Thursday, December 25, 2014
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Twine Line: NorthWood, ECA duos each have shot at rarity

Only once have county classmates each scored 1,000 points, but Panthers' Wilkinson and Zurcher, and Eagles' Kupferschmid and Waycaster could change that.

Posted on Feb. 3, 2014 at 8:45 p.m.

Note: This story originally appeared with incorrect information due to partially incorrect archival information.

The original story omitted that in 1981, Fairfield's Jeff Miller and Jerrold Kauffman finished as the first pair of 1,000-point classmates in Elkhart County boys basketball history. There have not been any such classmates since then. The below is rewritten to reflect Miller and Kauffman's inclusion.

A pair of pairs are each approaching an achievement that's happened just once before in Elkhart County boys basketball history.

NorthWood's senior duo of Jonathan Wilkinson and Zach Zurcher, and Elkhart Christian's senior duo of Ryan Kupferschmid and Cory Waycaster are each on pace to score 1,000 career points (Kupferschmid's already passed the figure).

The only time a pair of classmates in county annals have reached the magic four-digit mark came in 1981, when Jeff Miller finished with 1,178 career points and Jerrold Kauffman closed at 1,019.

It's not an automatic that it's going to happen again, but it's looking at least possible on two campuses this season.

Zurcher has 883 points and Wilkinson 875.

ANTHONY'S TWINE 12
Team    W-L
 1. Penn (1) 11-1
 2. Northridge (3) 12-2
 3. NorthWood (4) 12-1
 4. SB Washington (2) 8-3
 5. SB Adams (6) 10-4
 6. SB St. Joseph (7) 9-4
 7. Concord (10) 10-3
 8. Warsaw (5) 9-5
 9. West Noble (8) 11-1
10. Elkhart Christian (9) 8-3
11. Westview (11) 9-3
12. Prairie Heights (12) 9-4

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.

Counting at least one postseason contest, NorthWood (12-1) will play at least eight more games if none of the remaining regular-season games are canceled altogether — hardly a given with the recent weather. Further, of course, there's the variable of needing to stay healthy and on the court.

Zurcher's averaging 19.5 points this season and Wilkinson 16.0, so at their current clips, Zurcher would be fine, but Wilkinson would barely climb over 1,000, if the Panthers are limited to those eight games.

Who's to say they'll be limited to eight, though?

"Us both scoring a thousand would be really cool, something for the record books," Wilkinson said, "but our goal is to win a state title. If we win a state title, that's seven (postseason) games on our schedule and we'll both get a thousand points. That's how I look at it."

Zurcher looks at it much the same.

"Doing that together would be awesome because we're friends," Zurcher said, "but it's not something we're thinking about. We're just thinking about how to get wins. Our goal is win a state championship."

ECA players have talked this season about having high postseason goals, too.

Counting at least one postseason contest, the Eagles (8-3) are assured 10 more games if all the regular-season ones are played. Again, hardly a given.

Kupferschmid, with 1,066 career points, is closing in on Drew Ryall's school record of 1,202. He's averaging 16.8 on the season and if he plays just 10 more, he would need to average 13.7 in those 10 to pass Ryall.

Waycaster, averaging 17.1 on the season, has 893 career points.

With good health, he appears certain to pass 1,000.

On the other hand, some purists might not want to include the 54 points he scored as a Jimtown player last season when counting "classmates" who have achieved 1,000 each.

Waycaster played part of last season with the Jimmies after transferring from ECA. He transferred back prior to this school year. Even without those 54 points, he's at 839 and still has a legitimate shot at 1,000.

Meanwhile, in case you're wondering, the top-scoring classmate duos in county history, even though not both players reached 1,000, are 1988 Concord products Shawn Kemp (2,134) and Steve Larkin (436) at 2,570; 2006 NorthWood products Ryne Lightfoot (1,673) and Zac Lechlitner (684) at 2,357; and 2008 Northridge products Brent Eaton (1,564) and Derrick Troyer (789) at 2,353.

Going beyond Elkhart County and including the entire Elkhart Truth area, there has been one pair of 1,000-point classmates besides Miller and Kauffman.

It happened in 1990, when Westview classmates Ryan Yoder and Jeremy Bachman closed with 1,594 and 1,081, respectively, good for a combined 2,675.

RAMON'S 43 REVISITED

Ramon Johnson's 43 points for Concord in its 72-67 win over visiting LaPorte were just four off Shawn Kemp's single-game record of 47 in 1987-88.

The 5-foot-9 Johnson went a staggering 15-of-18 from the field, including a perfect 13-of-13 on 2-pointers, and 11-of-15 at the line as the surging Minutemen captured their sixth straight win.

Johnson also had a game-high four steals, dished three assists and committed just two turnovers despite having his hand on the ball much of the evening.

His 43 points surpassed Nate Ritchie's 40 for Northridge against South Bend St. Joseph on Dec. 27 as the area's top output this season.

TIPPING TUESDAY

A heavy Tuesday, Feb. 4, lineup of games was made heavier by some postponements being moved to that night. And now the forecast is unfavorable again.

Anyway, among them if they're played, Concord (10-3, 3-1) tries to stay in the thick of the Northern Lakes Conference race when it welcomes Warsaw (9-5, 2-2) to McCuen Gym.

The Minutemen's remaining league opponents besides Warsaw are the top two clubs in the standings — at home against NorthWood (4-1) on Saturday, Feb. 8 and at Northridge (5-0) on Thursday, Feb. 13.

Also slated for Tuesday, ECA tips off a week of facing three Elkhart County opponents by traveling to Jimtown. The Eagles (8-3) welcome Bethany Christian on Friday and visit Fairfield for the first time ever on Saturday.

Northridge (12-2) is scheduled to play the 6 p.m. first half of a boy/girl varsity doubleheader when it makes up its home game against Fairfield (8-4). The Falcons are coming off knocking West Noble from the unbeaten ranks, 62-59, but have lost 11 straight meetings against the Raiders.

 

IHSAA AREA BOYS RECORDS

               W-L Off. Def.

NorthWood 12-1 58.5 45.5

Penn 11-1 69.8 54.3

Northridge 12-2 62.9 56.4

Concord 10-3 57.6 49.6

Westview 9-3 60.0 49.6

Elk. Christian 8-3 69.6 47.5

Fairfield 8-4 58.5 52.6

Marian 5-6 55.3 54.5

Memorial 6-8 54.0 57.5

Jimtown 5-7 46.2 44.8

Goshen 5-8 45.4 51.2

Central 5-9 56.1 56.4

Bethany 3-9 45.8 60.5

x-Wawasee 2-10 45.0 53.7

SCORING LEADERS

                    G Pts Avg

Nate Ritchie, Nridge 14 341 24.4

Devin Cannady, Marian 11 245 22.3

Ramon Johnson, Concord 13 279 21.5

Zach Zurcher, NWood 13 254 19.5

Jordyn Bontrager, Wview 12 231 19.3

Joe Line, Fairfield 12 215 17.9

Cory Waycaster, ECA 11 188 17.1

Ryan Kupferschmid, ECA 11 185 16.8

Jon Wilkinson, NWood 13 208 16.0

Jordan Geist, Penn 12 192 16.0

Dimitri Giger, Memorial 14 223 15.9

Chandler Aspy, Wview 11 167 15.2

Filip Serwatka, Concord 13 197 15.2

Treyton Harris, Central 14 196 14.0

x-Alex Clark, Wawasee 12 156 13.0

Deric Haynes, Goshen 13 160 12.3

Pete Smith, Nridge 14 170 12.1

Abe Thorne, Bethany 12 139 11.6

Billy Doslak, Penn 12 136 11.3

x-Gage Reinhard, Wawasee 12 131 10.9

Will Stueve, NWood 13 139 10.7

Sol Brenneman, Bethany 12 128 10.7

Cam Maxwell, Memorial 14 147 10.5

Nick Floyd, Jimtown 12 121 10.1

Brady Bechtel, Goshen 3 30 10.0

A.J. Gary, Memorial 14 139 9.9

Ryan Lutz, Penn 12 119 9.9

Austin Woolett, Goshen 13 127 9.8

Kenny Bearss, ECA 11 105 9.5

x-Monday's game not included.

THIS WEEK’S GAMES

Monday, Feb. 3

• Lakeland (5-7) at Wawasee

Tuesday, Feb. 4

• SB Riley (7-5) vs. Elkhart Memorial at North Side Gym

• Warsaw (9-5) at Concord

• Elkhart Christian at Jimtown

• Fairfield at Northridge (6 p.m., first game of boy/girl varsity doubleheader)

• Mishawaka (3-9) at Goshen

• West Noble (11-1) at NorthWood

• Clinton Christian (8-6) at Bethany Christian

• Culver Academy (8-2) at Marian

Friday, Feb. 7

• Warsaw vs. Elkhart Memorial at North Side Gym

• Elkhart Central at SB Washington (8-3 before Oregon-Davis Feb. 5)

• Bremen (2-8) at Jimtown

• Plymouth (4-8) at Goshen

• Bethany Christian at Elkhart Christian

• SB Adams (10-4) at Penn

• West Noble at Westview (girl/boy varsity doubleheader)

Saturday, Feb. 8

• NorthWood at Concord

• Wawasee at Northridge

• Elkhart Christian at Fairfield

• FW Blackhawk (8-6 before Marion Feb. 7) at Bethany Christian

• Penn at Andrean (7-5 before Lowell Feb. 7)

• Hamilton (5-7 before Eastside Feb. 7) at Westview 


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