My stretch of bad luck continued last week as I went 4-4 (50 percent) in the semistate round. Going into Saturday’s state finals, my overall record is 284-90, which leaves me at 76 percent for the year.
Southwood (25-3) vs. Morristown (27-2): Southwood and Morristown are both playing in the state title game for the first time. Peyton Trexler netted 16 points for the No. 3 Knights in their 55-53 upset of top-ranked Fort Wayne Blackhawk. Eli Streeval tallied 15 points for the No. 4 Yellow Jackets in a 77-70 win over No. 5 Barr-Reeve. Matt’s pick: Southwood 65, Morristown 62.
Oak Hill (25-5) vs. Forest Park (25-4): The No. 6 Golden Eagles are competing for their first state championship, while No. 11 Forest Park won state titles in 2005 and 2006. David Arens poured in 14 points for Oak Hill in its 70-64 victory against No. 2 Westview. Isaac Uebelhor chipped in seven points in the Rangers’ 58-47 triumph over Indianapolis Scecina. Matt’s pick: Oak Hill 69, Forest Park 61.
Culver Academy (22-6) vs. Evansville Bosse (25-4): The No. 4 Eagles finished as state runner-up in 2011, while No. 3 Evansville Bosse came in second place in 2016. The Bulldogs posted a 74-64 win against Culver Academy on December 16. Ethan Brittain-Watts contributed 28 points in the Eagles’ 75-70 win over No. 1 New Castle. Javen Layne finished with six points in the Bulldogs’ 64-61 decision over No. 7 Danville. Matt’s pick: Evansville Bosse 72, Culver Academy 66.
Carmel (21-7) vs. Warren Central (31-0): The No. 10 Greyhounds claimed state championships in 2012 and 2013, while top-ranked Warren Central is competing in the finals for the first time. The Warriors slipped past Carmel. 66-65, on February 16. Andrew Owens scored 16 points in the Greyhounds’ 63-43 victory over No. 2 Riley. Joe Rush racked up 11 points for the Warriors in their 64-62 win against No. 3 New Albany. Matt’s pick: Warren Central 59, Carmel 56.