The new year certainly began on a high note as I went 15-2 (88 percent) last week. My overall record is now 109-38, which bumps me up to 74 percent for the year.


Bremen (3-6) at Elkhart Christian (5-3): The Eagles needed overtime to claim a 56-53 win over Bremen last season. Justin Zumbrun tallied 16 points in the Lions’ 60-24 win over Bethany Christian. Weston Sage netted 20 points in Elkhart Christian’s 74-40 win against Lakeland Christian. Matt’s pick: Elkhart Christian 47, Bremen 41.

Buchanan (3-3) at New Prairie (4-5): The Cougars cruised to a 74-36 win over Buchanan during the 2001-02 campaign. Chris Young poured in 13 points in the Bucks’ 55-51 win over Lakeshore. Michael Klemczak managed just six points in New Prairie’s 70-41 loss to Washington. Matt’s pick: New Prairie 54, Buchanan 49.

Concord (4-5) at Riley (11-0): The Minutemen suffered a 73-51 loss to top-ranked (Class 4A) Riley a year ago. Ethan Cain tossed in three points for Concord in its 57-48 win over Goshen. Marlon Taylor finished with nine points in the Wildcats’ 90-38 win over Elkhart Central. Matt’s pick: Riley 76, Concord 53.

Elkhart Memorial (5-4) at Washington (8-2): The Chargers marched past Washington, 57-52, a season ago. Hank Smith was limited to five points in Memorial’s 57-39 loss to Adams. Jylen Petty chipped in eight points for the Panthers against New Prairie. Matt’s pick: Washington 65, Elkhart Memorial 54.

Marian (6-1, 3-1 NIC) at Saint Joseph (7-3, 3-1 NIC): The Indians downed Marian, 42-40, in last year’s sectional. Jerry Bracey scored eight points in the Knights’ 67-37 win over Concord. J.R. Konieczny recorded nine points in Saint Joe’s 53-31 win over Jimtown. Matt’s pick: Marian 61, Saint Joseph 58.

Northridge (4-4) at East Noble (10-1): The Raiders posted a 57-48 victory against East Noble last year. Nick Yoder racked up three points in Northridge’s 58-49 loss to Warsaw. Hayden Jones chipped in 10 points in the Knights’ 44-38 win over Huntington North. Matt’s pick: East Noble 59, Northridge 50.


Glenn (8-2, 5-0 NIC) at Penn (6-2, 3-1 NIC): The Kingsmen rallied for a 58-53 overtime win over Glenn last season. Robby Porter scored seven points in the Falcons’ 67-30 win over Jimtown. Drew Lutz came up with 18 points in Penn’s 76-61 loss to Valparaiso. Matt’s pick: Penn 67, Glenn 60

Mishawaka (6-5, 2-2 NIC) at Jimtown (2-7, 0-4 NIC): The Jimmies dropped a 46-32 decision to Mishawaka last year. Dylan Hall tallied 10 points in the Cavemen’s 63-45 win over Niles. Caaden Beck was held to two points in Jimtown’s contest with Saint Joseph. Matt’s pick: Mishawaka 58, Jimtown 49.

Saint Joseph (7-4, 3-2 NIC) at Clay (1-8, 0-5 NIC): The Colonials were a 74-68 winner over Saint Joe a season ago. J.R. Konieczny netted 17 points in the Indians’ 59-44 loss to Marian. Omari Beecham finished with 15 points in Clay’s 53-52 win over Edwardsburg. Matt’s pick: Saint Joseph 62, Clay 50.

Washington (9-2, 4-0 NIC) at Adams (6-7, 1-3 NIC): The Eagles edged Washington, 75-72, in overtime a year ago. Demarcus Vaughn poured in 21 points in the Panthers’ 65-59 win over Elkhart Memorial. Shakell Johnson racked up 11 points for Adams against Elkhart Memorial. Matt’s pick: Washington 73, Adams 66.


Bremen (3-7, 0-5 NIC) at Elkhart Central (2-7, 1-4 NIC): The Blazers cruised to a 61-46 win over Bremen a year ago. Ryan Caldwell netted 16 points in the Lions’ 63-42 loss to Elkhart Christian. Ryan Charles tallied only six points for Elkhart Central against Riley. Matt’s pick: Elkhart Central 51, Bremen 38.

Concord (4-6, 1- NLC) at Plymouth (6-6, 0-2 NLC): The Minutemen march past Plymouth, 62-47, last season. Grant Lucchese scored six points in Concord’s 64-40 loss at Riley. Benji Nixon chipped in four points in the Pilgrims’ 62-35 win over Tippecanoe Valley. Matt’s pick: Concord 53, Plymouth 50.

Elkhart Memorial (5-5, 2-0 NLC) at Wawasee (2-8, 1-1 NLC): The Warriors dropped a 48-44 decision to Elkhart Memorial last year. Iyan Jennings came up with 13 points for the Chargers against Washington. Trevon Coleman had 13 points in Wawasee’s 33-27 loss to Angola. Matt’s pick: Elkhart Memorial 49, Wawasee 42.

Goshen (3-6, 0-2 NLC) at Warsaw (5-7, 1-1 NLC): The Tigers downed Goshen, 49-32, in last sectional final. Eric Newell netted six points for the RedHawks against Concord. Deondre Adkins chipped in eight points for Warsaw against Northridge. Matt’s pick: Warsaw 42, Goshen 35.

Northridge (4-5, 1-1 NLC) at NorthWood (8-2, 2-0 NLC): The Panthers rolled to a 74-51 victory over Northridge in their last meeting. Camden Knepp finished with nine points in the Raiders’ 55-49 loss to East Noble. Kaden Gongwer contributed 10 points for NorthWood in a 55-34 victory at Wawasee. Matt’s pick: NorthWood 56, Northridge 47.

Riley (12-0, 4-0 NIC) at Marian (7-1, 4-1 NIC): The Wildcats roared past Marian, 80-69, last season. Jalen Jennings recorded eight points for Riley against Concord. Michael Hemmingway paced the Knights against Saint Joseph with 19 points. Matt’s pick: Riley 77, Marian 70.


Carroll (Fort Wayne) (7-2) at Penn (7-2): The Chargers rallied for an 81-63 win over Penn a season ago. Daniel McKeeman scored 13 points in Carroll’s 52-28 win over DeKalb. Kegan Hoskins tallied nine points and 11 rebounds in the Kingsmen’s 64-40 win over Glenn. Matt’s pick: Carroll 67, Penn 64.

Culver Academy (4-4) at Saint Joseph (8-4): The No. 6 (Class 3A) Eagles captured the sectional title last year with a 60-35 win over Saint Joseph. Trey Galloway netted 17 points in Culver Academy’s 74-36 win over Twin Lakes. Alex Mossey came up with nine points in the Indians’ 62-54 win over Clay. Matt’s pick: Culver Academy 65, Saint Joseph 58.

Fort Wayne Snider (2-7) at Warsaw (5-7): The Panthers suffered a 46-39 loss to Warsaw a year ago. Dillon Duff came up with 21 points in Fort Wayne Snider’s 73-63 win over Fort Wayne Northrop. Brian Elliott chipped in nine points in the Tigers’ 48-36 loss to No. 4 (Class 4A) Zionsville. Matt’s pick: Warsaw 52, Fort Wayne Snider 44.

Fort Wayne Wayne (5-4) at Washington (10-2): The Generals are looking to make amends for a 70-69 double overtime loss to Washington in their last meeting. Craig Young tallied 15 points in Wayne’s 48-44 win over Norwell. Jylen Petty paced the Panthers with 16 points in a 60-52 win at Adams.  Matt’s pick: Washington 74, Fort Wayne Wayne 60.

Glenn (8-3) at Knox (8-3): The Falcons flew past Knox, 43-30, last year. Evan Dreibelibeis finished with five points for Glenn against Penn. Austin Risner contributed 10 points in the Redskins’ 49-46 win over Winamac. Matt’s pick: Glenn 53, Knox 51.

Hobart (7-5) at Elkhart Memorial (5-5): The Chargers marched past Hobart, 62-53, a season ago. Sidney Ford recorded eight points in the Brickies’ 62-34 loss to Chesterton. Jai-Veon Qaiym racked up seven points in Memorial’s 53-47 win over Plymouth. Matt’s pick: Elkhart Memorial 61, Hobart 59.

Plymouth (6-6) at LaPorte (4-6): The Slicers posted a 68-61 win at Plymouth last season. Clay Hilliard paved the way for the Pilgrims with 18 points against Elkhart Memorial. Carlos Jenkins mustered only seven points in LaPorte’s 52-39 loss to Lake Central. Matt’s pick: Plymouth 51, LaPorte 50.