With three of the four Henry County teams scheduled to play a pair of games this weekend, it is another busy weekend on the hardwood.
Both Liberty Center and Patrick Henry face back-to-back games, playing Northwest Ohio Athletic League foes Friday and then taking on close rivals Saturday night.
The Tigers (6-5 overall and 0-1 in the NWOAL) travel to Delta Friday to face the Panthers, who are 4-7 overall and 1-0 in the NWOAL.
Liberty Center lost to state-ranked Evergreen in its NWOAL opener last week, while Delta defeated Patrick Henry.
“They play a more slow pace than what we are used to,” said Liberty Center coach Greg Badenhop of the Panthers, who are allowing less than 50 points per game, but are scoring less than 40 points per game this season.
“We have to use our defense to create tempo,” added Badenhop. “This is one of those games that the team that dictates the pace of the game is going to be victorious.”
Liberty Center turns around and hosts Otsego Saturday night. It is the first back-to-back weekend of the season for the Tigers.
“For a variety of reasons this is the first time we have played two games on the same weekend,” said Badenhop. “Most of the guys on the team have done this before so they are used to it. In fact, this actually allows us to get in our normal weekly routine for the first time this season.”
Patrick Henry is coming off a 42-31 loss to Miller City Tuesday and will be playing a pair of games this weekend, starting with a home game against Archbold Friday.
It will be the fourth game in eight days for the Patriots, who are 1-8 overall and 0-1 in the NWOAL.
Archbold enters the game 7-4 overall and 1-0 in the NWOAL after a 38-32 overtime victory over Wauseon last week.
Elijah Zimmerman leads the Bluestreaks in scoring this season, while Noah Gomez and Trey Theobald are also scoring threats.
Patrick Henry is led by the duo of Kolton Holloway and Garrett Schwiebert on offense.
The Patriots wrap up the weekend, traveling to Leipsic.
“We have to keep grinding,” said Patrick Henry coach CJ Holman. “We are playing a lot of games right now and there is not a lot of time to get in some practice.”
Holgate has a pair of games on the schedule, but they are not in consecutive days. The Tigers travel to Fairview tonight for a Green Meadows Conference contest.
The Apaches are 7-5 overall and 1-1 in the GMC, while the Tigers enter the game 2-8 overall and 0-2 in the GMC.
“Fairview is very athletic and they are going to want to get out in their 1-2-2 press,” said Holgate coach Brad Hurst. “We have a couple of press breakers ready, but we have to take care of the ball. We also have to slow down once we break the press.”
The Tigers have had several players lead the team in scoring this season, including Bailey Sonnenberg, Blake Hattemer and Luke Wenner on multiple occasions.
“One of these nights all three are going to be hitting on the same night and it is going to be something to see,” said Hurst. “Right now we are not shooting well so we have to rely on our defense.”
On Saturday, Holgate hosts Fayette in a non-league contest.
“They play like us,” said Hurst. “They want to posses the basketball. They have some big guys and really good guards. This is going to be an interesting game because they are so much like us. It will be a good measuring stick to see where we are.”
Napoleon is the only team to not play a doubleheader this weekend. It is the first time this season the Wildcats will not play multiple games in a week.
“It’s a much needed break at this point in the season,” said Napoleon coach Chad Bostelman. “It is nice not playing on Saturday.”
The Wildcats are 3-9 overall and 1-5 in the Northern Lakes League. They are coming off their first league win of the season over Maumee.
“Just the way we came back, from down 7, and kept playing, that was huge for us,” said Bostleman. “We just kept running plays and playing hard. We are trying to continue that good energy right now.”
Napoleon hosts Bowling Green (2-11 overall and 0-6 in the NLL) tonight as part of a varsity doubleheader, with the Lady Cats playing before them at 6 p.m.
“We have still been getting off to bad starts,” said Bostelman. “We were able to erase that against Maumee. Now we have to start getting ready for BG.”