Posted On: 11/27/18 9:38 AM

It’s been a long off-season for Reese head coach Brian Kern and his program. 

The Rockets 2017-18 season was a hard one to swallow, for several reasons. First, Reese finished their Greater Thumb Conference West Division slate with just two losses – both of which came at the hand of rival Unionville-Sebewaing. Second, just when the Rockets were hitting their stride, the Rockets had their postseason dreams clipped short on a District Semifinal buzzer-beating loss to Saginaw Nouvel. Then to cap off the year, Reese was forced to watch its senior-laden rival Patriots march all the way to the Class C Semifinals. 

Photos by Tim Sheridan
Reese senior Gabe Robinson is prepped to cap off his high school career in a big way.

But it’s a new year, a new roster and, after a productive summer, Kern is feeling optimistic about his squads chances of claiming the top spot in the GTC West. 

“As usual, we expect to compete for a conference title,” Kern said. “But the league will be much more balanced this year and it should be very competitive.”

Helping lead the Rockets charge to the top of the conference will be Gabe Robinson (2019), who is hot off a junior campaign in which he earned First Team All-Conference, All-State honors by averaging 18 points and eight rebounds a game. That same breakout season helped Robinson snag the attention of several college coaches, giving him some options for what lies after hoops at the high school level.

“Gabe is going to play somewhere next year,” Kern said. “He’s just weighing his options and narrowing his list.”

Robinson returns to the Rockets alongside Isaac Johnson (2020), who snagged a spot on the Greater Thumb West’s Second Team All-Conference by averaging 12 points per game a year ago. The duo joins Damarquss Palmreuter (2022), Bryce Brechtelbauer (2020) and Jake Rau (2022) to make up the Reese’s starting five. Palmreuter and Rau are two of three freshman making their varsity debut for the Rockets. Tanner Terbush (2022), a 5’7 guard who could also see significant minutes, is the third. 

“We’ll be very young, but do have a good mix of guys that have been there and know what it takes to win,” Kern said. “I feel that we have the ability to be good, but we still have a lot of work to do.”

TEAM: Reese Rockets
CONFERENCE: Greater Thumb Conferece – West Division 
COACH: Brian Kern (5th season)
2017-18 RECORD: 8-2 Conferece (2nd) , 13-6 Overall
2017-18 POSTSEASON FINISH: District Semifinal loss to Saginaw Nouvel, 56-55
DATES TO REMEMBER: 12/27 vs. Carrollton, 12/5 at Flint Hamady, 12/12 vs. Harbor Beach, 12/14 at Unionville-Sebewaing, 1/25 vs. Unionville-Sebewaing