Sunday, November 23, 2014

Bombers Start Hot Despite Injuries
December 16, 2013 by Brian Lavrich | No Comments

Kenston tries for 5th straight CVC Chagrin title.

The Kenston Bombers are a CVC Chagrin dynasty under coach Josh Jakacki.

The Kenston boys basketball program has reached the level that people expect the Bombers to contend for the Chagrin Valley Conference Chagrin Division each year regardless of how many starters return or don’t return.

Having won or shared four straight Chagrin Division titles will do that for a program.

This year is no different for Kenston and coach Josh Jakacki and thus far the Bombers are impressing.

Kenston has started out 3-1 including winning its lone CVC game, 46-36, over rival and fellow conference heavyweight Chagrin Falls.

Senior Brad Weemhoff was happy to take down the Tigers and start CVC play on a big positive note.

“I’m pretty happy with our start,” Weemhoff said. “We’ve played well in all three wins. We’ve got off to a good start in the CVC by beating Chagrin Falls. So, we’re off to a pretty good start.

“It was a huge win. They’re one of our top competitors in the CVC this year. It’s always huge to get that win.”

Teammate and cousin Jay Weemhoff agreed.

“Obviously, we think a lot of our team,” Jay Weemhoff said. “We have a lot of players who played last year playing this year too.

“The last two games I really thought we became more confident and got into a rhythm.”

The Bombers’ lone loss came to Euclid.

“I thought it was helpful to play Euclid in Euclid,” Jay Weemhoff said. “It set us up for the Chagrin game. Win or lose (against Euclid), that was a good game. They’re a good team”

Jay Weemhoff said playing a tough team like the Panthers before facing a big conference foe like the Tigers really paid off.

“It’s huge, especially since we just came off the Euclid loss,” Jay Weemhoff said of the CVC win. “We needed it for confidence. They’re definitely tough to compete with.

“Our first two games, we didn’t hit from outside. We really got into it in the Chagrin game.”

Despite the nice start, Jakacki said he knows the Bombers can play even better.

“I don’t want to say we’re searching for our identity, but we’re looking for roles to be defined and guys to be more consistent. We know we’re going to play defense. That’s a given. We know the guys are going to play hard. That’s a given. The thing that has us perplexed is our offensive consistency is a work in progress.

“We have good basketball players. They just have to trust themselves and trust the process.”

Contributing to the inconsistency is injuries. Jeremy Wyers was supposed to contribute, but is missing the season due to a football injury. Charlie Ellis has yet to hit the floor due to an injury although he should return soon. Peter Rozman has also missed two games.

That has led to different lineups and inconsistent offensive production.

“It’s hard to find roles when roles keep changing,” Jakacki said.

Joe Simmons leads the Bombers with 11 points per game.

“I’m very proud of what he’s been able to do up to this point,” Jakacki said. “He gets the most out of his talent.”

Third in scoring on the team is Bernie Porter, who is averaging 9.3 points per game as he’s had two games in the teens and two games in single digits.

However, what has helped kick the Bomber offense into gear is Jay Weemhoff. He scored 11 points combined in the first two games of the season, but knocked in 31 points in the Bombers’ next two affairs.

Jay Weemhoff really hit his stride in the victory over Chagrin Falls when he scored 18 points.

“It’s really important (beating Chagrin Falls),” Porter said. “Jay had a big game. He hit shots and got everyone comfortable.”

Jakacki was happy to see Jay Weemhoff’s big game as well.

“Shooting the basketball at any level is all about confidence,” Jakacki said. “Jay’s ability to knock down shots made us more comfortable.”

So, despite struggling a bit offensively and fighting through some injuries, Kenston’s pretty happy about being 3-1. And the rest of the CVC should take note.

“I like our chances a lot,” Porter said. “We have to keep going in practice, going hard and getting better every day.”

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