GOSHEN — While it is still early in the Northern Lakes Conference high school boys basketball season, this is another important weekend that could play a role in determining which teams are involved in the title race later on.
The Northridge Raiders and Plymouth Pilgrims are the league leaders heading into Friday night’s action with 2-0 records. The Goshen RedHawks, NorthWood Panthers, Elkhart Memorial Crimson Chargers and Warsaw Tigers are all sitting at 1-1. The Concord Minutemen and Wawasee Warriors are both 0-2.
Goshen (7-3) overall makes the trek south on Ind. 15 to face Warsaw (8-3) in the Tiger Den.
This series dates all the way back to the 1919-20 season. This will be the 111th meeting between the two schools with Warsaw holding a 68-42 advantage. The Tigers have controlled the series sine the 1988-89 campaign, winning 28 of 34 contests.
The Redhawks are coming off a 60-33 win at Concord last Friday. Leading scorers for Goshen were senior Zach Barker with 20 points, sophomore Drew Hogan 19, senior Ryan Harmelink nine, classmate Jarah Byler seven, senior Zane Barker four and freshman Deecon Hill one.
Hill converted a free throw with :15 left to play for the first points of his varsity career.
Hogan leads the team in scoring at 14.9 ppg, followed by Zack Barker 13.7, Byler 9.8, freshman Quinn Bechtel 3.3 and senior Blak Wiess 3.2
Warsaw has wins over Tippecanoe Valley 61-37, Columbia City 55-48, Huntington North 57-52, Lake Central 71-61, Crown Point 50-35, Wawasee 54-36, Kokomo 57-38 and Valparaiso 43-40. Losses have been to Homestead 71-50, Culver Academy 55-47 and last Friday to Northridge 59-55.
The Northridge loss left the Tigers in an unusual position of not being in first place in the NLC standings. The last time the Tigers were not in the league lead was after the opening week of the 2017-18 NLC season following a loss to Wawasee.
Season scoring leaders for the Tigers are senior Blake Marsh 10.3 ppg, junior Luke Adamiec 9.6, senior Jaylen Coon 9.1, junior Brock Poe 7.1, senior Wyatt Amiss 6.7 and junior Bishop Walters 6.1.
The Tigers are coached by Doug Ogle, who is in his 18th season leading Warsaw. He has a career mark of 270-134 at the school, which ranks him second in wins to Al Rhodes (405) in Tiger history.
The Raiders (6-5) square off with the NorthWood Panthers (9-3) in the Panther Pit in Nappanee.
Northridge is coming off that 59-55 win over Warsaw while NorthWood trimmed the Wawasee Warriors 54-38 last week.
Junior Carter Stoltzfus poured in a game-high 24 points to lead the Raiders in the Warsaw win. He was 5-of-8 shooting from the 3-point line. Junior Sam Smith tossed in 21 points. He was 3-of-6 shooting from beyond the arc and 6-of-6 from the free-throw line. Senior Alex Stauffer added 16 points and a team-high eight rebounds.
Leading scorers for the Panthers in the Wawasee game were senior Trent Edwards 17 points, sophomore Jamarr Jackson 14 and senior Josh Stratford nine.
The Raiders were a 49-45 winner a year ago. Northridge has won 25 of the last 45 meetings in the series.
The Wawasee Warriors (7-4) host the Elkhart Memorial Crimson Chargers (5-6).
Wawasee is coming off the NorthWood loss while Memorial dropped a 53-50 NLC decision to Plymouth last Friday before edging South Bend Washington 66-65 Tuesday night.
The Warriors were led in the NorthWood game by senior Ethan Hardy 14 points, classmate Austin Miller nine, sophomore Keaton Dukes six and classmate Jack Stover five.
Leading scorers on the season for Memorial are senior Brackton Miller 14.5 ppg, sophomore Titus Rodgers 12.7, junior Darjon Lewis 12.2, sophomore Malachi Emmons 8.8 and senior Damarion Anderson 7.8.
Memorial posted a 50-28 win over Wawasee a year ago. The Chargers hold a 12-7 advantage in recent meetings in the series.
The Concord Minutemen (0-8) visit the Plymouth Pilgrims (5-8).
Concord is coming off the Goshen loss last Friday while Plymouth notched the Memorial win.
Junior Gavin Smith scored 10 points and senior Braedon Taylor seven to lead the Minutemen last week. Senior Paxton Starrett and sophomore Zaven Koltookiam both chipped in with four, juniors Payton Fish and Griffin Swartout three apiece and sophomore Jack D’Arcy two.
Plymouth is led in scoring by junior Jakob Reichard at 22.6 ppg, followed by senior Adam Hunter 8.0, senior Brady Hissing 5.6 and freshman Easton Strain 5.4.
The Bethany Bruins (2-8) host Smith Academy (0-11) Friday.
Top scorers for Bethany on the season are sophomore Beck Willems 9.0 ppg, senior Jack VonGunten 6.7, junior Mason Closson 5.4, junior Jachin Camoriano 5.0 and senior Caleb Shenk.