By GREG KEIM
THE GOSHEN NEWS
The season continued to improve last week when it comes to picking winners in area high school boys basketball games.
An opening week mark of 5-4 (55.5 percent) and the second week’s one of 13-4 (76.5) were followed by a 15-4 record (78.9) for this past time period.
That bumps the season-to-date total to 33-12 (73.3).
Missed calls last week were South Bend Riley over Elkhart Central, DeKalb over Goshen, Jimtown over Argos and South Bend St. Joseph over Elkhart Memorial.
Goshen at Northridge — Goshen was a 49-46 winner a year ago while Northridge holds a 13-7 advantage in the series over the last 15 seasons. Both teams have played Elkhart Central. Goshen defeated the Blue Blazers 48-45 in overtime and Northridge dropped a 60-54 decision. Northridge has won three straight at home. Goshen is coming off its first loss of the season (last Saturday at DeKalb) so look for the Redskins to get back on the winning track. Goshen.
Hamilton at Fairfield — The Falcons have dominated this series in recent years with 17 wins in the last 18 meetings against the Marines including last season’s 71-42 decision. Fairfield has a slight edge on offense (54.5 points per game compared to 52.1) and a bigger advantage on defense (57.8 to 63.9). Fairfield.
Memorial at Concord — This is a rematch of last season’s Class 4A sectional championship at North Side Gym in Elkhart won by the Memorial Crimson Chargers (59-54). The Minutemen were not hit as hard by graduation as Memorial was. Concord senior Franko House is coming off a monster game with 31 points and 14 rebounds in last Friday’s 63-59 win over the Penn Kingsmen. Concord.
NorthWood at Plymouth — NorthWood dropped a one-point thriller (53-52) to the Pilgrims last season. Plymouth has an 11-6 advantage in recent seasons. NorthWood has played a stronger schedule to this point. NorthWood’s opponents have a combined record of 11-9 compared to 7-15 for the Pilgrims. NorthWood’s junior tandem of Jonathan Wilkinson and Zach Zurcher are both averaging in double figures. NorthWood.
Warsaw at Wawasee — Warsaw won 72-52 a year ago and have won five in a row with Wawasee since the Warriors posted a 46-30 victory back in 2006-07. Warsaw’s opponents have a combined record of 17-8 compared to Wawasee’s 11-12. Warsaw.
Angola at Westview — The Warriors defeated Angola, 40-28, last season and have taken 13 of the previous 20 meetings with the Hornets. Westview took some hits via graduation, but have reloaded their lineup through a combination of last year’s players stepping up into increased scoring loads and some others that have moved up from a talented JV squad. Among the newcomers is 6-3 sophomore Chandler Aspy who is averaging 15.8 points per game. Westview.
Lakeland at Eastside — Two clubs both in search of a much needed win. The Lakeland Lakers were 86-55 winners a year ago and hold a 14-4 edge in the series over the past 15 seasons. The Lakers were hit pretty hard by graduation. Eastside.
West Noble at Central Noble — West Noble is undefeated while Central Noble is still looking for its first win. Central Noble won 50-45 last season. The West Noble Chargers returned six letterwinners this season and expected them to remember that loss. West Noble.
Goshen at Fairfield — The Redskins captured a 52-35 decision a year ago and have won nine of the last 15 contests with the Falcons. Goshen has shown some good scoring balance as three players hit double figures in the John Glenn game, four in the Bremen contest and two in both the Elkhart Central and DeKalb games. Goshen is averaging 62.5 points on offense and the Falcons are giving up an average of 57.8 on defense. Goshen.
Bethany Holiday Tourney
Lakeland Christian vs. Elkhart Christian — The ECA Eagles have a talented junior class with Kenny Bearss, Ryan Kupferschmid, Tanner Watson and Cory Waycaster all averaging in double figures so far this season. If that isn’t enough senior Tyler VanArsdale is right behind them at 9.5 per game. All that offense is probably going to be too much for Lakeland Christian. ECA.
Bethany Christian vs. SB Trinity — These two haven’t played since Bethany posted an 89-13 win back on Dec. 4, 1999. The Bruins are off to a 1-5 start, but only two of the schools are in Class 1A like Bethany is with the rest being 2A or 3A. This should be a good one for Bruin coach Jim Buller to add to his record number of wins by an Elkhart County boys basketball coach. Bethany.
Lakeland Christian vs. SB Trinity — These two have already played this season with Trinity emerging with a 42-39 victory. SB Trinity.
Elkhart Christian vs. Bethany Christian — The Eagles won a 39-38 thriller in last season tournament finale and ECA returns a lot more from that contest than the Bruins who were hit hard by graduation. The Eagles also have a size advantage with four players 6-3 or taller while the Bruins have one in that size group. ECA.
Lakeland at Concord — This is the traditional opener for both teams, but this year’s contest was postponed due to Concord’s success in the football playoffs. Coach Steve Austin was hoping the football success would carry over to the basketball season and so far it has.
Concord notched an impressive win over a talented Penn team. The Minutemen, like they will against a lot of teams, will have a size advantage with 10 players on the varsity roster over 6-0 compared to three for the Lakers. Concord.
Westview at East Noble — This is one of those big school-small school matchups that the 2A Warriors seem to thrive on. The Warriors don’t back down from the challenges of playing larger schools.
The Warriors won a total of nine sectional championships over the years at East Noble in the days of a single-class state tournament. Westview.
Wawasee at Columbia City — The Columbia City Eagles were a 73-64 winner a year ago and have a 12-6 edge in the series with Wawasee over the past 15 seasons. The Eagles started the season by going 5-0 including a 59-49 win at Warsaw. Columbia City.