One more road test and then, finally, a home game for the Goshen High School boys basketball team.

The Redskins visit the Bremen Lions on Friday night and entertain the Penn Kingsmen on Saturday. Junior varsity tipoffs are 6:15 at Bremen and 6 p.m. for the home opener.

Goshen opened the 2009-10 season with frustrating road losses to Mishawaka Marian and Elkhart Central last week. Long scoring dry spells hurt the Redskins in both outings.

Both the Lions and Kingsmen have been long-time regulars on the GHS schedule. The Redskins will be meeting Bremen for 34th time and Penn for the 60th.

Goshen coach Brian Bechtel said, “We continue looking for a combination which will step up and get it done for us. We obviously need more guys contributing offensively and have to knock down some perimeter shots.

“We have spent extra time on shooting in practice this week and even had some shooting workouts. When you’re not doing good at something, you must put more time into improving. I have been happy with our offense overall, except we are not making shots.

“Our execution down the stretch in both games last week was not good. Putting things in perspective, some of that can be chalked up to youth and inexperience. We must learn from it.

“Playing at North Side Gym in Elkhart is a lot different than scrimmaging the junior varsity in practice. We need to find out who can perform. Roles continue to change, but we must settle on things before (Northern Lakes) conference season.

“I have been very happy with our defense. We accomplished most of our defensive goals in two road games. The defense is way ahead of the offense at this point.

“We need some kids who will play with moxy and we need it very quickly.

“When we coaches sit down and evaluate things after each practice, we see daily improvement in this team and that is exciting for the rest of the season. The kids want to learn and are ready for this weekend test.

“As long as we continue to keep getting better, victories will take care of themselves.”

Bremen is off to a 1-1 start while Penn will be playing its season opener at Goshen.

“Bremen is a very athletic team with kids who like to slash to the basket,” said Bechtel. “They start four seniors and are always in an attack mode on the offensive end.

“We’ve had some great games in the Bremen gym and were lucky to win a couple times down there. We simply can’t allow them to dictate the style of play.

“This is a tough challenge for our young team to start the season with three road games. It will be good to be home Saturday.”

The Redskins have a Friday night off on Dec. 11 before hosting the DeKalb Barons on Saturday the 12th. DeKalb is coached by GHS graduate and former Redskin player Jon Everingham.

Goshen has a weekend “doubleheader” Dec. 18-19 with a pair of neighboring rivals, the Northridge Raiders that Friday and Fairfield Falcons on Saturday.

The local holiday tournament this winter is Dec. 22 and 23 at North Side Gym in Elkhart with the Redskins, Memorial, Concord and Northridge involved.

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