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High Schools

vs. Andrean
What: Class 3A semistate
When: 3 p.m. Saturday
Where: Huntington North
Records: Concordia (22-4), Andrean (22-3)
Rankings: Concordia No. 7; Andrean No. 3

Concordia has big test at semistate

– Concordia coach Josh Eggold said the team’s Class 3A semistate opponent, Andrean, is a more physical version of Columbia City. That’s what’s awaiting the Cadets (22-4) when they play the 59ers (22-3) in the semistate Saturday with a state finals appearance on the line.

“They have a lot of elements of Columbia City,” Eggold said of the 59ers’ discipline and ball-sharing skills. “They run their stuff really well. They probably attack the rim a little better than Columbia City but don’t shoot it maybe quite as well.

“They are good and have been ranked in the top five all year. They are really talented.”

The Eagles (20-4) handed the Cadets one of their four losses, 54-49, in the regular-season finale Feb. 22.

Eggold said it starts with size inside for Andrean, with Skyler Moss (6-4, 250), Collin Wojcik (6-4, 210), Nick Davidson (6-4, 210) and Daniel Keilman (6-5, 185). As a team, the 59ers are averaging 31 rebounds per game.

“They are physically well put together,” Eggold said. “They have kids who have spent some time in the weight room and have committed to that.

“We have to rely on some things that have gotten us this far in terms of our length and defending. You can be disruptive with strength like they are physically, but you can also be disruptive with length, and that’s one thing that our kids have really grown into and learned to play with.”

Davidson, a Valparaiso recruit, is averaging 18.4 points and 4.9 rebounds per game, while Moss is at 13.2 points and 7.0 rebounds.

“They get after it hard,” Concordia senior center Brian Gremaux said of Andrean. “They use their size to rebound, and we have to really get them off the boards.”

Concordia has some height as well with Gremaux (6-7, 230), D.J. McCall (6-6, 173), Marq Rogers (6-6, 181) and Thomas Starks (6-6, 200). So the Cadets are ready for the 59ers’ challenge.

“We play in a hard conference (SAC), and we play against good, strong competition like Andrean,” Gremaux said. “That really helps us. We need to be sharp, and every possession needs to be a quality possession. We can’t let a turnover bother us; we have to always be thinking ‘next play, next play.’ ”

Since that loss to Columbia City, the Cadets have beaten Bishop Dwenger, Leo, Woodlan, Hamilton Heights and 2012 3A state runner-up Norwell in the postseason to reach their first semistate in 13 years.

“The road is always hard, and you want it that way,” Starks said.

“In order to be the best, you have to beat them. Andrean is a tough team, probably one of the toughest teams we will see in this postseason. They have to strap up their shoes just like we do and go out and play a ball game. We are going to go out and play them hard and be ready for it.”