By GREG KEIM
THE GOSHEN NEWS
A wild-and-wacky Friday evening in the NLC led to a subpar week in high school boys basketball predictions with a 13-6 mark (68.4 percent).
Missed calls in the NLC were Elkhart Memorial over Goshen, Warsaw over NorthWood and Northridge over Plymouth. Other misses were Lakewood Park over Elkhart Christian, West Noble over NorthWood and Clinton Christian over Bethany Christian.
The year-to-date mark stands at 106-55 (65.8).
Goshen at Plymouth — One of the intriguing aspects of this one is both Goshen coach Brian Bechtel and Plymouth coach Ryan Bales are Bethel College graduates. Bechtel (1994 grad) is 24th on the school’s career scoring list with 1,478 points while Bales 13th is at 1,759. Goshen was a 58-55 winner in double overtime a year ago, but Plymouth has 10 victories in the last 16 meetings with the Redskins. Plymouth presents some defensive challenges as the Pilgrims are led in scoring by 6-9 junior Mack Mercer at 20.9 points per game. The Pilgrims have a number of players, including Mercer, who can hit from 3-point range. The Redskins had a good effort in a tough road win Tuesday night at Mishawaka and it will taken another one like that to come out on top on this one. Goshen.
Elkhart Memorial at Warsaw — Memorial posted a 70-60 win over the Tigers in last season’s sectional. Warsaw has 15 victories in the last 22 meetings with the Crimson Chargers. Memorial, like a lot of teams, has struggled at the Tiger Den. The Crimson Chargers have lost in five of their last six trips to Warsaw. Warsaw.
Bethany at Elkhart Christian — The ECA Eagles defeated Bethany 69-37 when the two clashed back in December in the championship of the Bethany holiday tournament. Bethany leads 13-6 in the series in recent years. Prairie Heights and Bremen are among the common foes. Bethany lost to Prairie Heights 64-54 and Bremen 61-54. ECA defeated Prairie Heights 63-46 and Bremen 80-59. ECA.
Westview at West Noble — First-place in the NECC is on the line in this one as both teams are 7-0 in league contests. The two have already played this season with Westview winning 59-50 in the semifinals of the NECC tournament. NorthWood is a common opponent. The NW Panthers handed Westview its lone loss of the season by a 63-54 score back on Dec. 6. West Noble recorded a 63-60 win over NW last Tuesday. This has the makings of being a thriller and also the kind of game the Warriors generally come out of on top in. Westview.
Churubusco at Lakeland — These two played in the NECC tourney with the Lakeland Lakers winning 52-44. Lakeland has won 15 of the last 19 games with Churubusco. Prairie Heights is among the common foes. Lakeland owns a 46-43 victory over PH while Churubusco dropped 56-50 and 50-40 decisions to PH. Lakeland.
Jimtown at Bremen — Jimtown was a 51-38 winner a year ago. Over the last 30 games in the series each team has 15 wins. Senior Ethan Pike is averaging 23.8 ppg for Bremen and he will be a challenge for a Jimtown defense that yields 49.2 ppg. Bremen.
SB Washington at Elkhart Central — Washington was an 80-38 winner a year ago and the Panthers hold a 13-7 advantage in recent years against the Blue Blazers. Mishawaka Marian stands out among the common opponents. Washington was a 77-67 winner while Central dropped a 62-52 decision. SB Washington.
Concord at NorthWood — Concord has won 11 of the last 18 meetings with the NorthWood Panthers, including a 59-33 decision last season. Goshen and Warsaw are among the common opponents. Concord defeated Goshen 54-30 and Warsaw 42-31. NorthWood lost to Goshen 55-47 and Warsaw 67-51. Something has to give as Concord has a 7-1 road record this season and NorthWood a 5-1 home record. Concord has an edge in experience as the Minutemen are mostly seniors while NorthWood is mainly juniors. Concord.
Northridge at Wawasee — The Northridge Raiders posted a 64-60 victory last season and hold a slim 11-10 edge in recent meetings with the Warriors. Angola, Elkhart Memorial and Plymouth are among the common opponents. The Raiders defeated Angola 44-31, Memorial 51-43 and Plymouth 51-49 (overtime) while Wawasee lost to Angola 59-56, Memorial 70-57 and Plymouth 57-30. Northridge.