Jake Ohmer’s legacy a winning one
BY MIKE FIELDS
When the KHSAA celebrates its 125th Sweet 16 in 2042, you can bet there will be high school basketball fans reminiscing about how a kid named Jake Ohmer made a name for himself in the 100th state tournament.
They’ll talk about how he was a scoring machine, and a surprisingly strong rebounder; how he flew up and down the Rupp Arena court with controlled abandon, how he made Scott – not Scott County – the talk of the town that week, and how he almost got his underdog team to the state finals.
Jake Ohmer’s storybook post-season ended Saturday night in the cruelest of ways. He missed a shot in the closing seconds that would have given Scott a stunning upset of heavily favored Bowling Green. The Purples escaped 80-79, and their Coach D.G. Sherrill said they were lucky to do so.
That’s because Sherrill knew as well as anyone that this tournament seemed to have been scripted for Jake Ohmer’s heroics.
Consider what the 5-foot-10 senior guard did this week: 41 points, 17 rebounds in a first-round win over Harlan County; 32 points, 10 rebounds in a quarterfinal win over Perry County Central; 33 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists against Bowling Green. In three games he made 15 of 30 three-pointers, and 21 of 24 free throws.
All of this was after he had 46 points in the 10th Region semifinals, and 30 points, including a game-winning three-pointer at the buzzer in the region finals.
“Jake’s incredible,” Coach Steve Fromeyer said. “He has left a legacy at Scott High School now.”
Ohmer didn’t come out for the post-game interview for the gathered media — his younger brother Chad accompanied Fromeyer to the podium — but he did speak to a couple reporters outside the Scott locker room.
His eyes were red from crying, and his shoulders were slumped, but he didn’t flinch at any questions.
When will he be able to look back on what he and his teammates accomplished this week?
“Probably tomorrow, honestly,” he said. “I’m sad right now because I’m going to miss playing with everybody. But besides that, the sun will rise tomorrow.”
What about the last shot, which he got up along the right baseline with bodies all around him?
“I got a good look, actually.” he said. “I just short-armed it. I should’ve made it.”
Ohmer said early in the possession, when he was dribbling out front and being guarded by Bowling Green’s 6-foot-6 Terry Taylor, he thought about looking for a three and “trying to make a big play.”
Instead he went looking for a better shot, and got it. But as soon as he let it go, “I knew it was off.”
Will his wondrous week in Rupp change his life?
“Yes,” he said. “I don’t know how, but I think it will.”
Does that mean he might reconsider his commitment to the University of the Cumberlands if bigger schools come calling?
“I don’t know about that,” he said. “I think looking back on all this, it’s going to be good memories.”
Fromeyer said he doesn’t get caught up in statistics, but Ohmer’s numbers were hard to believe. “Thirty-three (points) tonight, 32 last night, 41 the other night. This is something he won’t forget, I know that. His family won’t forget it, and his brother won’t forget it.
“Fifteen years from now, they’ll have beer bellies, and at Thanksgiving they’re out playing with their kids in the driveway, and Jake calls one of his weak fouls he wants to call, and then Chad wants to fight.
“That’s what Christmas, Thanksgiving, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day will be like for them.”
The Ohmers, along with teammates Jaycob Pouncy, Vincent Dunlao and Jake Pusateri, made for an energetic, entertaining team.
“There’s something to be said about a group of young, little guys that just fly around and are exciting to watch,” Fromeyer said.
For Jake Ohmer, who had 106 points in three games on the biggest stage in high school hoops, the best memory won’t be about himself.
“The one thing I’ll remember the most,” he said, “is my little brother just battling the big kids all week.”
That’s Jake Ohmer.
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