DATE GM SCHEDULE (EST) SITE
Dec. 30 1 DeKalb vs. Wawasee, 10 am Plymouth
Dec. 30 2 Carroll (Fort Wayne) at Plymouth 11:45 am Plymouth
Dec. 30 3 Carroll (Fort Wayne) vs. Wawasee, 6 pm Plymouth
Dec. 30 4 DeKalb at Plymouth, 7:45 pm Plymouth
This Thursday should be a fun day of High School basketball at PHS, with the NLC Shootout coming to Plymouth this season. It all starts with an afternoon game between #17 in 3A Wawasee facing DeKalb.
GAME 1: (10 am)
Wawasee comes in 5-2 with a couple of big wins including a victory over Columbia City heading into the Christmas break. Warrior Senior-Trevor McKibben is having a good season thus far, with 118 pts (17 ppg) . Wawasee has two other scoring threats that have scored over 100+ points in Senior-Ryan Stichter and sophomore middleman Jake Thompson. Both averaging around 16 ppg!
DeKalb Barons come in 3-4 on the season. Their slow deliberate style of basketball keeps this team in ballgames. This year, however, experience brings back some good outside shooting ability. Seniors Ryan Boester and Jared Forrest and sophomore Addison Daub all shot better than 40 percent from the three-point line last season. This year no different. Daub is averaging around 17 ppg, Boester at 12 ppg, and Forrest adding 10 ppg.
KEY: DeKalb’s ability to match Wawasee’s outside shooting. But more importantly, the Barons ability to slow down the run and gun style of Wawasee.
GAME 2: (appx. 11:30am)
The Pilgrims (2-5) come in dropping their last three games including an Overtime loss to Peru at Peru before the holiday break. The loss of Sean Smith has been felt early. Plymouth’s match-up against Fort Wayne Carroll proves no easy task in the second game.
Fort Wayne Carroll (4-4) plays a fast tempo game. Not to a point where Plymouth can’t compete, but athletically, Carroll may have the advantage. This team reached the Class 4A final four last season and collected conference, sectional and regional championships along the way.
This year’s team doesn’t have the experience, having lost key players to graduation, including Shane Merryman and Stephen Jones. But senior guard Tyler Ault returns after averaging 14.4 points and 2.5 assists per game last season, when he also shot a strong 43 percent from three-point range.
Ault (16 ppg this season) is capable of playing either guard spot and, in fact, might be part of a five-guard lineup at times.
KEY: Plymouth has to know where Ault is. Slow him down you give yourself a chance to beat Fort Wayne. Moreover, Plymouth has to learn to win without Sean Smith for now. Plymouth needs to get better, player by player. Houston Hodges has been spectacular this season but he needs help from EVERYONE, not just one or two players!
Plymouth does have a chance to surprise a lot of their “doubter’s” in this tournament. But executing “Pilgrim style” basketball is the key. The players say they want to win, this tournament will show just how much they “want to”.
No broadcast scheduled for WTCA, I’m enjoying vacation with the family. So we will see you at the tourney.
Enjoy the tournament and Happy New Year!
Tony Ross, WTCA Sports Director