Owen McCue (@Owen_McCue)
Jake Reichwein’s basketball career will likely come to an end after this season.
While Reichwein has been a key contributor for the Central Bucks West basketball squad for the past three seasons, he has also starred for the school’s football team for four years as a running back and linebacker.
Reichwein isn’t sure where yet, but he’ll play college football somewhere next year.
Before he heads off for a collegiate career on the gridiron, the 6-foot-4, 225-pound forward is doing the “dirty work” for this year’s West basketball squad, just as he has for the past three seasons.
“Just do whatever the team needs,” Reichwein said. “Maybe take a couple charges, grab some boards, guard the biggest player. As long we win I’m happy.”
“That’s kind of been my role and I stuck to it,” he added.
The Reichwein family is an athletic bunch.
The youngest, Jada, played on West’s varsity volleyball team as a freshman this past season. Casey is a junior on West’s field hockey and lacrosse teams.
Cal, the oldest, starred for West’s hoops team, and is now a sophomore for Lafayette’s men’s basketball squad.
Jake and Cal played together on West’s state tournament team in 2015. Cal, a 6-foot-3 guard, was the go-to scorer for that group. That role belongs to California University (Pa.) commit Collin MacAdams on this year’s West team.
Jake is successful in his own niche, which helped him earn second team All-Suburban One Continental Conference honors last season.
“Totally different,” West coach Adam Sherman said of the Reichwein brothers. “Cal was a perimeter player, a jump shooter. Jake’s able to shoot the outside shot, but he’s more of a frontcourt player, does more of the dirty work for us inside.”
It’s not surprising Reichwein does most of his damage in the paint, considering his preference for football. While there is certainly contact in basketball, it’s not quite the same as the constant collisions on the football field.
That's why Reichwein embraces opportunities when he can test his strength inside against opposing big men, like Tuesday’s game against Pennridge and the Rams’ 6-foot-5 forward Tyrese Lewis-eutsey.
“That’s what I live for,” Reichwein said.
Reichwein’s line in Tuesday’s 57-36 win against Pennridge wasn’t eye-popping--six points and four rebounds--but his presence was felt.
His two early baskets in the third quarter sparked a 15-0 run coming out of halftime, which put the game out of reach. Sherman said Reichwein and MacAdams also did a good job locking down the paint as West held Pennridge scoreless for the first five minutes, 14 seconds of the second half.
Reichwein is no stiff on the offensive end, he’s reached double figures multiple times this season, but he embraces finding other ways to help CB West win. He said 6-foot-3 sophomore Jack Neri, who comes off the bench for the Bucks, appears to be the next in line for the role.
“We both kind of play the same position,” Reichwein said. “We’re the bruiser, get some rebounds take a couple charges, get some points when they’re there, but it’s really do what the team needs us to do, the dirty work.”
Reichwein has made two district playoff trips with the West basketball squad. After a quarterfinal appearance in districts and a state playoff win in 2015-16, the Bucks lost to Hatboro-Horsham in the first round of the PIAA 6A district tournament last season.
The senior made his first playoff appearance with the football team this season when the Bucks made the District 1 playoffs for the first time since 2013.
He should have his fourth postseason experience at the end of this basketball season.
After the win against Pennridge, West is 9-3 this season, including a 4-1 Suburban One record. The Bucks were ranked No. 3 in Monday’s 6A Boys Basketball Power Rankings.
Reichwein and MacAdams are the only two remaining from the 2015-16 state playoff run. West's "bruiser" will make sure the Bucks don’t look past the games left in front of them.
“I don’t want to get too far in the future, but we come into every game thinking we’re going to win and that’s our goal,” Reichwein said. “We’ll think about the playoffs when we get there.”