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Apaches, Squires square off in TRC clash

BY JACOB RUDE - sports@wabashplaindealer.com

After knocking off Southwood last week, Wabash and Manchester meet in a Three Rivers Conference clash that should have big ramifications in the title race. 

Wabash (8-1) at Manchester (5-5)Jan. 11, 7:45 p.m.

The Wabash boys’ basketball team made a statement in its win over Southwood last Friday, the Apaches have a similar challenge awaiting them on Friday at Manchester. The Squires sit at 5-5 on the year but are second in the Three Rivers Conference (TRC) in Sagarin rating.

Manchester started the year with a pair of wins but a stretch of five losses in six games that included a loss to Southwood in the opening round of the Wabash County Tournament. The Squires have rebounded, though, with wins over Northfield and North Miami in back-to-back contests heading into Friday’s game.

Manchester’s paced in scoring by Weston Hamby’s 14.1 points per game while Brayden Casper scores 11.7 points per game. Casper pulls down 7.8 rebounds per game.

After falling to Madison-Grant in the opening weekend, the Apaches have won six-straight games, including four conference games and a pair of games in the Wabash County Tournament.

The Apaches are led by Trenton Daughtry and Logan Vander Velden at 16.7 and 10.8 points per game, respectively. Wabash is averaging 63.9 points per game as a team while allowing just 46.1 points per game defensively.

Manchester leads the series 34-17 but split the pair of games last season.

The Apaches are 4-0 in TRC play this year while Manchester is 2-0. Only Tippecanoe Valley, who sits at 3-0, is unbeaten as well on the season. 

Northfield (1-9)at North Miami, Jan. 11, 8:00 p.m.vs. Eastbrook, Jan. 12, 7:45 p.m.

The Norse boys’ basketball team will have a pair of chances at wins on the weekend as the only Wabash County team to play two games this weekend.

On Friday, the Norse will travel to North Miami for a doubleheader with the girls’ team against the Warriors. Despite holding a 17-13 advantage in the series, the Norse come into the game with just one win on the season and a TRC-worst Sagarin rating of 41.36. North Miami, though, is second-worst in the TRC and marginally ahead of the Norse wit ha rating of 42.13.

North Miami is led in scoring by Tristan Working. The junior guard is averaging 17.6 points per game and is grabbing 4.6 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game.

Both Northfield and North Miami will be looking for win number one in TRC play this season as both are winless in conference play.

After Friday’s meeting, Northfield will host Eastbrook on Saturday in another match-up between struggling sides. The Panthers are just 2-7 on the year after starting the season with five-straight losses. Like the North Miami series, Northfield holds the edge at 17-8. But also like with the Warriors, Northfield will not hold the edge in Sagarin ratings as Eastbrook’s rating of 48.93 is seven points higher than the Norse’s.

Dylan Bragg leads the Panthers in scoring at 16.3 points per game while hitting 41 percent from the field and 34 percent from beyond the arc. 

Southwood (3-7)at Whitko,Jan. 11, 7:30 p.m.

In its only match-up of the week, Southwood will travel to Whitko for another hotly-contested game with the Wildcats. Whitko struggled to start the year, dropping four of its first five contests, but are 3-3 in their last six and have won back-to-back games, including a TRC win over Rochester.

Southwood, meanwhile, has struggled to find consistency this year and are on a three-game losing streak, the first such streak since the 2014-15 season. The Knights will be coming off a rivalry match-up with Oak Hill at home on Tuesday before Friday’s game, which will start a string of four-straight TRC games.

Whitko is led in scoring by a trio of players in Spence Sroufe, Brett Sickafoose and Drake Lewis. Sroufe and Sickafoose averaging 14.5 and 14.4 points per game, respectively, while Lewis chips in 10.0 points per game.

Whitko and Southwood have matching 1-2 marks early in conference play this season.