The holiday season is now over. The signs are all around us from the last few pieces of Christmas chocolate sitting in my bowl, to big box stores already lining up Valentine’s Day displays…..even though its January 8…. And, of course, winter sports are back in full swing.
I apologize for the delay on the article, I was debating whether or not to even write one this week but then it dawned on me how disappointed everyone would be. So, here I am ready to ramble on about why I think the things I think.
I want to express mild excitement for the return of Colts head coach Chuck Pagano. I think bringing him back was the right move. As for the GM Ryan Grigson? Well, I’m not as sure about that. Either way, I think Colts owner Jim Irsay did the right thing in keeping the two men together and making some changes to the coaching staff.
I also want to remind you of why I am one of the best sports writers to follow when it comes to Indianapolis Colts information. During the season numerous reporters had sources that said Pagano was as good as gone and that there was a terrible, awful rift between Pagano and Grigson. When all was said and done Pagano gets an extension and requested that Grigson return with him. Sure, there are unknown variables to this story, but the fact remains that these “sources” stunk.
So, what does this have to do with me? Well, I never leaked bad information. In fact, I never leaked any information about the Colts. You’ll never have to worry about me passing along a false lead because, well, I have no sources. So, keep me in mind when you want the most vague and easily accessible Colts team news because I have a Twitter account and I retweet with the best of them.
Let’s get to it.
Last Week (12/18): 1-4
High School Girls Basketball 1/9-1/12
Wawasee (4-10, 0-3) at NorthWood (11-6, 3-0), 7:30 1/9
The Scoop: It’s a year of close calls for the Wawasee girls basketball team. The Lady Warriors have played tight against ranked opponents such as Lebanon and Norwell and have been in the hunt in each of their conference games up until the final two minutes. This team just can’t seem to get over that hump to pick up a big win.
Saturday’s contest will be no easier than what Wawasee has faced so far. NorthWood is a solid team with good players. The Lady Warriors have been able to spread around some scoring, just not consistently.
For Wawasee to win this it will need solid performances out of role players like Hannah-Marie Lamle and Aubrey Schmeltz. Wawasee has yet to finish a close game so I have to give the edge to NorthWood this weekend.
Nick’s Pick: NorthWood 45, Wawasee 39.
Northridge (15-3, 3-0) at Warsaw (5-12, 2-0), 7:45 p.m. 1/9
The Scoop: Warsaw has finally broke away from one of the state’s toughest schedules and since doing that the Tigers are 5-3. Northridge appears to be very talented this season and has made offense a focal point as the Raiders enter averaging over 52 points per game.
I’m not going to blab a bunch about this, I like Warsaw in this game. I’m impressed with Northridge’s record, but I don’t know how good this team really is. If the Tigers can get a good start to this game then I think they win to remain undefeated in the NLC. I’m probably too confident about this game, but I’ll take the chance.
Nick’s Pick: Warsaw 47, Northridge 38.
No. 1 Rochester (15-0) at No. 6 Whitko (11-4), 7:45 p.m. 1/9
The Scoop: I can’t do it, ‘Cats. I just can’t
You know I love the upsets, I really do. But I went out on a limb and picked you girls in an upset over Valley and I was sadly mistaken. So, now we’re back to “prove it” mode.
I’ve got to see Whitko pull out a game like this before I start getting risky with my picks again. The tools are there for the Wildcats, but not all the pieces seem to work at the same time. If Aly Reiff can do her job and one other player can step up then this could be a monumental win for Whitko, but after the Valley game I’m nervous about how to pick here. Either way I’ll be in South Whitley looking for a great contest.
Nick’s Pick: Rochester 49, Whitko 40.
No. 6 Tippecanoe Valley (15-1) at NorthWood (11-6), 7:30 p.m. 1/12
The Scoop: I’M SORRY. That’s the only reason I’m picking this game, to express my sincere regret for ever doubting you, Lady Vikes. I picked against you, at home and you proved me so, so, so, so wrong. It won’t happen again. We’re a team for the rest of the year. I won’t doubt any longer.
Valley is picking up steam as it gets closer to it showdown with No. 1 Rochester next Saturday and the girls look better than ever. There are so many good pieces to this team that it is just so difficult for most teams to keep the offense contained for any extended period of time. NorthWood could win this game, but I just don’t see it happening. Not with the way Meredith Brouyette and Addy Miller are shooting at the moment. I don’t even have to mention Anne Secrest to say why this team is dangerous, but I will. Secrest is still dominating, but it’s quiet. She does it without people noticing because we’ve probably come to expect it at this point. If she does her thing then Valley will win for sure. Just don’t look ahead to Rochester, girls. That’s my job.
Nick’s Pick: Valley 58, NorthWood. 45.
High School Boys Basketball 1/8-1/9
No. 20 Warsaw (9-0, 1-0) at Northridge (2-5, 0-1), 7:30 p.m. 1/8
The Scoop: The Tigers are rolling through this season so far. Warsaw is playing great basketball and getting contributions from all over the floor. Northridge is probably better than its record shows, I haven’t seen the Raiders play yet so I can’t be sure. But, to me, it doesn’t matter because I love how this Warsaw team plays (as a Wawasee grad my stomach churns when I type that stuff). Northridge is surrendering over 60 points per game, there’s no way the Tigers drop this one on the road.
I see Warsaw running to 12-0, possibly further, before its first loss which means I see another win here tonight.
Side bar: How the heck is this team only ranked No. 20!?
Nick’s Pick: Warsaw 64, Northridge 48.
No. 4 NorthWood (10-1, 1-0) at Wawasee (1-8, 0-1), 7:30 p.m. 1/8
The Scoop: It’s not an ideal matchup for Wawasee tonight. NorthWood brings in a lot of size and some nice offensive firepower, both being things that Wawasee struggles with. The past few years the records have gone out the window when these two teams have met as Wawasee has pushed top 10 ranked Panthers teams to the brink of being upset in each of the last three meetings.
Not having to play in the Panther Pit for this game is already a bonus for the Warriors, but Wawasee’s student section will need to show up and give the Green and Gold something to play for.
If the stars align, this could be another fun game between the two smallest schools in the NLC, but if Wawasee comes out slow like it has in recent games then this will be a ling night for the Warriors.
Wawasee got ran out of the gym against a very talented Warsaw team, I’ll give the benefit of the doubt to the home team and say it’s a much closer game tonight.
Nick’s Pick: NorthWood 67, Wawasee 50.
Tippecanoe Valley (3-6, 1-1) at Northfield (4-6, 1-1), 7:45 p.m. 1/8
The Scoop: Both teams are looking to pull above .500 in TRC play tonight as the Vikings make the trip down south.
Northfield puts up a lot of points, 58 points, but also gives up a lot, 63 points. I think Valley will be able to take advantage of that weak defense and earn a win on the road.
Gavin Bussard has been having a big season for the Vikings so look for him to have a nice output but I’m singling out Neil Clampitt for a 15-point or better effort tonight. It’s just a gut feeling. Here’s hoping the kids I mention are not sitting out with an injury (made that mistake last year).
Nick’s Pick: Valley 65, Northfield 54.
Triton (6-4, 1-1) at West Central (1-7, 1-2), 7:30 p.m. 1/9
The Scoop:As we move closer to the Bi-County Tournament Triton, and other teams, will look to fine-tune a few things. The Trojans are coming off of a 40-point pasting of Elkhart Christian Academy on Thursday so the team should be shooting well going into Saturday’s contest. West Central gives up 61 points per game while only scoring around 42. Triton has been beating the teams it’s supposed to beat all season. West Central is a team the Trojans should beat. Masen Yeo is the guy I’m feeling for a big night here, but don’t be surprised to see a few players reach double digits for the Triton.
Nick’s Pick: Triton 68, West Central 48.