Jeannette boys basketball looking to measure up to competition

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Sunday, November 20, 2022 | 4:57 PM


Jeannette has featured strong guard play in recent years, but its strength this boys basketball season looks like the frontcourt.

The team has length and should be able to pull down rebounds, alter shots and finish breaks because of it.

“We do have some decent size,” coach Adrian Batts said. “It’s totally different this year because our interior guys are our most experienced players.”

Senior forwards Shane Mickens and Jalen Bass, both 6-foot-3, are returning starters, along with junior guard Isaiah Mallich.

Don’t expect back-to-the-basket basketball, though. Batts wants his athletes to get out and run, not camp out around the paint.

“We’re hoping those guys can lead us,” Batts said. “They’re athletic, so they might not play around the basket. We may be able to pull them out at times.”

Sophomore Lonnie Greene also brings size at 6-4, 200 pounds.

As for the backcourt, Batts hopes to give freshman Kymone Brown a look at point guard. Senior Noah Sanders is playing basketball again, too, which should add quickness at the guard position.

“He’ll help us out,” Batts said of Sanders. “I think we have some nice depth.”

Sophomore guard Tristin Ross also figures into the formula.

Jeannette will play in a section with rival Greensburg Central Catholic, Clairton, Leechburg, Riverview, Serra Catholic and Springdale.

The Jayhawks averaged 55.5 points and allowed 56.4 last season, which added up to a 10-12 mark — and a 69-59 loss to Monessen in the first round of the WPIAL Class 2A playoffs.

“You have to defend, rebound and make free throws,” Batts said. “You do those things, you’re going to win some games.”

Batts was not too concerned with the earlier start to the season that has teams dealing with thin practice time before the Dec. 2 opener.

“The season isn’t won in December,” he said. “I’m OK with it. I know a lot of teams play a ton of games in the summer and fall. I believe the kids need to get away from the game for awhile. Plus, they play other sports.”

Batts had yet to eyeball some potential contributors before practice began Friday.

“I like this group,” Batts said. “We have some guys we haven’t really seen yet, some football guys, so we’ll see what they can bring.”

Batts depends heavily on his staff, which specializes: one coach takes forwards, another guards, etc.

Ken Errett, Dan Shipman, Julian Batts, Darius Brown and Swade Redman work the bench for the Jayhawks.

Jeannette opens the season at the Norwin tournament against the host Knights, a 6A team.

“I’m looking forward to playing against those guys,” Batts said. “We just want to come out injury-free. I want us to play hard and compete. If we win, that’s great, too.”

At a glance

Coach: Adrian Batts

Last year’s record: 10-12 (4-6 Section 3-2A)

Returning starters: Jalen Bass (Sr., F), Isaiah Mallich (Jr., G), Shane Mickens (Sr, F)

Top newcomers: Kymone Brown (Fr., G), Lonnie Greene (So., F), Noah Sanders (Sr., G)

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at bbeckner@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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