By GREG KEIM
THE GOSHEN NEWS
Depending on what happens Friday the race for the NLC high school boys basketball title could start to become a little clearer or remain as jumbled as it is heading into this weekend.
The NorthWood Panthers. Concord Minutemen and Warsaw Tigers are all currently 2-0 and sitting at the top of the league standings. The Plymouth Pilgrims and Goshen Redskins are right behind at 1-1 while the Elkhart Memorial Crimson Chargers, Wawasee Warriors and Northridge Raiders follow at 0-2.
Concord (8-1) has an important NLC game when the Minutemen host Plymouth (9-1).
Concord is coming off its first loss of the season by a 72-70 score on Tuesday night at South Bend Clay. Concord’s 6-6 senior standout Frank House missed the Clay game due to illness. The Ball State recruit is the team’s leading scorer at 16.3 points per game.
“I’m not saying the Clay game wasn’t important, but this one is bigger as we want to stay at the top of the NLC standings,” Concord coach Steve Austin said.
Concord has two additional players in double figures with 6-5 sophomore Filip Serwatka at 12.7 ppg and 5-8 junior Ramon Johnson 10.0. Six-two junior Adam Glanders is at 8.3 and 6-3 senior DuWhan Alford 7.3.
Plymouth is led by one of the tallest players in the league as 6-9 junior Mack Mercer at 22.7 ppg.
“Mercer is having a good year,” Austin said. “One of the things about him is he can score inside or step out and hit from the 3-point line.”
Other leading scorers for the Pilgrims are 5-10 senior Joe Knapp 14.7, 6-0 senior David Lee 7.7 and 5-10 junior Tom Felke 6.6.
House has scored 979 points in his career and is on the verge of becoming the seventh Concord player to top the 1,000-point mark.
Shawn Kemp (1988) is the school’s and Elkhart County’s leading scorer with 2,134 points. Other Minutemen are Jamar Johnson (1990) 1,456, Dariese Gary (2007) 1,330, Ron Iwema (1961) 1,210, Shawntes Gary (2005) 1,018 and Warren Linn (1960) 1,001.
NorthWood (9-1) is at Northridge (3-7). Leading scorers for NorthWood are 6-5 junior Zach Zurcher 19.2, 6-5 junior Jonathan Wilkinson 15.7, 6-2 senior Tommy Klem 7.9 and 5-9 junior Tanner Farmwald 6.9. Six-six junior Nate Ritchie at 19.7 is the top scorer for the Raiders. Others are 5-9 sophomore Pete Smith 7.4, 6-1 senior Joey Ganyard 5.9 and 6-0 senior Austin Moniot 4.4.
Wawasee (3-6) is at Memorial (4-6). Wawasee is led in scoring by 6-1 sophomore Alex Clark 12.7, 6-5 junior Chase Myers 7.9, 5-9 sophomore Gage Reinhard 6.3 and 6-0 freshman Jeffrey Moore 5.3. Memorial’s 6-2 senior Markese McGuire at 25.3 is the leading scorer in Elkhart County. Also for the Chargers, 5-11 senior James Hershberger is at 8.2, 6-3 sophomore Dimitri Giger 6.1 and 5-10 sophomore Cameron Maxwell 5.3.
McGuire has a total of 1,012 points in his career. He is the eight player in school history to score more than 1,000 points.
Ross Hales (1989) is the career leader with 1,322 points, followed by Daimon Beathea (1991) 1,226, Kevin Sindle (2006) 1,201, Karvel Anderson (2009) 1,146, Walter Lewis (1983) 1,130, Todd Johnson (2012) 1,973 and Jimmy Powers (1974) 1,054.