Some progress was made as I went 7-0 in the early week contests. Heading into the final weekend of January, my overall record is 152-47, which keeps me at 76 percent for the season.
Clay (5-7, 3-4 NIC) at Riley (13-0, 6-0 NIC): The Wildcats posted a 75-60 win over Clay last season. Kevin Bowens came up with 14 points in the Colonials’ 57-52 loss at Northridge. Nate Marino tossed in 11 points for Riley in a 76-43 triumph at Jimtown. Matt’s pick: Riley 75, Clay 60.
Elkhart Memorial (7-8, 3-1 NLC) at Goshen (8-6, 1-3 NLC): The Chargers claimed a 51-45 win over Goshen during last year’s regular season, while the RedHawks were a 62-43 winner during the post-season. Ga’Various Crawford managed just four points in Elkhart Memorial’s 64-59 loss to Northridge. Will Line netted 19 points in Goshen’s 46-28 win over Elkhart Christian. Matt’s pick: Goshen 49, Elkhart Memorial 48.
Glenn (6-9, 3-4) at New Prairie (7-7, 2-3 NIC): The Cougars claimed a 61-48 victory over Glenn on January 17. Collin Baker came up with nine points in the Falcons’ 51-36 setback at Washington. Kody Webb’s 13 points lifted New Prairie to its first TCU Bi-County Tournament title since 1973 with a 47-32 win over Bremen. Matt’s pick: New Prairie 51, Glenn 45.
Jimtown (0-12, 0-7 NIC) at Bremen (5-10, 0-6): The Jimmies cruised to a 60-36 win against Bremen a year ago. Nic Fann tallied six points in Jimtown’s 60-37 loss at Adams. Matt Box contributed 11 points in the Lions’ 68-31 loss at Marian. Matt’s pick: Bremen 44, Jimtown 41.
Marian (7-8, 5-2 NIC) at Elkhart Central (10-2, 4-2 NIC): The Knights crowned Elkhart Central, 73-58, a season ago. Jaden Ivey chipped in eight points for Marian against Bremen. Michael Boone contributed six points in the Blazers’ 74-55 win over Concord. Matt’s pick: Elkhart Central 62, Marian 56.
NorthWood (14-0, 4-0 NLC) at Warsaw (11-5, 4-0 NLC): The Tigers earned a 51-35 win over NorthWood last year. Luke Zurcher had 14 points in the Panthers’ 60-49 win at Lakeland. Nolan Groninger came up with just four points in Warsaw’s 50-46 overtime loss at Crown Point. Matt’s pick: Warsaw 54, NorthWood 53.
Penn (7-6, 4-2 NIC) at Mishawaka (5-8, 3-3 NIC): The Kingsmen marched to a 55-35 win over Mishawaka in their last meeting. Drew Lutz came off the bench to score 14 points in Penn’s 65-48 win over Saint Joseph. John Binion scored a game-high 18 points for the Cavemen in a 45-42 win at Clay. Matt’s pick: Penn 61, Mishawaka 51.
Plymouth (9-6, 1-3 NLC) at Northridge (6-7, 2-2 NLC): The Pilgrims earned a 59-48 win over Northridge during the 2015-16 campaign. Kadin McCrammer finished with eight points in Plymouth’s 38-29 win at Wawasee. Luke Morrison paced the Raiders against Clay with 29 points. Matt’s pick: Northridge 46, Plymouth 44.
Washington (8-7, 4-2 NIC) at Saint Joseph (3-10, 2-5 NIC): The Panthers roared to a 75-63 win against Saint Joseph last season. Brandon Watts tossed in four points for Washington against Glenn. Gunnar Sadoway has 11 points in the Indians’ 45-35 loss at Culver Academy. Matt’s pick: Washington 64, Saint Joseph 55.
Wawasee (5-8, 0-4 NLC) at Concord (5-8, 1-3 NLC): The Minutemen rolled to a 60-37 victory against Wawasee a season ago. Jacob Hand’s six points in a 37-23 win over Bethany Christian helped the Warriors snap a seven-game losing streak. Nathan Hermon’s 10 points were not enough for Concord in a 65-48 loss at Warsaw. Matt’s pick: Concord 50, Wawasee 42.
Concord (6-8) at LaPorte (12-4): The Slicers slipped past Concord, 52-48, a year ago. Nate Hermon tallied 10 points for the Minutemen against Warsaw. Ben Dermody netted 14 points in LaPorte’s 58-53 win over Michigan City. Matt’s pick: LaPorte 63, Concord 57.
Lake Central (9-8) at Clay (5-8): The Indians charged past Clay, 66-44, last season. Keon Sellers managed just six points in Lake Central’s 50-28 loss to Valparaiso. Arnold Johnson had just five points for the Colonials against Northridge. Matt’s pick: Lake Central 69, Clay 61.
Penn (8-6) at Goshen (8-7): The RedHawks came up on the short end of a 64-34 decision to Penn in the 2014-15 season. Brian Doslak drained five 3-pointers for the Kingsmen against Saint Joseph. C.J. Detweiler chipped in six points for Goshen against Elkhart Christian. Matt’s pick: Penn 55, Goshen 53.
Plymouth (9-7) at Mishawaka (5-9): The Cavemen are looking to make amends for a 67-44 loss to Plymouth last year. Benji Nixon contributed two points for the Pilgrims against Wawasee. Kenny Meniefield finished with six points for Mishawaka against Clay. Matt’s pick: Plymouth 57, Mishawaka 54.
South Central (8-7) at New Prairie (8-7): The Satellites suffered a 54-41 loss to New Prairie a season ago. R.J. Snyder has 12 points for South Central in its 53-40 loss to Westville. Tynan Williams came up with five points for the Cougars against Bremen. Matt’s pick: New Prairie 52, South Central 47.
Warsaw (12-5) at Elkhart Central (11-2): The Blazers dropped a pair of contests to Warsaw last year by scores of 49-35 and 38-35 in overtime. Asher Blum chipped in 10 points for the Tigers against Crown Point. Michael Boone contributed six points for Elkhart Central against Concord. Matt’s pick: Elkhart Central 60, Warsaw 59.
Wawasee (5-9) at Lakeland (4-11): The Lakers dropped a 63-49 contest to Wawasee in their last meeting. Tyler Smith finished with six points in the Warriors win over Bethany Christian. Britain Isaacs managed 11 points for Lakeland against NorthWood. Matt’s pick: Wawasee 43, Lakeland 40.