While Saturday’s county matchup against Twin Lakes is on North White’s radar, Vikings coach Eli Henson sees the other game on the slate this weekend as the more important.
Unbeaten Tri-County hosts the Vikings in the Midwest Conference opener for both teams.
“I’ve seen them play a couple times and they have probably one of the better players in our area in Zack Patton,” Henson said of the Cavaliers. “A lot of people are talking about the game on Saturday because it’s such a rivalry between us and Twin Lakes. Yeah, I want to play well that night, but I am focused on Friday. This is an important game.”
Tri-County (4-0) hasn’t played since winning the Indiana Kitchen Classic over Clinton Central on Dec. 7, but is coming off a strong week of practice and is excelling under the leadership of Patton and Kyle Miller.
The Vikings, who already have beaten Attica, Westville, Faith Christian and Rensselaer, pose the biggest threat to a Cavaliers team that already has won a pair of double-overtime games.
“North White has more talent than anybody in our conference by far,” Tri-County coach Tyler Scherer said. “They’ve got size, depth and shooting.”
Part of that has been the increased production from senior twins Dalton and Drake Fleck, who have filled a void left by 2013 graduates DJ Bushman and Cole Ruemler and injured sophomore Luke Diener.
“They’ve tended to struggle in the past,” Henson said of the Flecks. “This year, it is starting to click for them. When Luke went down (during football season), we needed some leadership. They bring so much energy to our practices.”
Central Catholic will honor 2013 graduate Patrick Mackey, who died Sunday, with a moment of silence before Friday night’s home game against Tipton.
The Knights will also wear orange socks to raise awareness about leukemia, and the student section will wear orange.
Berry good start
Former Attica and Benton Central coach Pat Skaggs is in his first season at Logansport, making the leap to Class 4A basketball after leading Pioneer to sectional titles in each of his four seasons there.
Under Skaggs, the Berries are off to a 5-0 start after knocking off previously ranked Frankfort last weekend. Logansport travels to Anderson (1-3) tonight. A win coupled with a McCutcheon victory over Harrison Friday would set up a Saturday game between two undefeated teams at the Berry Bowl.
McCutcheon and Logansport split a pair of meetings last season, with the Mavericks winning 56-53 in the sectional semifinal on Tre’Shon Heard’s full-court heave at the buzzer.
South Newton’s 53-49 victory over Pioneer last Friday was more than just a victory for the Rebels.
For a program where wins have been scarce the last three seasons, beating Pioneer was a huge step in the right direction. Sophomores Skylar Sanders and Jarrett Hammel combined for 44 points in South Newton’s first Midwest Conference victory since Feb. 16, 2010 against Winamac. South Newton endured winless seasons the following two years and went just 2-18 a year ago.
Friday night, South Newton attempts to get to .500 in the second part of a girls/boys doubleheader at St. Joseph’s College against Rensselaer.