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PREP BOYS BASKETBALL: Concord's defense doesn't rest in rout of Goshen

Jan. 5—DUNLAP — It's hard to win when there's no room to shoot, and Concord made sure Goshen had none of it Friday night at McCuen Gym at Concord High School.

The Minutemen put the pressure on and never relented, outscoring the RedHawks 47-22 for their first win in conference play and in their first game since Dec. 19.

Concord moved to 8-2 and 1-1 in the Northern Lakes Conference and Goshen dropped its third straight, falling to 4-5 and 0-2 in the NLC.

"I thought we really locked in," Concord head coach Derrick DeShone said afterwards. "I thought we did a good job of not switching some things but switching some other things and we got a few hiccups there, but, for the most part I thought we did a good job of figuring some of those things out."

Braeden Messenger keyed the offensive attack, scoring 18 for the home team, which had a large crowd for the boys first home game of the new year.

"We could've come out today flat or we could have played well," DeShone said. "I think in the world we forget that it's okay to practice and not have games all the time. We felt over this break it helped us work on things that we need to."

Concord didn't take long to enforce its style, putting together a quick lead before the RedHawks countered and drew nearer, down 6-5. The Minutemen answered with a 9-0 run with Parker McCuen scoring inside easily after Goshen senior Ryan Eldridge picked up his second foul at the midway point.

After the first quarter, it was Concord up 17-8.

The second quarter showed a bit of less comfortable play, as both schools seemed to play too fast for their abilities. Missed shots under the hoop and several loose ball scrums helped favor the RedHawks as Concord was unable to pad its lead much more. Just four baskets in the quarter combined allowed the Minutemen a comfortable 22-12 halftime edge.

"There was some rust in the second quarter when they got tired," DeShone said. "We had a couple guys hit some shots and Messenger had a good game around the basket. I thought we got some good minutes off our bench tonight and were just trying to develop our team."

The break didn't restore Goshen to its offensive power, only scoring five points in each second half quarter. Throughout the entire game Friday night, Goshen never hit more than two shots from the floor in a quarter. It was a testament to not only how the RedHawks shot the ball, but how Concord mastered the art of defending their visitor's scheme.

"We were 7-for-30 and turned it over 14 times," Goshen head coach Michael Wohlford said about his team, which also shot 1-for-9 from behind the arc after shooting 37% from the 3-point line on the season entering Friday's game. "Concord puts you in a pickle offensively and when you don't hit some shots, you're pretty deflated and that was the situation."

"They're a good defensive team," Wohlford continued. "They're the best defensive switching team in northern Indiana. We missed some shots and when we missed some, they just compound themselves."

Nothing went right for the visitors, who eventually dropped their third consecutive contest.

On the opposite sideline, Concord was 19-of-38 from the floor and 3-of-8 from behind the arc. The Minutemen were led by Messenger's 18 points, followed by Lucas Prough (12), Jaylan Bolen (7), McCuen (4), Reese Breveard (4), and Andrew Kavanaugh (2).

Goshen was led by Gage Worthman (9 points), Levi Sawatzky (5), Eldridge (4), Braxton Cline (2), Andrew Williams (1) and Merrill Weddell (1).

Concord turned the ball over seven times compared to the RedHawks 14. The Minutemen outrebounded the RedHawks 23-19.

The win is likely going to be one of the rare routs of NLC play. Nearly every team in the stacked conference has a win over a highly-thought of team in Indiana, making the race to the conference crown that much tougher.

"It's a race to 50 and it is a meatgrinder," DeShone said about each NLC game this season. "It's fun to be a part of and I think every coach in our conference would say that it will prepare ourselves for the tournament."

Concord hosts New Prairie at home Wednesday while Goshen is off until Friday when the RedHawks travel to Warsaw.

PREP BOYS BASKETBALL

Goshen — 8; 4; 5; 5 — 22

Concord — 17; 5; 11; 14 — 47

JV score: Concord def. Goshen 31-30

Reach Matt Lucas at 574-533-2151, ext. 240325, or at matt.lucas@goshennews.com.