Andrean and Fort Wayne Concordia don’t meet very often in boys basketball.
In fact, since the start of class basketball, the two teams have only met once: in the 2000 semistate.
Both will add a second check to that historical calendar at approximately 2:30 p.m. Saturday at the Huntington Semistate.
Andrean won the last meeting, a 77-57 victory in a morning contest when the semistate was a two-game affair. The 59ers went onto the state final, only to fall to Brebeuf Jesuit 72-56 in the title game.
That was the last time either team had reached the semistate. The Concordia head coach in 2000, Tim Reinking, is now an assistant to Josh Eggold, and helped compile the 2013 edition of the Cadets.
“This team has been a continuation of what they’ve done since about the fifth grade. They’ve played together a long time,” Eggold said. “Tim Reinking took that crew from fifth grade on, working on their character, working on team building and creating the philosophy that we share at the varsity level.”
Eggold took over as the Cadets head coach in 2007, and this is his first team with at least a sectional title.
Anchored by seven seniors, Concordia also won a Summit Conference title this season.
Despite the experience at the top, a youngster leads the Cadets. With 17.2 points per game, 6-foot-6 junior DJ McCall tops Concordia offensively.
“Last year, he came off the bench for us and was our sixth man. He had flashes of brilliance as a sophomore,” Eggold said. “His biggest thing has been his physical maturity. He’s committed to getting stronger. His body was ready to put on the extra weight, and he’s grown that confidence of being stronger and going through the grind. He’s really blossomed into a special player.”
McCall has already received an offer from Chicago State, but has interest from other teams.
The Cadets pride themselves on their success in spreading the ball around. In addition to McCall’s high-scoring acumen, Concordia picks up 12.9 points per game from Thomas Starks and 10.8 points from Brian Gremaux. The Cadets also have three players -- Marq Rogers, Ryan Gross and McCall – that average three or more assists per game.
“I think that goes to how well we click as a team off the court,” McCall said. “We’ve all known each other and grew up since fifth or sixth grade. A lot of guys on our team can play different positions. They’re fun to play with and for me, personally, it’s fun to pass it to them. Then they are more likely to pass it back to me.”
Looking similar to Andrean, the Cadets match up well both inside and outside. Concordia’s only freshman, Reggie Tharp, is 5-11, while the roster also contains five players 6-5 or taller.
“We’re pretty similar,” Eggold said. “(Andrean is) 6-4 across the board. Our point guard is 6-2, but from there on out, we’re about the same size.”