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Posted on Mon. Feb. 18, 2013 - 12:01 am EDT

Bishop Dwenger draws tough opponent to open tournament

Saints have had SAC rival's number recently

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When asked what it would take to beat Concordia Lutheran after finding out in Sunday's IHSAA Boy's Basketball Sectional draw that his team would take on the Class 3A sixth-ranked Cadets in the first round of the Garrett Sectional next week, Bishop Dwenger coach Matt Kostoff went the humor route.

“Other than food poisoning and kidnapping, I'm not sure,” said Kostoff jokingly.

All kidding aside, the Saints have proven capable of beating Concordia Lutheran in the playoffs in recent years. The Saints are currently riding a three-game postseason winning streak over the conference rival that includes a 46-40 upset of the Cadets in the sectional championship game last season.

Once again, Bishop Dwenger (4-13) appears to be playing its best basketball at the right time, having won three straight games, with a very winnable game at Bellmont looming Tuesday.

The young Saints have taken their lumps at times this year, including a 10-game losing streak that extended for 50 days

“We had a brutal stretch after the first of the year, but our team never got discouraged at practice,” Kostoff said. “To their credit, they worked hard and brought energy day after day.”

Concordia Lutheran coach Josh Eggold has taken notice of several things about Bishop Dwenger that has him concerned, despite having beaten the Saints twice this year.

“First off, they are a very-well coached team,” Eggold said. “We played them very early in the year and again at Christmas, and we had success in those games. But they have guards who can shoot the three and have physical hard-nosed kids.

“They have played an awful lot of teams close.”

Despite being nine games under-.500, the Saints are surrendering just 6.2 points more than they score on average, a testament to just how many close games the team has been in.

Bishop Dwenger will have to play arguably its most complete game of the season to have a shot at beating the Cadets.

“There are not a lot of secrets when you play Concordia,” Kostoff said. “They run their stuff and you know what they are going to do, but they are like 'Come and stop us.'

“We have a lot of respect for Coach Eggold and his coaching staff. It is a big rival and a healthy rivalry, but a lot of respect there.”

The status of one of Eggold's biggest weapons is still uncertain.

Senior Brian Gremaux is still nursing a high ankle sprain suffered last week in practice. He sat out two games over the weekend and was hoping to play this Friday against Homestead in the regular season finale, but the injury is healing slower than expected.

“From the swelling and coloring of his ankle, it doesn't look much better,” Eggold said. “He is continuing to treat it with ice buckets and rest. Hardest thing is trying not to fall out of shape if he has a two-week layoff.”

Eggold said he would not play Gremaux until he was “95 percent or better” and puts his health right now at “60 percent.”

Boy's Sectional Pairings

Class 4A

Carroll

Tuesday, Feb. 27

Northrop (15-6) vs. Carroll (8-13), 7 p.m.

Wednesday, Feb. 28

Columbia City (18-3) vs. East Noble (2-18), 6 p.m.

Snider (9-9) vs. DeKalb (13-7), 7:30 p.m.

Friday, March 1

North Side (13-5) vs. Northrop/Carroll, 6 p.m.

Columbia City/East Noble vs. Snider/DeKalb, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, March 2

Championship, 7:30 p.m.

Huntington North

Tuesday, Feb. 27

Wayne (11-8) vs. South Side (3-14), 6 p.m.

Homestead (16-4) vs. Huntington North (10-11), 7:30 p.m.

Friday, March 1

New Haven (14-5) vs. Wayne/South Side, 6 p.m.

Jay County (18-2) vs. Homestead/Huntington North, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, March 2

Championship, 7:30 p.m.

Class 3A

Garrett

Tuesday, Feb. 27

Bishop Dwenger (4-13) vs. Concordia Lutheran (17-3), 6 p.m.

Woodlan (9-11) vs. Garrett (7-10), 7:30 p.m.

Friday, March 1

Leo (9-10) vs. Bishop Dwenger/Concordia Lutheran, 6 p.m.

Angola (7-11) vs. Woodlan/Garrett, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, March 2

Championship, 7:30 p.m.

Norwell

Tuesday, Feb. 27

Eastbrook (7-11) vs. Norwell (13-5), 6 p.m.

Bellmont (4-14) vs. Whitko (5-14), 7:30 p.m.

Friday, March 1

Mississinewa (8-12) vs. Eastbrook/Norwell, 6 p.m.

Heritage (8-12) vs. Bellmont/Whitko, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, March 2

Championship, 7:30 p.m.

Class 2A

South Adams

Tuesday, Feb. 27

Adams Central (11-6) vs. Churubusco (3-18), 6 p.m

South Adams (2-15) vs. Eastside (8-11), 7:30 p.m.

Friday, March 1

Bishop Luers (12-6) vs. Adams Central/Churubusco, 6 p.m.

Bluffton (14-5) vs. South Adams/Eastside, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, March 2

Championship, 7:30 p.m.

Class A

Hamilton

Tuesday, Feb. 27

Howe School (1-16) vs. Lakewood Park (13-5), 6 p.m.

Elkhart Christian (13-5) vs. Hamilton (5-14), 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Feb. 28

Canterbury (11-7) vs. Blackhawk Christian (6-14), 6 p.m.

Bethany Christian (3-15) vs. Lakeland Christian (6-14), 7:30 p.m.

Friday, March 1

Howe School/Lakewood Park vs. Elkhart Christian vs. Hamilton, 6 p.m.

Canterbury/Blackhawk Christian vs. Bethany Christian/Lakeland Christian, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, March 2

Championship, 7:30 p.m.

nssports@news-sentinel.com


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