joined by Toby Cowdin, who is in his third year as the Cobras’ assistant coach.