for first win
at Nellis Hall
Neosho County Community College Head Basketball Coach Jeremy Coombs has never won a game at Coffeyville in his six year career with the Panthers.
Unbeaten in Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference East play, this could be the year Coombs picks up his first victory against the Red Ravens (3-2 KJCCC East, 18-4 overall). The Panthers’ conference games don’t count towards conference records because of National Junior College Athletic Association violations.
Nevertheless, Coombs and company are fired up to go into the hostile environment.
“They got great support and the crowd will be good,” Coombs said. “The student section will be really good and so it will be a tough place to play.”.
“Last game against KCK we were really hyped up,” sophomore Brett Frantz said. “But this game should be the same if not more.”
“I think this game is really like a rivalry,” sophomore BJ Jenkins said, “just because we always get into with Coffeyville. This is a scrappy game. There’s going to be a lot of intensity. The crowds going to get into it. We’re going to get into it. We just got to be ready to play and come out focused, ready and energized.”
With a talented squad with the goal of sweeping Jayhawk East opponents, Coombs is ready to bring on all challengers.
“We’ve got a chance to win any basketball game,” Coombs said. “We’ll have to defend and make some shots, but if we defend I think we’ll have a good shot at it.”
Neosho and Coffeyville have similar styles of play. Both teams like to get out in transition and score in bunches, especially from behind the arc.
“They play an uptempo style of play,” Coombs said. “They play kind of like we do. They shoot a ton of threes, kind of like we do. They’ll press some. I think they’ll match up pretty good with us. They have some size, unlike some of these other teams we’ve played. They’ve got good guard play, so it will be a pretty evenly matched game.”
The Red Ravens are led by freshman guard Darrion Strong with 21.9 points per game. Strong shoots 49.4 percent from the field and 45.1 percent from three. Freshman guard LaVone Holland is the second leading scorer at 13.8 ppg and 5.6 rebounds. Sophomore guard Lionel Ellson averages 10.1 ppg and four rebounds.
Neosho (13-9) tips off from Coffeyville at 8 p.m., following the conclusion of the women’s game.