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Vikings hoops battle Eagles in NE8 contests

BY JACOB RUDE - sports@h-ponline.com

Still in search of its first conference win, the Huntington North boys’ basketball team will travel to Columbia City tonight.

The Vikings (11-3) have dropped both of their first two Northeast 8 Conference (NE8) battles to Leo and East Noble, respectively. Huntington North is the two-time defending champions of the conference.

Columbia City (6-7) enters with a 1-1 record in conference play, having fallen to East Noble 66-33, while downing Bellmont. The Eagles went 1-3 at the Holiday Hoops Classic, winning against Bellmont before falling to Lake Central, Merrillville and Leo in the finale, 62-54.

The Eagles have bounced back with back-to-back wins over Garrett and the Braves.

On the season, Columbia City is averaging 45.0 points per game while allowing 48.9 points. Four of the last five opponents have scored over 50 points on the season.

Huntington North, meanwhile, is scoring 53 points per game while giving up 44.1 points per contest. After starting the season 9-1, the Vikings are just 2-2 over its last four games.

The Vikings have a Sagarin rating of 80.38 on the year, 37th-best in Class 4A. The Eagles’ rating of 61.96 slots them 96th in Class 4A.

Huntington North holds a 15-14 advantage in the series over the last 30 years and won last season’s contest 63-51.

Tip-off for the contest is set 7:45 p.m. 

Girls’ basketball

Unlike the boys’ team, the girls’ Huntington North team has found much success in NE8 play this season, sitting at 3-1 on the season and in third place in the conference.

The Eagles, likewise, started slowly at 2-9 before winning five of their last nine contests. That span, though, has included just one conference win as they are just 1-3 in NE8 play this season. The lone win came at home against East Noble 50-42, a team Huntington North downed 47-38 on the road.

The two teams have played nine common foes with Huntington North going 4-5 in those games and the Eagles holding only a 2-7 mark. On top of the win over East Noble, Columbia City also beat Whitko.

Huntington North holds a 9-6 advantage in the series, but it was the Eagles who were victorious last season by a final of 58-42.

The Vikings, prior to Thursday’s contest against Fort Wayne Canterbury, had a Sagarin rating of 71.27, 61st-best in Class 4A. Columbia City’s rating of 62.54 is 52nd-best in Class 3A.

Tip-off for the contest is set for 7:30 p.m.