Northwood's boys’ basketball team will host Lake on Tuesday night, and the only
thing on the line will be bragging rights - and maybe a little revenge.
The Rangers, a member of the Toledo Area Athletic Conference, and Lake, a member of the Suburban Lakes League, are located just a few miles apart.
"A lot of these kids know each other and will run into each other," first-year Northwood coach Matt Donegan said. "It's nice to have that bragging right over them. Not being in the same league may have lessened (the rivalry) a little bit, but I think we still look at it as a pretty big rivalry."
Lake beat Northwood 42-40 last year in the season opener at Lake. The teams went on to win a combined nine games in 2008-09.
On Dec. 15, the Rangers and Flyers each won their first games of the season. Northwood beat host Emmanuel Christian 53-44 to improve to 1-2 and 1-1 in the TAAC, while Lake downed visiting Oak Harbor 54-43 to improve to 1-2 overall.
Senior guard/forward Ryan Canaday had 16 points and junior point guard John Romstadt had 12 for the Rangers in their win.
"It was the first night where we executed," Donegan said. "Against North Baltimore we didn't have our point guard and they pressed and they got us up-tempo. Against Ottawa Hills, we struggled and they're a good team.
"(Tuesday) night in the first half, it was kind of the same thing. We struggled from the field and struggled to get good looks and we turned the ball over too much. The second half, we took better care of the ball and were being a little more patient and stepped up the defensive intensity."
Canaday, a second-team All-TAAC pick last season, scored 10 points in a loss to Ottawa Hills and had 17 in a loss to North Baltimore.
"North Baltimore frustrated him a little bit and I think he pressed a little bit and tried to go outside of himself," Donegan said. "When he plays within his ability and he's patient and guys start scoring around him, he's a real nice player. We just have to make sure he's relaxed. He's a scorer and he wants to score every time down the floor, but he has to be patient and not force anything."
The Rangers have back-to-back games Friday and Saturday against Danbury and Swanton, so Donegan said he doesn't yet know much about Lake.
"I know they're big," he said.
The Flyers, under second-year coach Jim Scharer, took a 19-1 lead in the first quarter in the win over Oak Harbor en route to their first win.
"We basically did everything well," Scharer said. "We shut them down and we got every defensive rebound. We shot 65 percent in the first quarter and played very well. We came out with great energy."
Alex Cordell, a 6-7 senior, scored 14 points and junior guard Kurt McKee had 13 for Lake. Cordell, an honorable mention All-SLL selection as a junior, missed the Flyers' first two games of the season.
"Getting Alex back and him getting 14 points makes a big difference in there," Scharer said. "McKee was 3-for-3 from 3-point range, and we didn't even think he was going to play because he hurt his back lifting weights."
Lake opened the season by shooting just 31 percent (21-of-68) from the field in a loss at Bettsville. The Flyers then watched Elmwood shoot 10-of-18 from beyond the 3-point line in a home loss to the Royals.
"I like this team because they like each other, Scharer said. "They don't care who shoots the ball and they work together, and the chemistry of the team is very good. We're making some progress with execution, and at this point we're playing very hard. That's the main thing I'm after, getting them to play as hard as they can."
Scharer added that his squad will be in for a tough game when it faces Northwood.
"Whenever you're three miles away from another school, there's always going to be a rivaly," he said. "I watched Donegan coach my son (Eric) as a jayvee player at Northwood and he's an extreme competitor and he will have his kids playing hard. Whenever you go on the road, especially when you play at Northwood, you know they're going to play hard."