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  • Val T.

Rochester boys to play Wawasee, girls to play Kouts in holiday tourneys


Sports Editor, RTC

Boys basketball

The Rochester boys basketball team will play Wawasee in the first round of the Wawasee Holiday Invitational at 10 a.m. Dec. 29.

This marks the third year that Rochester will be playing in the Wawasee tournament but the first time they will be playing the host school.

Rochester is 3-2 with a game at Tippecanoe Valley this Friday before the holiday tournament. Wawasee is 4-3 under first-year coach Lou Lefevre with a game against Central Noble on Wednesday before a nine-day break before meeting the Zebras.

Wawasee had a 56-51 win over Warsaw at The Tiger Den last week, which was their first win over Warsaw in six years.

Fort Wayne Wayne and Fort Wayne Dwenger will meet in the other first-round game at 11:30 a.m. The consolation game is set for 6 p.m., and the championship game will follow at 7:30 p.m.

Fort Wayne Wayne is a reigning Class 4A regional champion who lost to Kokomo in last year’s semistate semifinals. They are 5-2 this year after going 21-5 last year.

Fort Wayne Dwenger coach Matt Kostoff has won 295 games in 25 seasons at the school. That includes five sectional and three regional titles.

Girls basketball

The Rochester girls basketball team will play Kouts in the first round of the Small School Classic at North White at 12:30 p.m. Dec. 29.

Clinton Prairie and North White will meet in the other first-round game at 10:30 a.m. The consolation game is set for 4:30 p.m., and the championship game will follow at 6:30 p.m.

Rochester is 7-6 with a road game against Class 1A, No. 12 Clinton Central coming up Wednesday before the tournament.

The Fillies are 4-10 under first-year coach Tim Schwartz. They are coming off a 45-43 loss to LaPorte Tuesday. Kouts had four consecutive winning seasons prior to this year. That included sectional titles in 2021 and 2022.

Clinton Prairie is 2-11 this season, which would appear to put a stretch of 11 consecutive winning seasons in jeopardy. Perhaps more impressive is that the Lady Gophers have compiled the streak with five different coaches.

Clinton Prairie defeated Rochester 49-40 in a 2021 regional semifinal at Frankton in their most recent meeting.

North White is 0-13 and in the midst of a 14-game losing streak dating back to last year. They have not won a game since their 42-39 overtime win over Caston in last year’s sectional semifinals. 

However, North White has won a regional title as recently as 2022, and coach Bryan Heimlich has guided the Lady Vikings to five sectional titles and eight winning seasons since being hired in 2014.

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