The regular season closed on a positive note as I went 22-5 (81 percent) last week. Heading into the sectional round, my overall record is 242-62, which has me at 80 percent.
CLASS 4A MICHIGAN CITY
Culver Academy (5-5) vs. Michigan City (12-10): The winner takes on Riley (16-6) in Friday’s first semifinal contest. Deandre Francis netted 19 points in the defending champion Eagles’ 59-54 win over Indianapolis Home School. Warren Sails had eight points in the Wolves’ 51-39 loss to Calumet. Matt’s pick: Michigan City 58, Culver Academy 54.
CLASS 4A ELKHART
Penn (10-11) vs. Goshen (7-15): The Kingsmen downed Goshen, 56-47, on January 30. Next up for the winner is defending champion Northridge (18-4) on Friday. DelRontay Haywood tallied nine points in Penn’s 59-54 loss to Merrillville. Ryan Eldridge finished with two points in the RedHawks’ 50-29 loss to Glenn. Matt’s pick: Penn 51, Goshen 44.
Concord (10-10) vs. Elkhart (11-11): The Lions roared past Concord, 77-40, on January 19. The survivor meets Warsaw (15-7) in Friday’s second semifinal. Amarion Moore added nine points for the Minutemen in their 64-58 win over Westview. Luke Teich chipped in seven points in Elkhart’s 56-51 loss to NorthWood. Matt’s pick: Elkhart 60, Concord 57.
CLASS 3A NEW PRAIRIE
Knox (9-12) vs. Hanover Central (15-6): The defending champion Wildcats clawed past Knox, 61-39, in last year’s sectional semifinals. The winner battles Kankakee Valley (9-13) on Friday. Gunner Wagner managed 10 points in the Redskins’ 44-30 loss to Triton. Joey Glidewell recorded 20 points in Hanover Central’s 63-55 win over Hammond Gavit. Matt’s pick: Hanover Central 54, Knox 45.
Wheeler (1-13) vs. New Prairie (16-7): The Bearcats suffered a 69-30 loss to New Prairie on January 12. The winner takes on River Forest (7-12) in Friday’s second contest. Blaine Evensen’s 11 points were not enough in Wheeler’s 47-43 loss to Whiting. Braydon Flagg accounted for 17 points in the Cougars’ 64-51 loss to Adams. Matt’s pick: New Prairie 69, Wheeler 49.
CLASS 3A WASHINGTON
Washington (6-16) vs. Jimtown (4-18): The Panthers cruised to a 73-37 win over Jimtown on January 19. Glenn (19-4) meets the winner in Friday’s first semifinal. Jason Jones registered 18 points in Washington’s 64-36 win over LaPorte. Johntu Reed mustered just two points in the Jimmies’ 47-46 loss to Wawasee. Matt’s pick: Washington 66, Jimtown 52.
Clay (4-18) vs. Marian (18-3): The No. 3 Knights crowned Clay, 58-34, on January 14. The survivor takes on No. 6 Saint Joseph (17-4) on Friday. Kylan Perry was held to two points in the Colonials’ 68-58 overtime setback to New Prairie. Jackson Price’s two points lifted Marian to an 85-56 win over Marquette Catholic. Matt’s pick: Marian 77, Clay 53.
CLASS 3A WEST NOBLE
Tippecanoe Valley (7-15) vs. Wawasee (11-11): The Warriors edged Tippecanoe Valley, 58-51, on February 26. Defending champion NorthWood (13-8) takes on the survivor on Friday. Keaton Dukes poured in 27 points for Wawasse against Tippecanoe Valley. Dawson Perkins recorded 15 points for the Vikings against Wawasee. Matt’s pick: Wawasee 44, Tippecanoe Valley 41.
CLASS 2A WESTVIEW
Eastside (15-7) vs. Fairfield (2-17): The Blazers claimed a 53-34 win over Fairfield on January 8. The winner gets Bremen (9-13) in Friday’s first game. Gabe Trevino racked up 21 points in Eastside’s 65-44 win over Woodlan. Braedon Helms scored 15 points in the Falcons’ 35-32 win over Garrett. Matt’s pick: Eastside 53, Fairfield 38.
CLASS 4A MICHIGAN CITY
LaPorte (5-17) vs. Mishawaka (14-7): The Slicers posted a 72-55 win over Mishawaka during the 1996-97 campaign. Before going down with a knee injury, R.J. Anglin accounted for eight points for LaPorte against Washington. Trent Johnson poured in 32 points for the Cavemen in their 81-66 loss to Saint Joseph. Matt’s pick: Mishawaka 65, LaPorte 47.
Adams (21-1) vs. Plymouth (2-19): The No. 4 Eagles soared past Plymouth, 60-41, a season ago. Lynn King tallied 12 points for Adams against New Prairie. Owen Yoder managed six points in the Pilgrims’ 55-29 loss to Penn. Matt’s pick: Adams 69, Plymouth 45
CLASS 2A WESTVIEW
Prairie Heights (3-18) vs. Churubusco (18-4): The Eagles flew past Prairie Heights, 102-58, on January 2 and 108-60 on January 12. Chase Bachelor came up with 11 points in the Panthers’ 69-35 loss to West Noble. Jackson Paul chipped in 19 points in Churubusco’s 58-57 win over Eastside. Matt’s pick: Churubusco 74, Prairie Heights 49.
Central Noble (23-1) vs. Westview (16-6): The No. 3 Cougars earned a 43-38 win over Westview on January 15, while the Warriors downed Central Noble, 60-54, on December 12. Connor Essegian led the way with 24 points in Central Noble’s 69-33 win over Fairfield. Brady Yoder accounted for 10 points for the Warriors against Concord. Matt’s pick: Central Noble 76, Westview 68.