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NECC Boys Basketball Power Poll and Picks (Week 10)

Photo Courtesy of Diane Lewis

West Noble 13-1 (6-0)

Central Noble 10-5 (3-2)

Westview 10-4 (5-1)

Prairie Heights 11-4 (5-1)

Lakeland 9-5 (2-3)

Fremont 9-6 (4-2)

Angola 4-10 (3-3)

Fairfield 3-10 (2-2)

Eastside 5-9 (0-6)

Garrett 4-11 (0-5)

Churubusco 2-10 (0-5)

Central Noble 54 @ Concordia 61

What was initially a game that I previewed, CN made their first trip to the Cage but the Cadets prevailed with a 61-54 win to snap the Cougars’ 2-game winning streak. 

Redick Zolman had 20 points to lead all scorers. Grant Hayworth led Concordia with 19 points. 

Players to Watch coming into that game

CN: Isaiah Gard Junior Power Forward

Concordia: Grant Hayworth Senior Combo Forward 

Initial Spread: Concordia by 12


9-5 Lakeland @ 4-11 Garrett 

Last season, these two teams went to OT where Garrett prevailed with a 48-44 road win. Garrett is coming off a 67-44 loss at Westview back on Jan. 21 as the Railroaders look to match last season’s win total. 

For Lakeland, they’re coming off a 61-55 road win over Columbia City led by a combined 26 points from Ben and Nate Keil. Lakeland looking to reach double figure wins for the first time since winning 16 games in 2017-18. 

Last season, Lakeland was one of the area’s youngest teams, but that experience has helped a senior-lead team to a strong start to the season. Lakeland fields one of the conferences better offenses and generates 15.6 assists per game. Garrett has held opponents to 52 points per game but have scored 50 or more points just six times this season. 

Players to Watch 

Lakeland: Nate Keil Junior Combo Guard

Garrett: Kyle Smith Senior Power Forward 

Lakeland by 20

9-6 Fremont @ 11-4 Prairie Heights 

In what could be an emotional game at Brushy Prairie, this is a rematch from their NECC tournament meeting where the Panthers held on for a 45-44 win over Fremont at Fairfield. Fremont is 2nd in the NECC in scoring at under 60 points, while Heights has the NECC’s top defense at 42.9 points against. 

Fremont leads the NECC in 3-point shooting at over 40% from 3 and that continued in their 50-28 win over Eastside led by Conner Slee’s 17 points. The Panthers generate 25.6 boards and 12.7 assists per game. But the Panthers have committed 19 or more turnovers in 2 of their last 3 games, which includes a 52-41 loss Tuesday in Waterloo.

Keep in mind that these two teams can meet one more time in sectionals as both teams play in the Westview Sectional (2A 35).

Players to Watch 

Fremont: Ethan Bontrager Senior Combo Guard

PH: Isaiah Malone Senior Forward/Center 

Heights by 2

13-1 West Noble @ 3-10 Fairfield 

The US 33 rivalry takes this matchup to Benton where the Falcons face the first-place Chargers. Going into this game, West Noble leads the NECC in scoring at 60.1 points and 2nd in defense at 45.1. For the Falcons, they’ve been in plenty of close games, including a 57-45 loss at Mishawaka Tuesday. 

Fairfield, this season, is 2-6 in games decided by 10 points or less. However, the Falcons only reached 50 or more points three times this season. 

Austin Cripe leads the NECC in scoring averaging 21.6 points per game. The other guy to watch is Bradyn Barth for West Noble who’s averaging nearly a double-double to go with his 16.6 points as he’ll see plenty of Fairfield’s Tyson Frey. Last season, Fairfield rallied from a double-digit deficit to beat the Chargers 58-56 led by the Wright brothers, which Caleb Wright is a starting point guard at Goshen College. 

Players to Watch

WN: Bradyn Barth Junior Power Forward

Fairfield: Noah Mast Junior Small Forward 

West Noble by 12

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