Cats hope to build on successful season

Herald File Photo by Traci Westcott
Jasper junior guard Jackson Kabrick posted one of the most impressive seasons in the area as he averaged 12.7 points per game, 3.3 rebounds per game and 3.1 assists per game. With the Cats graduating three of their starting five from the sectional championship squad, look for Kabrick to play a vital role once again next season.


With the 2018-19 boys basketball season officially over, it’s time to take a look back at what the five area boys basketball teams accomplished this past season and what’s next for them.

This is the fourth part of a five-part discussion series with the five area boys basketball coaches and their respective programs.

Next up is Jasper head coach John Goebel. The Wildcats are coming off of a 16-10 season that saw them win their first sectional crown since 2014 with a 45-39 victory over Evansville Reitz. Here’s a brief discussion with Goebel about the legacy that Jasper’s seniors left, the continued rise of Jackson Kabrick and the confidence that winning a sectional title can bring the program.

  • On senior forward Jared Englert (11.5 ppg, 8.1 rpg, IBCA senior All-State honorable mention) and the impact that he had on not only the program, but the younger big men on the roster.

“The biggest thing for Jared was that he performed in the aspects of basketball that aren’t always fun like rebounding and defending. He was such a force for us defensively around the bucket and he pulled down so many rebounds — when you think about working on your basketball game and you think about what’s fun about basketball, usually young kids think about shooting and dribbling the ball. But Jared was such a force for us with the intangibles — he did the grunt work, he did the work that isn’t always glorious. When he was playing at his best, we were at our best and that will be tough to replace.”

  • On the senior class as a whole (Dillon Sternberg, Reece Milligan, Josh Weidenbenner, Kyle Hedinger, Jared Englert, Phillip Noblitt) and their selection to the IBCA Academic All-State honorable mention team and how it’s an under appreciated part of a team’s success.

“Basketball is a sport that you can’t just play on raw emotion and energy, it’s also cerebral. There’s a lot of plays you have to know, situations you have to understand so the intelligence in our program is a huge factor and this senior class was a good example of that.”

  • On junior guard Jackson Kabrick (12.7 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 3.1 apg) and his continued growth and what to expect moving forward in his game.

“He’s one of the most gifted athletes that I’ve ever coached and he’s obviously someone who’s very valuable to our team. My challenge to Jackson would be to make sure that he brings other guys with him, he shouldn’t come in his senior year thinking he has to score 30 points a game.

One of his assignments will be to help develop our younger players and to be a good leader and good role model for the younger kids who are now coming up through the system. We want him to help teach those kids how to play the game at a high level because he’s obviously figured out how to do that.”

  • On the growth that several of the team’s younger players — Caleb Burger, Quentin Harmon, Elliott Hopf, Carter Stamm — showed throughout the season and how this year’s varsity experience will help the team next season.

“These guys got some valuable experience this year, in fact Quentin Harmon started for us quite a bit this past season. Any time you can go into a new season with guys who have gained the experience they have, it’s huge. Varsity basketball is just a completely different level, it’s different than JV -- the pressure is different, the athleticism is different and the only way to really understand that is to have experienced it. Now that they have their feet wet, they can come in as veteran players next year.”

  • On what this past season’s sectional championship title can do for the program’s confidence moving forward.

“I hope it give the guys motivation — I hope it inspires the next generation to want to cut down the nets themselves. Whenever you go into a season, that’s what the goal is. Ever since we made the jump to Class 4A, I think there was a doubt that whether or not we were going to be able to do that. This year’s team was ground-breaking in showing that we can win that sectional and hopefully that motivates these younger guys to want to experience the same thing and hopefully they also recognize the work that goes into it.”

More on