FORT LORAMIE — Fort Loramie has beaten every opponent by 10 points or more and is looking to keep the trend up heading into 2018.
To keep up the hot start in January, the Redskins will have to get four wins in the next nine days, including two this weekend.
Fort Loramie will host Houston in a Shelby County Athletic League game on Friday and travel to St. Henry for a nonconference game on Saturday. The Redskins (5-0, 2-0 SCAL) will end the year on the road at Jackson Center on Dec. 29 and at Tipp City Bethel on Dec. 30.
St. Henry is 4-0 entering a Midwest Athletic Conference game at Marion Local on Friday. Houston (1-5, 0-4) has lost every SCAL game by at least seven points, including a 48-41 loss to Fairlawn last Tuesday.
Fort Loramie coach Corey Britton said the team isn’t going to overlook the Wildcats on Friday.
“We prepare the same way for every team,” Britton said. “We look at the scouting report and we’ll make sure we know the base offense and defense that Houston wants to run. We’ll do our best to get ready to go, then Saturday morning we’ll spend an hour getting ready for St. Henry.”
St. Henry returns most of its players off last season’s 16-9 squad, including senior guard Tyler Schlarman, who was first team all-MAC last year. The Redskins have posted double digit wins over their first four opponents, which include Russia and Lima Shawnee.
“Obviously they’ve got to be very good if they beat a very, very good Russia team,” Britton said. “Obviously when you win one like that one, it’s going to get the attention of not only our team, but everybody in the area.”
Fort Loramie beat Franklin-Monroe 49-39 last Tuesday and then posted a 46-point win over Fairlawn on Friday and a 36-point win over New Bremen on Saturday. The Cardinals had played Versailles to a five-point loss on Friday.
“I think it was a great weekend for us,” Britton said. “Tuesday night, I don’t know how well we played, but that was a game where we got challenged. We built some 14- or 16-point leads a couple of times and just sort let the lead slip and didn’t focus. We didn’t take care of the basketball.
“I thought on Friday and Saturday night we cleaned up those areas. I thought on Friday we had nine turnovers and Saturday we had seven. Any time we have single-digit turnovers, it gives us a chance to do well offensively.”
Aside from Loramie’s win over Franklin-Monroe, every other victory has come by 30 points. The Redskins have allowed an average of 28 points per game through their first five games and have allowed over 30 points twice.
“I thought our kids have just defended really well so far this year,” Britton said. “When we defend and take care of the basketball, that’s when we’re at our best. …Any time you can string stops together gives you confidence at the other end of the floor.”
The Redskins have been just as successful on offense. Senior guard Dillon Braun has averaged 19.4 points per game and has shot well from the perimeter. Seniors Tyler Siegel and Evan Berning have consistently scored in double figures, and junior Nick Raterman had the best game of his career against New Bremen with 22 points.
“Dillon is off to fantastic start,” Britton said. “He’s shooting the ball at a really high clip right now. I think he’s shooting 54 percent from the three-point line and 50 percent from two. Tyler’s right around 13 points a game, and to be honest he’s getting a lot of scraps and offensive rebounds for baskets. We haven’t done a very good job of getting him the basketball.
“That’s been a point of emphasis the last two weeks, getting Tyler touches. We’ve been relying on the jump shot, and when we rely on the jump shot, we’re shaky on some nights. …It’s a work on progress, but I think we have some weapons on any given night to have a third scorer that can go in and get double digits. And when you have that, it makes life a lot easier.”
Fort Loramie beat St. Henry 51-48 in a nonconference game last year after battling back from a big deficit. Britton said he expects a tough challenge on Saturday.
“They had an 18-point lead on us at some point in the first half, and we scrambled and scrambled, scratched and clawed and found a way to win that game,” Britton said of last year’s matchup. “Our kids know the capabilities St. Henry has. They shoot the 3, and if they shoot the 3 well, we’re going to be in for a long night.”
Contact Bryant Billing at (937) 538-4818, or follow @SidneyOHSports on Twitter.