February 21, 2014

Logansport boys host Huntington North for senior night

No. 9 Cass hosts Western; Winamactravels to Pioneer.

By Beau Wicker Pharos-Tribune

---- — Logansport’s boys basketball team concludes North Central Conference play tonight when the Berries host Huntington North.

The Berries (10-5, 1-4 NCC) could finish as high as a tie for fourth place in the conference standings, as could the Vikings (11-9, 1-4). Richmond, which hosts Kokomo tonight, is the NCC leader at 5-0.

The Vikings are coming off a 32-point win over Bellmont last weekend. Last Thursday they had a 101-92 loss in overtime at Marion.

“They have a little size and two really well-built guards who can shoot the 3 and post up,” Logan coach Pat Skaggs said. “On one hand they can be a very patient team on offense, but they have the ability to get out and run like they did at Marion. They lost to Muncie Central and then took Marion to overtime. Like a lot of us they’re up and down on any given night. It’ll be a tough task. They have a lot of experience back.”

The Berries are honoring their three seniors — Andrew Wamsley, Travis Palmer and Brad Nies — for senior night.

Skaggs talked about the three seniors that helped usher in his first year.

“Palmer didn’t play last year and it was nice getting him back. He’s been a real asset to the team,” he said. “His speed and quickness have been a factor for us. A lot of times he guards the other team’s best player.

“Brad Nies has overcame some injuries in his high school career. He’s a great kid and has fulfilled a role for us. There are not a lot of kids out there anymore than could handle his role. I know the coaches surely appreciate his effort and attitude. He’s another big asset to our team as well.

“Wamsley is a kid that apparently didn’t get a lot of varsity minutes last year as a junior. It didn’t take long for us to figure out at team camp that he really had a solid summer for us. He’s had some big games for us this year and had an excellent senior year and I’m happy for him. Obviously he’s been a major asset for us going 10-5 and having a winning season.

“All three of these kids have played a big part in our success in the first year. I truly appreciate each one of them and what they’ve done for our team and we’re going to miss them.”

Palmer is coming off a career-high 13 points in Tuesday’s win over Harrison. Wamsley is averaging 10.9 points and 6.4 rebounds per game. Carter Skaggs leads the team averaging 21.1 points and 8.5 boards per contest. Matt Jennings averages 12.6 ppg and A.J. Smith adds 9.8.

The Berries have three games scheduled next week — at Western Tuesday, home against Winamac Thursday and at Rochester Friday.

The IHSAA is holding its tournament draw show at 3:30 p.m. Sunday. It will be televised on Fox Sports Indiana.

Western (11-5, 5-1 MIC)at Cass (14-2, 5-1 MIC)

The Class 2A No. 9 Kings host rival Western for senior night.

The game is likely a battle for second place in the Mid-Indiana Conference with Hamilton Heights looking at running the table after previous wins over Western and Cass.

For the Kings, the Hamilton Heights game on Dec. 13 was their last loss, as they’ve won 12 straight.

Western had won three straight and eight of nine before a setback at Lafayette Jeff earlier in the week.

“It’s a matchup of two really similar teams,” Cass coach Jon Kitchel said. “Neither team is extremely big. They’re a little bigger than we are. We’re both guard-oriented teams. They have two extremely good guard, two of the better guards in the area in [Evan] Warden (14.1 ppg) and [Des] Balentine (19.7 ppg). The players to go around them have had big games this year so it won’t be a matter of just shutting down two players. They have five or six guys on their team you have to keep in check.”

The Kings will honor six seniors tonight, including their top two scorers in Austin Keisling (18 ppg) and Blake Hadley (16 ppg). Victor DeJesus (5 ppg, 5 rpg) also starts, and Destin Irwin, Drew McRae and Jake Martin are key contributors off the bench.

“It’s a great group of high-character young men. All six have the highest of character,” Kitchel said. “They’ve been with the program all along and all have been productive this year.”

The Kings’ six seniors are all part of the nine-player varsity rotation.

“We’re going to miss that class,” Kitchel said. “They are about 40 points of our offense.”

Next week the Kings travel to Tipton (11-5) on Tuesday and visit Delphi (7-10) Wednesday to conclude the regular season. The Carroll game was canceled and will not be made up.

Winamac (9-7, 5-0 MWC) at Pioneer (2-13, 1-4 MWC)

The Warriors will look to remain in the driver’s seat in Midwest Conference play.

They’re coming off back-to-back wins at Frontier and Tri-County earlier this week and will try to make it three league road wins in four nights. They recorded their fourth league win in seven nights Wednesday.

They’re facing a Pioneer team that has been a much improved squad over the last month that is coming off its best game of the season, a 45-30 win at West Central last Saturday.

Pioneer travels to Delphi Saturday night and has home games against Faith Christian, Maconaquah and Tri-County next week.

The Warriors conclude MWC play Tuesday at home vs. Caston. The Warriors travel to Logansport Thursday and host Rensselaer Friday next week.

Caston (11-7, 4-1 MWC) atTri-County (10-6, 3-2 MWC)

The Comets can secure a shot at a share of the Midwest Conference Tuesday at Winamac with a win tonight.

They’ve won two in a row and four of five and are coming off back-to-back wins on a game-winning shots by Dustin Offenberger. The junior guard hit a 28-footer to beat North White Saturday utilizing the Valpo play.

Tri-County got 25 points from Zack Patton Wednesday against Winamac but it was not enough.