Rachelle Godfread wasn't associated with the Elkhart Central boys high school basketball program long, and that association came suddenly just before the start of a season, but while she was associated, she immersed herself.
“She was very involved, went to every game, even came to a few practices,” then-Central coach Matt Windy recalled Monday, Jan. 20, of Godfread, one of two women killed last week in the shootings at the Elkhart Martin's Super Market on East Bristol Street.
Godfread's son, Joe, transferred to Central from Evansville North as a senior in mid-November of 2011, right during the opening week of basketball practices for the 2011-12 season.
“I think she was just trying to soak in as much as she could as far as being around her son,” Windy said of Rachelle Godfread's presence at a couple early practices. “She was the nicest person, and man, I think she would've done anything for her son.”
Windy said he does not know all the circumstances that triggered Joe Godfread's transfer in the middle of the school year, but the transfer was not contested in terms of IHSAA eligibility.
“That had to be difficult for him — new kids, new school, during the year — and I think he did about as good job with it as anyone could,” Windy said. “We opened up our arms to him, and as far as I know, he got along with our other kids pretty well.”
Joe Godfread arrived at his first Blue Blazer practice “a little out of shape,” Windy said, “but when you put a ball in his hands, he could do some things.”
The son of former University of Evansville standout Dan Godfread, Joe had played a couple seasons of varsity at North High School, but hadn't done much statistically, Windy recollected.
“We thought his upside was phenomenal, and it probably still is,” Windy said. “We sure would've liked another year with him. If we showed him something, he listened and picked it up. He was kind of quiet, never got ticked off, and sometimes on the court, you want your players to get a little ticked off, but he was even-keeled.”
The 6-foot-8 Godfread is averaging 5.9 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.1 blocks in his second season at IUSB.
He initially committed to East Central University in Ada, Okla., in 2012, praising his mom at the time, before later landing with the Titans.
As a Blazer, Godfread averaged 6.3 points, 5.8 rebounds, an area-leading 2.6 blocks and was an Elkhart Truth All-Area honorable mention selection.
Though he played just the one season, “he's probably the best shot blocker Elkhart Central's had in a long time,” according to Windy, not just because of his totals, but because “he didn't just knock it out of bounds. He could keep it in play and give us a chance at getting the ball.”
“It's unbelievable,” Windy said of the shootings that killed Rachelle, 44, and Krystle Dikes, 20, and resulted in the death of Shawn Bair, 22, identified by police as the shooter. “Your heart goes out to the families. It could've been any of us. My wife and I have both been at that same store at that same time.”
A terrific Tuesday in area boys basketball is at hand.
Northridge (10-1), coming off knocking NorthWood (9-1) from the unbeaten ranks last Friday, tries to avenge its own lone loss when it welcomes Penn (9-1) to the Middlebury Madhouse in a battle of premier area teams on Tuesday, Jan. 21.
The Raiders were nipped by the Kingsmen 68-65 when Penn hosted a Dec. 28 meeting in the NIC/NLC Shootout.
The Kingsmen suffered their first loss of the season in their last outing, 61-57 on Friday at South Bend Washington, and dropped from fourth to 12th in the statewide coaches' poll.
Among other games Tuesday, Concord (7-3) welcomes neighboring Central (4-7) in a matchup of potential Class 4A Elkhart Sectional opponents. Those meetings are often spirited.
And in a reunion of former Bethel College roommates, Ryan Culp's Elkhart Christian Eagles (8-2) host Mark Galloway's Culver Academy Eagles (7-1). Culver, which went 2-42 over the previous two seasons, has won six straight, while ECA has its best mark through 10 games in 10 years.
A to-the-wire race for the area scoring title appears to be brewing between Northridge senior Nate Ritchie and Marian junior Devin Cannady. Each is at 23.7 points per game.
Senior guards Jordyn Bontrager (21.4) of Westview and Ramon Johnson of Concord (19.4) are next.
Cannady would make it three area scoring-average titles in four years by Knight players, as Demetrius Jackson took top honors during both his sophomore and senior seasons.
Contact Anthony Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @AnthonyAnders11.
ANTHONY'S TWINE 12
Team W-L 1. Penn (1) 9-1
2. Northridge (3) 10-1
3. SB Washington (5) 8-2
4. NorthWood (2) 9-1
5. Warsaw (4) 9-4
6. SB Adams (6) 9-4
7. SB St. Joseph (7) 6-4
8. West Noble (10) 11-0
9. Elkhart Christian (8) 8-2
10. Concord (12) 7-3
11. Westview (9) 6-3
12. New Prairie (11) 6-3
Last week's ranking in parentheses. Teams chosen from among the 38 making up the NLC, NIC, NSC, NECC and independents Bethany and Elkhart Christian.
IHSAA Area Boys RECORDS
W-L Off. Def.
Northridge 10-1 60.5 53.3
NorthWood 9-1 56.4 44.2
Penn 9-1 70.5 54.7
Elk. Christian 8-2 71.4 45.4
Concord 7-3 56.6 49.4
Westview 6-3 60.9 54.7
Fairfield 7-4 58.2 52.0
Jimtown 5-5 45.9 40.5
Memorial 6-6 53.9 55.5
Marian 4-6 56.5 56.0
Central 4-7 57.7 58.5
Goshen 4-7 43.5 51.1
Bethany 3-7 46.6 59.7
Wawasee 2-9 45.3 52.5
G Pts Avg
Nate Ritchie, Nridge 11 261 23.7
Devin Cannady, Marian 10 237 23.7
Jordyn Bontrager, Wview 9 193 21.4
Ramon Johnson, Concord 10 194 19.4
Zach Zurcher, NWood 10 182 18.2
Cory Waycaster, ECA 10 179 17.9
Joe Line, Fairfield 11 194 17.6
Jon Wilkinson, NWood 10 159 15.9
Ryan Kupferschmid, ECA 10 157 15.7
Dimitri Giger, Memorial 12 187 15.6
Jordan Geist, Penn 10 154 15.4
Chandler Aspy, Wview 8 121 15.1
Filip Serwatka, Concord 10 144 14.4
Treyton Harris, Central 11 158 14.4
Alex Clark, Wawasee 11 146 13.3
Deric Haynes, Goshen 11 141 12.8
Billy Doslak, Penn 10 123 12.3
Abe Thorne, Bethany 10 119 11.9
Pete Smith, Nridge 11 125 11.4
A.J. Gary, Memorial 12 133 11.1
Sol Brenneman, Bethany 10 106 10.6
Ryan Lutz, Penn 10 104 10.4
Will Stueve, NWood 10 103 10.3
Nick Floyd, Jimtown 10 101 10.1
Gage Reinhard, Wawasee 11 110 10.0
Cam Maxwell, Memorial 12 119 9.9
Kenny Bearss, ECA 10 99 9.9
Brady Bechtel, Goshen 2 19 9.5
THIS WEEK'S GAMES
Tuesday, Jan. 21
Ÿ Elkhart Central at Concord
Ÿ Penn at Northridge
Ÿ Lakeland (3-6) at NorthWood
Ÿ Culver Academy (7-1) at Elkhart Christian
Thursday, Jan. 23
Ÿ FW Canterbury (3-6 before FW Snider Tuesday) at Bethany Christian
Friday, Jan. 24
Ÿ Marian vs. Elkhart Central at North Side Gym (6 p.m. girl/boy varsity DH)
Ÿ Warsaw (9-4) at Concord
Ÿ NorthWood at Goshen
Ÿ Westview at Fairfield
Ÿ Wawasee at Plymouth (4-7)
Ÿ Penn at SB Riley (5-5 before Niles, Mich., Tuesday) (6 p.m girl/boy varsity DH)
Saturday, Jan. 25
Ÿ Elkhart Memorial at Northridge
Ÿ Jimtown at Westview
Ÿ Howe (0-6 before SB Community Baptist Tuesday) at Elkhart Christian
Ÿ Plymouth at Penn