February 15, 2013

Winamac gets another chance at an upset with Pioneer calling

Logansport travels to Huntington North; Cass visits Western.

by Beau Wicker

— Winamac’s boys basketball team nearly pulled off a big upset of visiting Logansport on Tuesday night.

The Warriors (7-10, 3-2 Midwest Conference) will see if they can complete a big upset of Class A No. 4 Pioneer (14-3, 5-0) tonight. The Panthers can secure at least a share of the MWC title with a win.

The Warriors were defeated by Logan 62-58 on Tuesday.

“They definitely have our full attention,” Pioneer coach Pat Skaggs said. “I watched them play on Tuesday and they definitely shot the 3 well and they looked like a team that has really improved. Their coach has them playing well late at the right time.”

The Panthers enter having won six in a row and have been dominating opponents of late.

“We definitely have our work cut out. They present challenges at all positions,” Winamac coach Kyle Johnson said. “It’s just a great game to play at this time of the year. Going into the sectional you want to play high-quality, well-coached teams. What more can you ask for being a Winamac kid playing a good Logansport team and then a state-ranked Pioneer team.”

Zach Shidler is averaging 17.6 points to lead the Warriors.

Carter Skaggs is scoring at a 20.5 ppg clip to lead the Panthers. Matt Dorris is posting 12 points and 6 rebounds per game, and Brandon Scruggs adds 13 points and 7 assists per contest.

The Panthers host Delphi (13-4) on Saturday night for senior night. The Oracles are led by Northern Kentucky recruit Cole Murray.

“It’s obviously a huge game against a Delphi team with an outstanding record and a Division I player,” Pat Skaggs said. “His supporting cast has really improved a lot in the last year. They have several offensive weapons, not just the Murray kid.”

The Panthers have a large senior class that has contributed to winning three straight sectional titles. Scruggs and Dorris have been playing varsity since they were freshmen. Other seniors include Mitchell Williams, Clayton Harvey, Stephen Whitlock, Tyler Beaupre, Alex Boonstra and Dillon Stanton.

“I can’t put into words how great those guys have been the last four years,” Pat Skaggs said. “They’ve just been a classy group of kids and excellent students.”

The 1963 Royal Center team that won a regional title will be recognized at halftime Saturday.

“It’ll be a very special night,” Pat Skaggs said.

Logan (10-8, 2-4 NCC) at Huntington N. (10-10, 2-4)

The winner of the contest will secure a fourth-place and upper-division finish in North Central Conference play.

Noah Reed averages 16.6 ppg and Kalvin Miller adds 11.9 ppg to lead the Vikings.

“The Reid kid and the Miller kid are their two big guns,” Logan coach Mark Victor said. “They’re very perimeter oriented and shoot a lot of 3s. They’re solid on the defensive end.

“We’ve been working hard the last couple days on getting back to playing really good, solid defense and rebounding.”

Antonio Penny is averaging 20 ppg to lead the Berries. He surpassed Danny Farrell on Tuesday’s as Logan’s second all-time leading scorer in boys basketball.

Cass (10-8, 2-4 MIC) at Western (11-7, 4-2 MIC)

The Kings enter having won three in a row and 4 of 5.

Western is coming off a win over Lafayette Jeff on Tuesday.

“Western is a very good team with all the pieces,” Cass coach Jon Kitchel said. “Ronnie Smith is 6-7 and athletic. Evan Warden is a very good scorer, can shoot 3s and take it to the basket. Austin Weaver is a sophomore and an excellent shooter. Des Balentine can take to the hole and is a good shooter, too. They’re a very good team. We’ll have to play extremely well.”

Austin Keisling averages 16 ppg to lead the Kings. Jordan Miller, Ryan Aldridge and Blake Hadley each add 9 ppg.

Tri-County (12-7, 4-1 MWC) at Caston (13-6, 4-1 MWC)

The matchup in Fulton tonight pits two teams tied for second in the MWC standings.

The Cavaliers enter having won 6 of their last 8.

“They are very good offensively,” Caston coach Ben Snyder said. “They have four guys shooting over 46 percent from 3 not including Vosburgh. That’s unbelievable in college let alone high school. Then Benner on the inside has gone 30-plus a few times this year.”

The Comets have won 3 of 4 and 9 of their last 11. Jake Howdeshell and Quentin Douglass each average 17 ppg. Douglass adds 7.2 assists per game.