By GREG KEIM
THE GOSHEN NEWS
As New York Yankee baseball great Yogi Berra once said it must seem like deja-vu all over again for the Fairfield and Westview high school boys basketball teams.
Westview (11-1, 5-0 NECC) hosts Fairfield (8-6, 4-0) Friday night after the two rivals just squared off last Saturday at Westview in the championship of the NECC tournament. The host Warriors won 52-49 in overtime as 6-3 senior Nic Raber swished two free throws with :05 left in regulation to force overtime and 5-1 junior Jordyn Bontrager canned five freebies over the final 1:01 of overtime to secure the victory.
“Obviously since it has been such a short time we have played Fairfield this week of preparation will be very different,” Westview coach Rob Yoder said. “The kids should have a very good grasp of what Fairfield does.
“This is a tradition rivalry game for us that goes back a number of years.”
Westview had a 23-18 lead at halftime, but the Warriors were only up 33-32 at the end of the third period.
“Fairfield played us tough and we have got to play better this time around,” Yoder said. “We didn’t finish well around the basket and we had too many unforced turnovers. You have to give Fairfield credit for some of that.”
Leading scorers for Westview are 6-4 senior Kyle Miller 16.1 points per game, 6-3 sophomore Chandler Aspy 13.5, Bontrager 11.1 and Raber 8.5.
Six-foot Westview junior Damon Hershberger has been lost for the season due to a torn ACL. Six-foot sophomore Cody Litwiller has been elevated to the varsity to replace Hershberger.
Fairfield is led in scoring by 6-2 senior Garrett Scott 11.1, 6-5 senior Brad Lantz 10.9, 6-2 junior Marcus Rodes 10.1 and 6-2 sophomore Joe Line 7.9.
Yoder doesn’t feel the two teams meeting like this again so soon favors one team over the other.
“It all comes down to which teams plays the best Friday night,” he said. “This is not the first time this has happened over the last five or six seasons.”
Westview has a game on Saturday when the Warriors travel to Jimtown (5-6). The Jimmies’ leading scorers are 6-2 junior Chase Hoeflinger 9.6, 5-10 senior Mason Brown 9.1 and 5-10 freshman Adam DeShone 6.2. Jimtown’s lineup got a recent boost as 6-4 junior Cory Waycaster recently transferred to the school from Elkhart Christian Academy. Waycaster is averaging 11.7 ppg in seven games this season.
An important game in the NLC takes place on Friday as the Concord Minutemen (10-1, 3-0 NLC) travel to Warsaw (8-5, 2-1). Concord is paced in scoring by 6-6 senior Franko House 16.7 ppg. The Ball State recruit went over 1,0000 points for his prep career in a 49-37 win over Elkhart Central. Also for the Minutemen, 6-5 sophomore Filip Serwatka is averaging 12.3, 5-8 junior Ramon Johnson 9.7 and 6-2 junior Adam Glanders 8.5. Top scorers for Warsaw are 6-0 senior Jared Bloom 17.8, 6-5 senior John Swanson 11.0, 6-1 junior Jordan Stookey 10.0 and 6-2 senior Taylor Cone 7.5.
The Wawasee Warriors (3-8, 0-3 NLC) entertain the Plymouth Pilgrims (10-2, 1-2) on Friday. Six-one sophomore Alex Clark is averaging 15.4 to lead the Warriors, followed by 6-5 junior Chase Myers 7.4, 5-9 sophomore Gage Reinhard 7.1 and 6-0 freshman Jeffrey Moore 5.7. Leading scorers for Plymouth are 6-9 junior Mack Mercer 21.4, 5-10 senior Joe Knapp 13.9, 6-0 senior David Lee 8.0 and 5-10 junior Tom Felke 6.5.
The Northridge Raiders (3-9, 0-3 NLC) face Elkhart Memorial (5-7, 1-2) Saturday at North Side Gym in Elkhart.
Memorial is led in scoring by 6-3 senior Markese McGuire who is averaging 23.6 ppg.
“Memorial is a very hard playing team with the highlight of a premier player like McGuire,” Northridge coach Ronnie Thomas said. “They have a lot of players stepping up and making plays right now.
“Memorial is a team that dials up their pressure on defense and we’re still growing in the aspect of handling pressure as a team, so we’ll obviously have to address that. On offense, they have players that can score from multiple positions, not just McGuire. They crash the board relentlessly so rebounding will be a huge key to keep them from getting extra possessions.
“To get our first (NLC) win we just have to keep improving every day, both as individuals and as a team. If we come with a positive mind set to the gym, we’ll continue to get better and improve and we’ll start to see more scores end in our favor.”
Leading scorers for the Raiders are 6-6 junior Nate Ritchie 19.1, 6-1 senior Sam Ahonen 8.8, 5-9 sophomore Pete Smith 7.7 and 6-1 senior Joey Ganyard 5.8. Also for Memorial, 5-11 senior James Hershberger is averaging 7.4, 6-3 sophomore Dimitri Giger 6.9 and 5-10 sophomore Cameron Maxwell 5.7.
In another NECC contest Friday, the West Noble Chargers (10-1, 5-0 NECC) travel to Fremont (8-3, 3-0). Top point producers for the Chargers are 6-3 junior Drew Schermerhorn 13.3, 6-5 junior Keith Gibson 11.2, 6-7 senior Nick Noe 8.6 and 5-7 senior Nick Thomas 7.6.