By GREG KEIM
THE GOSHEN NEWS
Concord last won the Class 4A high school boys basketball sectional championship at North Side Gym in Elkhart in 2011 and the Minutemen should be considered among favorites for this year’s title.
Concord (19-1) played the other four NLC teams in the field during the regular season and defeated each. The Minutemen also own a win over the host Central Blue Blazers, the only non-NLC team in the field.
Action begins on Tuesday with Central (6-14) squaring off with the Warsaw Tigers (10-10) at 6 p.m. followed by the defending champion Memorial Crimson Chargers (8-12) and Goshen Redskins (13-7) around 7:30. Semifinals are on Friday as Concord takes on the Central-Warsaw winner at 6 while the Northridge Raiders (9-11) play the Memorial-Goshen winner around 7:30.
The championship tips off on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
The champion advances to the Michigan City regional on Saturday, March 9. The Elkhart winner faces the Mishawaka champion at 11 a.m. while champions from Michigan City and Gary clash around 12:45. The championship is scheduled for 8:30 p.m.
Central defeated Warsaw 47-45 on Jan. 8 at North Side.
Top players for the Blue Blazers are 6-6 senior Blake Brouwer, 6-5 senior John Stahl, 5-11 senior Terell Street, 5-9 junior Genoris Crawford, 6-1 junior Tray Qualls, 6-1 junior Tre Taylor and 6-2 junior Jaron Walters.
Warsaw’s leaders are 6-0 senior Jared Bloom, 6-2 senior Taylor Cone, 5-11 senior Jason Ferguson, 6-5 senior John Swanson, 5-9 junior Nate Pearl, 6-1 junior Jordan Stookey and sophomore Rashaan Jackson.
Memorial and Goshen played back on Jan. 25 with the Chargers winning 62-56 at GHS.
Memorial has one of the top individuals in the field in 6-2 senior Markese McGuire who has scored more than 1,100 points in his prep career. He is committed to play next season at the University of Illinois of Chicago. Other leaders for the Chargers are 6-4 senior Evan Anderson, 5-0 senior Spenser Gilbert, 5-11 senior James Hershberger, 6-0 senior Darien Williams, 5-11 junior Freddie Rhodes, 6-3 sophomore Dimitri Giger and 5-10 sophomore Cameron Maxwell.
The Redskins are led by 5-11 senior Jesse Good, 5-9 senior Austin Henke, 6-5 senior Sam Stegelmann, 6-2 junior Alex Hartsough, 6-3 junior Deric Haynes, 6-5 sophomore Austin Woolett and 5-9 freshman Brady Bechtel.
The Minutemen trimmed Central 49-37 at North Side on Jan. 15 and defeated Warsaw 42-31 at the Tiger Den on Jan. 18.
Concord also has one of the top players in the sectional in 6-6 senior Frank House who has signed to play at Ball State. House has netted more than 1,100 points in his prep career. Additional leaders for the Minutemen are 6-3 senior DuWhan Alford, 6-2 senior Dakota Simon, 6-4 senior Dylan Wynne, 6-2 junior Adam Glanders, 5-8 junior Ramon Johnson and 6-5 sophomore Filip Serwatka.
The Raiders lost to Goshen 49-46 at Goshen on Dec. 14 and defeated Memorial 51-43 at North Side on Jan. 19.
Another one of the leading players in the sectional is Northridge’s 6-6 junior Nate Ritchie. Other Raider leaders are 6-3 senior Shannon Baker, 6-0 senior Arick Doberenz, 6-1 senior Joey Ganyard, 6-0 senior Austin Moniot, 6-1 senior Michael Presnell, 6-1 junior Sam Ahonen, 6-2 sophomore Tom Morrison and 5-9 sophomore Pete Smith.