Goshen News, Goshen, IN

March 15, 2013

PREP BOYS BASKETBALL: Area players tabbed for all-star game

By GREG KEIM
THE GOSHEN NEWS

GOSHEN —  Rosters have been released for the second annual McDonald’s of Northern Indiana All-Star Basketball game that is scheduled for Monday, March 25 in the Wiekamp Athletic Center on the campus of Bethel College in Mishawaka.

The boys game is slated to start around 7:15 p.m. after the conclusion of the girls game. Girls rosters will be announced next week.

A year ago, the White Team, led by Nate Ritchie of Northridge’s 22 points, defeated the White Team, 132-131, before a crowd of 2,500 fans. The game was put together by local McDonald’s owners Dave and Kathleen Sparks along with Bethel men’s basketball coach Mike Lightfoot and his staff.

Tickets will be available at the door. Adults are $5 and students $2.

Concord senior Franko House is on the Red Squad. House led the Minutemen to a 19-2 mark this past season, scoring 328 points. The Ball State-bound player finished his prep career with a total of 1,178 points. The four-year varsity player led Concord to a 69-21 combined record.

Joining House on the Red Team are Clay Yeo of Triton, Austin Torres and Leo Svete of Penn, Josh Flemming of LaPorte, Jared Bloom of Warsaw, Brock Cosey of South Bend Riley, Ethan Pike of Bremen, Michael Bush of South Bend Adams and Nick Davidson of Andrean.

Yeo is the all-time leading scorer in Triton history. He has scored 615 points so far this season, leading the Trojans to a Class 1A regional championship and a berth in the northern semistate on Saturday against Lafayette Central Catholic at Lafayette Jefferson. Yeo will continue his basketball career for Bryce Drew at Valparaiso next season.

Bloom was the leading scorer for the Warsaw Tigers this season (425 points). He had an excellent 4A sectional at North Side Gym in Elkhart as the Tigers coached by Doug Ogle capture the sectional championship.

Torres is a Notre Dame recruit. He helped lead the Kingsmen to a 17-5 record under the direction of Al Rhodes. Svete had to sit out this season due to a knee injury. He helped the Kingsmen to a sectional title a year ago. He plans to continue his basketball career at Western Michigan.

The Red Team will be coached by Bob Berger. Berger is a former area high school coach and is currently doing radio and television broadcasts.

Among the players on the Gray Team are Ritchie, Jonathan Wilkinson and Zach Zurcher of NorthWood.

Ritchie netted 412 points this season as first-year coach Ronnie Thomas guided the Raiders to a 10-12 record. Northridge advanced to the sectional championship before the season ended in a 64-57 loss to Warsaw.

Ritchie will enter his senior season with a total of 882 career points. He is looking to become the eighth player in Northridge history to surpass the 1,000-point plateau.

Wilkinson (378 points) and Zurcher (366) were the leading scorers for the NorthWood Panthers this season. The Panthers finished with a 16-7 record for coach Aaron Wolfe after a 60-51 loss to Tippecanoe Valley in the championship of the 3A sectional at Wawasee.

Also on the Gray Team is Markese McGuire of Elkhart Memorial. The University of Illinois-Chicago bound McGuire scored 487 points for the 8-13 Crimson Chargers this season and 1,246 in his career for coach Mark Barnhizer.

Other Gray players are Mack Mercer of Plymouth, Chris Mitchell of Mishawaka, Devan Cannady and Demetrius Jackson of Mishawaka Marian, Taron Miller of South Bend Clay, Richard Mitchell of Michigan City Marquette and Ryan Wassink of Unity Christian (Michigan).

Jackson is a Mr. Basketball candidate. He has signed a national letter of intent to play at Notre Dame. He has also been selected to play in the McDonald’s All-American game at the United Center in Chicago. Due to IHSAA regulations Jackson will not be able to play in the game at Bethel.

The Gary Team will be coached by Dean Foster. Among the schools he has coached at are Elkhart Central and Penn.

Following a Sunday practice, the players will visit the Ronald McDonald Family Room at Memorial Hospital in South Bend to learn more about what McDonald’s does to offer families with sick children a place to rest and regroup.