Reading through the Northridge High School schedule for this coming girls basketball season is more like treading through Murderers’ Row.
Northridge's Mikaela Zook (right) passes over Fairfield defender Katie Yates during the 2012-13 girls basketball season. (Truth photo by Ryan Dorgan)
Coach Doug Springer’s Raiders have considerably cranked up what’s already been a highly respectable schedule over the years.
Normally in these blogs, we’ve been focusing on looking at some of the area boys schedules as they become available for the coming season, but you can’t help but have your eye caught by these Northridge girls.
We do also go through the Raider boys slate in this space today.
But, there’s a good chance that when it’s all said and done, that the ladies might have the toughest schedule of any area boys or girls team, or for that matter virtually any Northern Indiana team, for 2013-14, if you base such things on what the opposition did last year.
Consider that Northridge has added Fort Wayne South and Merrillville for this coming season.
South (24-4 in 2012-13) was merely the Class 4A state runner-up last March, while Merrillville (23-2) lost to Warsaw — yet another Raider foe — in the 4A Valparaiso Regional final.
Then, indeed, you throw in returning opponents Warsaw (24-2), NorthWood (22-4), Plymouth (18-7), Goshen (14-8) and Elkhart Memorial (13-8) via the Northern Lakes Conference grinder, plus non-league renewals with Fort Wayne Snider (20-4), Penn (19-5), West Noble (16-8), Westview (15-9) and Fairfield (13-9), among others, and it’s quite the explosive package.
The Raiders also will again host an eight-team holiday tourney, Dec. 27-28, and NorthWood again winds up a possible opponent there.
In all, Northridge stands to face defending sectional champions nine times (five in 4A, three in 3A) this coming regular season, including three-fourths of last season’s Valpo Regional field, and is poised to face Sagarin 2012-13 top-35 teams seven times.
The Raiders will attack their lofty log on the heels of graduating twins Haley and Madison Schrock — and their eight combined years as regulars for a program that went 71-20 over that span — but could have plenty else back from a 19-5 club.
That Fort Wayne South game will be at home as the 5 p.m. opening half of a girl/boy varsity doubleheader on Saturday, Jan. 4.
Northridge’s other girl/boy doubleheader is again on Thanksgiving Eve, Nov. 27, at North Side Gym against Elkhart Central.
Which does take us to the Raider boys.
This will mark the 14th straight year that they open against the Blue Blazers on Thanksgiving Eve.
There aren’t a lot of changes, either. The game with South replaces West Noble on the schedule.
Northridge’s opponents in the NIC/NLC Shootout remain the same, while the sites change. The Raiders host South Bend St. Joseph on Friday, Dec. 27, and face host Penn on Dec. 28 as part of varsity doubleheaders.
Hence, they’ll again face the Kingsmen twice, hosting Penn on Tuesday, Jan. 21.
The Northridge boys went 10-12 last winter in Ronnie Thomas’ rookie season as coach, including 7-3 over their final 10 games, and return standout Nate Ritchie among others.
The Raider girls basketball schedule is already posted on John Harrell’s website.
The boys schedule, courtesy of athletic director Dave Harms, is below.
Northridge 2013-14 Boys Basketball Schedule
Nov. 27 — at Elkhart Central (North Side Gym; follows 6:15 p.m. girls game)
Nov. 30 — Westview
Dec. 6 — at SB Riley
Dec. 10 — at Jimtown
Dec. 13 — at Angola
Dec. 20 — at Goshen (c)
Dec. 27 — SB St. Joseph in NIC/NLC Shootout, following 6 p.m. Penn vs. Goshen game
Dec. 28 — at Penn in NIC/NLC Shootout, following 6 p.m. Goshen vs. SB St. Joseph game
Jan. 4 — Fort Wayne South (follows 5 p.m. girls game)
Jan. 10 — Warsaw (c)
Jan. 17 — at NorthWood (c)
Jan. 21 — Penn
Jan. 25 — Elkhart Memorial (c)
Jan. 31 — at Plymouth (c)
Feb. 1 — Fairfield
Feb. 8 — Wawasee (c)
Feb. 13 — Concord (c)
Feb. 21 — Lakeland
Feb. 22 — Columbia City
Feb. 28 — at DeKalb
- (c) — Denotes Northern Lakes Conference games.