I will look to equal or better last year’s record of 323-80, which was good for 80 percent. Once again during the regular season, I will focus on Northern Indiana Conference and Northern Lakes Conference contests. Records are 2020-21 final unless indicated.
Marquette Catholic (16-10) at Adams (23-2): Kaden Manna averaged 14.1 points per game last season for the Blazers. Jeremiah Love tallied just seven points last year for the Eagles. Matt’s pick: Adams 58, Marquette Catholic 54.
Riley (19-7) at LaPorte (5-18): The Wildcats cruised to a 69-48 win over LaPorte a year ago. Isaiah Robinson came up with 5.8 points a contest for Riley. R.J. Anglin is one of the returners for the Slicers. Highland’s Jordan Heckard takes over for Kyle Benge as the LaPorte floor general. Matt’s pick: Riley 59. LaPorte 51.
Wawasee (12-12) at Fairfield (2-18): The Warriors needed overtime to earn a 56-55 win over Fairfield a season ago. Keaton Dukes is one of the players Wawasee will be counting on during the 2021-21 campaign. Braedon Helms registered 11.3 points a contest for the Falcons. Matt’s pick: Wawasee 49, Fairfield 40;
Argos (18-6) at Bremen (9-14): The Lions went to overtime to claw past Argos, 53-45, last season. J.J. Morris had a 13.1 scoring average for the Dragons. Carson Miller paced Bremen with a 17.2 points per game average. Jason Breden replaces Gordon Mosson as the Argos leader. Matt’s pick: Bremen 43, Argos 39.
Clay (4-19) at Smith Academy (2-15): Amari Williams is one of the players the Colonials will be counting on in the 2021-22 season. The Fort Wayne-based Fighting 54th are looking to halt a 13-game losing streak. Matt’s pick: Clay 55, Smith Academy 52.
Concord (10-11) at Prairie Heights (3-19): The Minutemen rolled to a 59-35 win against Prairie Heights last year. Jack D’Arcy is one of the returning players for Concord this season. Chase Bachelor recorded 11.9 points a game for Prairie Heights. Matt’s pick: Concord 61, Prairie Heights 46.
Lakeland (9-14) at NorthWood (16-9): The Panthers earned a 61-47 win over Lakeland a season ago. Ben Keil came up with 10.3 points a game for the Lakers. Jamarr Jackson is one of the players back in the fold for NorthWood. Matt’s pick: NorthWood 57, Lakeland 51.
Plymouth (2-20) at Glenn (20-5): The Pilgrims are looking to avenge a 53-41 loss to Glenn a year ago. Easton Strain managed to score 13.4 points a game for Plymouth. Joel Grindle steps in for Ryan Bales as the Pilgrims’ leader. Brycen Hannah accounted for 16 points a contest for the Falcons. Matt’s pick: Glenn 64, Plymouth 53.
Angola (12-13) at Wawasee (0-1): The Hornets dropped a 61-45 win over Angola last season. Tyler Call will be asked to contribute this year for Angola. Caden Welty managed eight points in the Warriors’ 44-42 loss to Fairfield. Matt’s pick: Angola 43, Wawasee 38.
Carroll (Fort Wayne) (18-7) at Penn (12-12): The Chargers marched to a 76-63 win over Penn a year ago. Charlie Rudolph tallied 3.0 points a game for Carroll (Fort Wayne). Markus Burton tallied 16 points per contest last season for the Kingsmen. Ryan Abbott replaces Marty Beasley as the Chargers’ top man. Matt’s pick: Penn 63, Carroll (Fort Wayne) 54..
Fairfield (1-0) at Goshen (7-16): The RedHawks claimed a 56-51 win against Fairfield a season ago. Caleb Wright paved the way for the Falcons with 11 points against Wawasee. Drew Hogan netted 363 points for Goshen last year. Derek Hinen took over for Randy DeShone at Fairfield. Matt’s pick: Goshen 59, Fairfield 54.
Fort Wayne Concordia (0-1) at NorthWood (1-0): The Panthers roared to a 53-50 win over Fort Wayne Concordia last year. Ajani Washington poured in 40 points in the Cadets’ 71-67 loss to Leo. Ethan Wolfe finished with 15 points in NorthWood’s 78-31 win over Lakeland. Matt’s pick: Fort Wayne Concordia 65, NorthWood 62.
Lake Central (16-8) at Washington (7-17): The Indians posted a 55-47 win over Washington in their previous meeting. Ethan Knopf managed 6.6 points a game a year ago for Lake Central. Marcus Northern came up with 15.4 point a game for the Panthers. Matt’s pick: Washington 61, Lake Central 58.
Warsaw (15-8) at Columbia City (1-0): The Tigers clawed past Columbia City, 50-45, during the 2020-21 campaign. Jaxson Gould recorded 16.6 points a game for Warsaw. Mason Baker poured in 18 points in the Eagles’ 69-46 win over Whitko. Matt’s pick: Warsaw 53. Columbia City 50.