So, who still has Thanksgiving leftovers? I hope nobody, it has been more than a week so those leftovers should be gone. If, for some reason, you still have leftovers than you did something wrong. You either made too much food, have not been properly partaking of the leftovers since last week or made bad food and tossed all last week.
Thanksgiving is a special time where the good lord above waives “gluttony” from the deadly sin list and lets us chow down on some wonderful turkey, stuffing, gravy, lots of gravy and pies. Don’t waste this annual opportunity, don’t waste leftovers.
Speaking of pie, I need to clear something up. I come down pretty hard on the town of Middlebury and the school that calls that town home. I have my reasoning for that. I don’t have to like every town in the area and I can think of at least 22 reasons not to like Middlebury.
However, a neighbor brought over some pie from the Essenhaus the other day and it is amazing. It’s coconut cream, I don’t even like coconut and this pie is still amazing. So, just to be clear, the Essenhaus in 100-percent free of any criticism I throw towards Middlebury or that school across the street.
I hope everybody had a safe and enjoyable holiday and that nobody was trampled on Black Friday. A lot of our local teams are playing two games this weekend, giving me a large pool to choose from. Nine games are on the docket in this weeks edition, so let’s get to that exhilarating picking action!
Last Week: 6-2
High School Girls Basketball 12/6
Michigan City (3-0) at Warsaw (3-3), 1:30 p.m.
The Scoop: Michigan City has outscored opponents by an average of more than 25 points per game heading into its contest Friday night at Chesterton. Regardless of what happens in that game, Warsaw will have its hands full Saturday afternoon. The Lady Tigers have yet to have a win that really makes me raise my eyebrows. Yes, they beat Whitko when I didn’t think they would, but that wasn’t a shocking win.
I think Warsaw gets that “shocker” Saturday at the Tiger Den. Michigan City will be coming off of a physical conference contest and have to turnaround and play a well-prepared team on the road. I like the odds for Warsaw in this one, I also like Pam Miller to score 16 for the Lady Tigers in this win.
The Pick: Warsaw 42, Michigan City 37.
North Miami (2-4) at Whitko (3-3), 7:45 p.m.
The Scoop: The Lady ‘Cats scored a big win earlier this week by beating Fort Wayne Northrop. Whitko has had some ups and downs this season but the momentum is on the up swing for this very young team. The first step in winning a Three Rivers Conference title starts Saturday as North Miami rolls into South Whitley. The Wildcats rolled the Warriors by nearly 40 points in 2013. I don’t expect that to happen Saturday but I expect Whitko to still win big. Look for a solid game out of sophomore Hannah Yohe this weekend. She is a firecracker on the court and adds a lot of energy to this team.
The Pick: Whitko 68, North Miami 45.
No. 18 Wabash (5-1) at Tippecanoe Valley (4-1), 7:45 p.m.
The Scoop: I really hope that the Tippecanoe Valley fans make it out for this game. This might be what the TRC comes down to, this first game. Whitko and some other schools will have a say in that, but right now these two teams are probably the top two in the TRC. Valley is coming off of its first loss of the season against Plymouth while Wabash is riding a three-game winning streak. Both teams are practically identical in points given up and points scored this season. Again, I really hope students and fans gets out to support the Lady Vikings in this game.
Caylie Teel and Anne Secrest are a dangerous duo to try and defend and they have already done a great job for Chris Kindig’s team this season. I like Valley for the mild upset here thanks to big nights from Teel and Secrest.
The Pick: Valley 49, Wabash 42.
High School Boys Basketball 12/5-12/6
Knox (1-1) at Tippecanoe Valley (1-1), 7:45 p.m.
The Scoop: Valley fans, get warmed up for Saturday’s big girls contest by coming out to watch your boys team beat Knox. Yes, I’m just stating my pick right in the beginning here. No build up. Valley is going to beat Knox.
This Viking team has a lot to like. Obviously it starts up top with the legend, Bill Patrick but the players are fun to watch. This team was put behind the eight ball with the unexpected departure of Chainey Zolman, but the Vikings have still impressed in the first two games. I look for the good impressions to keep coming with a big win over Knox.
The Pick: Valley 58, Knox 40.
No. 10 Triton (1-1) at NorthWood (1-1), 7:45 p.m. 12/5
The Scoop: This is the game to be at Friday night. I’m honestly not trying to take anything away from the other teams playing on Friday, but this game will be a blast. NorthWood blasted Triton by 19 last year in Bourbon, and the Panthers are more than capable of doing that again. Triton had a rough loss earlier in the week at Plymouth and I don’t think this team will lose two in a row very often this year. This might be one of the few times it happens.
NorthWood will be playing its first home game Friday night so it’s hard to pick against the Panthers. The Panther Pit is, in my mind, the second toughest place to play in the Nothern Lakes Conference. I look for NorthWood to struggle early but ultimately pull away for a win over a tough Trojan team.
The Pick: NorthWood 62, Triton 50.
Warsaw (2-0) at No. 3 Homestead (2-1), 7:45 p.m. 12/5
The Scoop: I am leaving not too long from now so I can be in Fort Wayne in time to get a seat for this game. Warsaw v. Homestead. I cannot wait. This is going to be a blast. The state’s top recruit, Caleb Swanigan, leads the Spartans along with other stellar recruits Jordan Geist and Dana Batt. All three are ridiculously good. Batt is committed to play at Colgate. Swanigan is being looked at by every school in the country. Duke, Michigan State, Indiana, Purdue, Kentucky. You name the school, Swanigan has interest from that program. He reclassified this season to skip being a junior and is now a senior. He will be in the NBA once he is old enough to declare, no doubt about that. In a tournament in Kentucky last week, Swanigan went for 39 points, 21 rebounds and 12 assists in one of the games. Wow.
Warsaw certainly will not have an easy road tonight, but the Tigers do have a chance. Coach Doug Ogle has a way of figuring out ways to beat superior teams, don’t be totally shocked if he does it tonight. That being said, I can’t pick against this superstar team.
The Pick: Homestead 81, Warsaw 68.
West Noble (1-1) at Wawasee (1-1), 7:45 p.m. 12/6
The Scoop: Wawasee has an intriguing game at Manchester Friday night, but I will be covering the West Noble game so I’d rather pick the game I’ll be there to see. The Warriors have already picked up half of their win win total from 2013 (four) so this season is shaping up to be a nice one for Wawasee. West Noble has a small win streak going over the Warriors (three games) and that will come to an end this weekend. Regardless of what happens at Manchester, Wawasee will win this game Saturday thanks to its talented senior class. I won’t pinpoint a specific senior to carry the team, basically all of them have the ability to score big if given the opportunity. Just look for a solid defensive performance to lead the way for the Green and Gold against the Chargers.
The Pick: Wawasee 63, West Noble 45.
Whitko (0-1) at Bellmont (1-0), 7:45 p.m. 12/6
The Scoop: Whitko has a brutal start to the season at Columbia City, but it’s only getting better from here on out. A lot of the Wildcat players on this year’s team, did not play last season. Than puts this team in a tough spot for a few weeks and every player tries to get acclimated to playing in general but also playing for a new system under decorated coach Roger Fleetwood. Once the chemistry is built up for this team, good things will start to happen. Nate Walpole makes his return for Whitko Saturday that will be a huge boost offensively. I can’t pick Whitko to win a game yet, but the team is going to be much more exciting to watch after a rough start.
The Pick: Bellmont 60, Whitko 38.
Hamilton (0-2) at Lakeland Christian (0-2), 7:30 p.m. 12/6
The Scoop: It will be a rough season for this LCA team. The wins will come this season, but there will be a lot of tough stretches for this team along the way. With only one senior, there is a lot of opportunity for younger player to get experience and Noah Twombly and Josh McDaniel are already taking advantage of their chances. Until this team can figure out how to win games, I can’t feel comfortable picking them to win. I do, however, expect LCA to score the most its has all season in Saturday’s game. Limiting turnovers will be the biggest obstacle for this young team to overcome before earning its first victory.
The Pick: Hamilton 71, LCA 38.