By GREG KEIM
THE GOSHEN NEWS
The local high school boys basketball season is still in its early stages and two area teams that square off Friday night are in even earlier stages than most.
The Concord Minutemen (1-0) host the Penn Kingsmen (1-0) at McCuen Gym in Dunlap. Concord had its first game of the season postponed due to an extended run in the football playoffs. Penn is generally successful in football and due to that has just pushed back the start of its basketball season on a yearly basis.
Concord was a 93-40 winner over John Glenn in its opener while Penn topped Fort Wayne North 69-54 in its first game.
“You could say if there is ever a good time to play Penn it might be in this situation,” Concord coach Steve Austin said. “But both of us looked pretty good in our openers.”
Six-five sophomore Filip Serwatka tossed in 21 points to lead the Minutemen in the Glenn contest. Six-six senior Franko House chipped in with 12 points, 6-3 senior DuWhan Alford 10, 6-2 senior Cain Crowley, 5-8 junior Ramon Johnson and 5-10 classmate Jacob Kronk each nine.
“We need to handle Penn’s defensive pressure,” Austin said. “If we can play consistent basketball I feel pretty good about the game.”
Penn was led by 6-7 senior Austin Torres with 18 points in he FW North game. Torres is a Notre Dame recruit. Six-seven junior Andrew Kimm and 5-11 sophomore Jordan Geist both scored 12 and 6-1 senior Conner Sowders 10 for the Kingsmen.
“Torres can really jump so we have to limit second shots by him and the rest of the Penn players,” Austin said. “If they get a lot of second shots it could be a long night.
“Penn has some good size to go with a good group of guards that like to push the ball up the floor. Penn’s guards are not the tallest ones around, but they play like they are.”
Action gets underway tonight with the Westview Warriors (3-0) traveling to NorthWood (1-0).
The NorthWood Panthers were paced in scoring by 6-5 junior Jonathon Wilkinson 24 points, 6-5 classmate Zach Zurcher 18, 5-9 junior Tanner Farmwald and 5-7 classmate Kyle McCoy both eight.
“NorthWood is an excellent team,” Westview coach Rob Yoder said. “They are very talented on offense. They have good size and even their bigger kids are skilled players. Their guards plus Wilkinson, Zurcher and (6-2 senior) Tommy Klem put a lot of pressure on the opposing team’s defense.”
Leading scorers for Westview are 6-4 senior Kyle Miller at 20.0 points per game, 5-10 junior Jordyn Bontrager 12.0, 6-3 senior Nic Raber 10.0, 6-3 senior Brett Yoder and 5-11 junior Jamar Weaver both 7.0.
“NorthWood’s changes defenses a lot and we need to make sure we are attacking whatever one we see from them,” Yoder said. “We have not seen a lot of changes. We have seen mainly man defenses so far so if NorthWood plays a lot of zone it would be a first for us.
“We have to slow them down on offense and not let them get good shots. At the same time we have to make sure we are getting good shots on our end.”
Both teams also have games on Saturday with NorthWood traveling to Fairfield (2-1) and Westview hosts Central Noble (0-4) in an NECC contest.
The Falcons are being led in scoring by 6-5 senior Brad Lantz at 14.7 ppg, followed by 6-2 junior Marcus Rodes 12.3, 6-2 senior Garrett Scott 11.7 and 6-2 sophomore Joe Line 10.0.
The Northridge Raiders (2-2) entertain the Angola Hornets (2-1) on Friday. Six-seven junior Nate Ritchie leads the Raiders in scoring at 19.8 ppg, followed by 6-1 junior Sam Ahonen 12.8, 5-9 sophomore Pete Smith 9.5 and 6-1 senior Joey Ganyard 9.3.
Northridge is coming off a 57-43 win over Jimtown on Tuesday.
“The Jimtown game was a physical one and should be a good one to get us ready for Angola, because that is the way the Hornets play,” Northridge coach Ronnie Thomas said.
Another team that gets underway this evening is Bethany Christian. The Bruins (0-3) host The Howe School (1-2). Bethany also makes a trip to Lakeland (0-3) on Saturday. Top scorers for Bethany are 6-0 sophomore sol Brenneman 10.0, 6-2 senior Caleb Morris 9.7 ppg, 5-11 senior Isaac Schertz and 6-3 junior Abe Thorne both 5.7.
The Wawasee Warriors (1-4) host the Whitko Wildcats (1-4) on Saturday. Top scorers for the Warriors with 6-5 senior Jake Thompson (9.5 ppg) still expected to be out of action are 6-5 senior Ryndan Aaron 15.8, 6-1 sophomore Alex Clark 11.36-5 junior Chase Myers 7.0 and 5-9 sophomore Gage Reinhard 5.8.
The West Noble Chargers (3-0) host Bremen (1-2) tonight and Churubusco (0-3) in an NECC game on Saturday. Top scorers for the Chargers are 6-3 junior Drew Schermerhorn 14.0 ppg, 6-5 classmate Keith Gibson 10.3, 6-7 senior Nick Noe 10.0 and 5-7 classmate Nick Thomas 7.8.