By GREG KEIM
THE GOSHEN NEWS
The Concord Minutemen will make their second road trip of the season on Saturday and this one is of considerable length.
Concord opened its season at John Glenn on Nov. 30, however, the bus ride to Walkerton was nothing compared to the one this week when the Minutemen (4-0) play the Wapahani Raiders (5-1) on the second day of a high school boys basketball shootout at Indianapolis Marshall.
“This will tell us a lot more about our team,” Concord coach Steve Austin said. “Not only do we have a long road trip we are going up against a good team.”
The Minutemen are unranked in Class 4A while the Raiders are No. 6 in 2A.
“Wapahani has one of the best shooters we will see this season,” Austin said. “On one of the tapes we watched he took one dribble across the half-court line and launched a shot that went in.
“They also have a solid 6-7 kid and a great point guard. All three of them can shoot and they have been playing together since the 5th grade.
“It’s going to be a good test and a chance for us to see where our team is at.”
On the more local schedule Friday night, the Westview Warriors (6-1) travel to Lakeland (1-6) in an NECC matchup of the two LaGrange County schools.
“This is a good rivalry and one where it doesn’t matter what the records are,” Westview coach Rob Yoder said. “One thing I do know is that (Lakeland coach) Ryan Yoder (former Westview player) will have his team ready to play.
“Lakeland seems to have struggled this season scoring points. The team has good shooters that are not hitting their shots so far. There will be a lot of emotion and it’s important that we make the Lakers make baskets. We have to be aggressive on defense while at the same time not fouling and letting them get to the free-throw line.”
The Lakers are coming off an 82-38 loss at Concord last Tuesday.
“Concord is the best team we will see all year,” Ryan Yoder said.
The coach pointed out a couple things his team saw from the Minutemen that they will face against Westview.
“Concord is a big team and Westview has more size than they have had in recent seasons,” he added. “Concord puts a lot of defensive pressure on the ball and so does Westview. Jordyn Bontrager (Westview guard) does a good job running the offense and pressuring the ball on defense.”
The Bethany Christian Bruins (3-6) travel to Fort Wayne Canterbury (5-1) Friday.
“Canterbury is the defending champion in our sectional and have some good players back from that team,” Bethany coach Jim Buller said.
“Canterbury has a quality player in (6-5 senior) Trent VanHorn. He is a good athlete and is determined to score. He can be a defensive matchup problem since he can shoot from outside, drive to the basket or post up.
“One thing that seems to be different this year is he doesn’t seem to have as much surrounding him. Canterbury has some decent balance, but not a lot of depth.”
The Bruins are coming off a 67-62 overtime win over White Pigeon. Bethany rallied from a seven-point deficit in the final minute of regulation before outscoring the visitors 8-3 in the extra session.
“We played with a sense of enthusiasm and confidence,” the coach said.
“Hopefully we can carry that over to the Canterbury contest.”
Also on Friday night, the Wawasee Warriors (3-4) visit the Mishawaka Cavemen (4-1). The NorthWood Panthers (5-0) and Fairfield Falcons (3-3) are involved in a holiday tourney at Tippecanoe Valley Friday and Saturday.
The Panthers square off with the Rochester Zebras (1-5) Friday at 6 p.m. followed by the Falcons and the host Vikings (6-1) around 7:45. The championship is Saturday around 7:45 p.m. following the consolation game that tips off at 6.