By GREG KEIM
THE GOSHEN NEWS
The season is not off to the greatest of starts in picking winners in local high school boys basketball games.
The record ofr the first week of the season was 5-4 (55.6 percent) for the opening week. Missed calls were Elkhart Central over Northridge, Westview over Northridge, Angola over Wawasee and East Noble over Lakeland.
Bremen at Goshen — The Goshen Redskins have controlled this series in recent years, winning 13 of the last 15 meetings. This could be the best team Goshen coach Brian Bechtel has had in a number of years. The Redskins got off to a quick start with an 82-42 win over John Glenn and don’t look for the Redskins to slow down in this one. Goshen.
Prairie Heights at Fairfield — The Fairfield Falcons won 54-52 a year ago and have taken 18 of the last 19 games with the Panthers. Fairfield dropped its opener to Wawasee (80-61) but look for the Falcons to bounce back in this one for second-year coach Troy Beachy. Fairfield.
SB Riley at Northridge — The Northridge Raiders were 57-47 winners last season over the Riley Wildcats. Riley is off to a 2-0 start, but that is against teams that have a combined record of 0-5 while Northridge is 0-2 versus teams that are 4-0. The combination of tougher competition and playing at home could be enough to add up to Raider coach Ronnie Thomas getting his first varsity coaching win. Northridge.
Concord at John Glenn — Glenn has opened the season with three straight losses, including a 40-point one to Goshen last Saturday. One advantage Glenn might have is Concord has yet to play a game due to its extended football season. Concord standouts — Franko House and DuWhan Alford — are probably not in top basketball shape yet, but the two of them combined with the rest of the talent for the Minutemen will be enough. Concord.
Westview at Churubusco — Westview has won 18 of the last 21 meetings with the Churubusco Eagles, including a 38-30 victory last season. Westview senior Kyle Miller is coming off a 28-point effort in last Saturday’s 81-73 win over Northridge in triple overtime. The Eagles lost their opener to Adams Central 51-34. Westview.
Triton at NorthWood — A tough opener for the NorthWood Panthers. Triton won 47-34 a year ago, but the Panthers have captured 11 of the last 15 meetings in the series. Triton senior Clay Yeo will test NorthWood’s defense as he is averaging 20.0 points per game so far. Plymouth limited him to 15 points as the Pilgrims won 63-43. This should be a close one and playing at home in the “Panther Pit” could prove to be the difference. NorthWood.
Wawasee at Manchester — Wawasee has captured 11 of the last 15 meetings with the Squires, including last season’s 92-48 victory. The Warriors will be without the services if senior Jacob Thompson, which will be probably make this one closer, but Wawasee should still have the edge. Wawasee.
Lakeland at Fremont — Lakeland was a 50-44 winner last season and the Lakers hold a commanding 15-2 edge in the last 17 meetings. Both teams had games last Saturday with Lakeland dropping a 41-30 decision at East Noble while Fremont topped Fort Wayne Blackhawk 74-49. Fremont.
Memorial at Central — Memorial won 69-38 a year ago, but Central is 12-9 in the last 15 meetings between the Elkhart schools. Memorial returns the talented Markese McGuire, but were hit hard by graduation. Central’s first-year coach Troy Noble has the Blue Blazers playing more disciplined this season. Central.
Elkhart Christian at Hamilton — The Elkhart Christian Eagles were 64-32 winners last season and have taken four of the last five meetings with the Hamilton Marines. The Eagles return their talented junior threesome of Kenny Bearss, Ryan Kupferschmid and Cory Waycaster. ECA.
Jimtown at Clinton Christian — Jimtown won 60-43 last season and have won the last three meetings with the Couriers. The Jimmies opened with a 43-18 win over Lakeland Christian for first-year coach Ron Dietz. Jimtown.
Goshen at Central — The Central Blue Blazers have won 14 of the last 20 games with Goshen, but the Redskins were 53-43 winners a year ago. Central has some talented players that will test Goshen’s defense, an element of the game coach Becthel was impressed with in the opener with Glenn. Another thing the Redskins have got is a variety of scorers. Goshen.
Prairie Heights at Bethany — The Bethany Christian Bruins were 43-37 winners a year ago. Prairie Heights has the upper hand by winning nine of the last 15 meeting with the Bruins. Bethany’s schedule at the beginning of the season is always tough, but this could be one the Bruins could get. Bethany.
West Noble at Wawasee — This one is a matchup of teams that could meet later this season in the Class 3A sectional at Wawasee. West Noble returns plenty of talent from a team that dropped an 82-65 decision to the Warriors a year ago. West Noble.
Fairfield at Lakeland — The Falcons won 48-42 last season while Lakeland holds a 14-7 advantage over the past 15 seasons. This could be a thriller and it might be decided by the home court advantage. Lakeland.
Jimtown at Northridge — The Northridge Raiders were 53-43 winners a year ago and have taken eight of the last 14 contests with the Jimmies. Northridge is led by junior Nate Ritchie, senior Joey Ganyard, senior Austin Moniot and junior Sam Ahonen. Northridge.
Prairie Heights at Elkhart Christian — The ECA Eagles hold a slim 8-7 advantage in recent meetings in this series after last season’s 54-47 win over Prairie Heights. The Eagles returning a very good cast form that contest. ECA.