Things went very well as I went 21-3 (88 percent) last week. Heading into the final week of January, my overall record is now 146-52, which bumps me up to 74 percent for the season.
Saint Joseph (10-3, 4-1 NIC) at Elkhart Central (5-6, 3-2 NIC): The No. 7 (Class 3A) Indians posted a 51-41 win against Elkhart Central last year. Cole Hatkevich had seven points for Saint Joseph in its 63-57 win over Penn. Isaiah Chandler’s 16 points was not enough for the Blazers in their 47-40 loss to Concord. Matt’s pick: Saint Joseph 69, Elkhart Central 54.
Bethany Christian (3-9) at Wawasee (8-5): The Warriors claimed a 41-35 win over Bethany Christian a season ago. Caleb Shenk poured in 21 points in the Bruins’ 76-42 win over Hamilton. Austin Miller managed 17 points in Wawasee’s 48-46 win at Plymouth. Matt’s pick: Wawasee 55, Bethany Christian 42.
Marian (8-3, 5-1 NIC) at Bremen (4-9, 0-5 NIC): The Lions suffered a 63-39 loss to No. 5 (Class 3A) Marian a year ago. Kaleo Kakalia mustered just two points in the Knights’ 59-54 overtime setback to Culver Academy. Reece Willis accounted for eight points in Bremen’s 54-41 loss to New Prairie. Matt’s pick: Marian 75, Bremen 49.
Northridge (9-5) at Clay (2-10): The Raiders cruised to a 74-37 win against Clay last season. Sam Smith chipped in 19 points in Northridge’s 72-67 win over Elkhart Memorial. Anthony Neal registered 15 points in the Colonials; 62-50 loss at Mishawaka. Matt’s pick: Northridge 61, Clay 54.
Washington (7-8, 2-3 NIC) at Glenn (12-3, 3-3 NIC): The Panthers needed overtime to come away with a 61-60 win against Glenn. Jayne Griffin scored eight points in Washington’s 77-56 win over Valparaiso. Brycen Hannah’s five points lifted the Falcons to a 48-30 win over New Prairie. Matt’s pick: Glenn 64, Washington 63.
Elkhart Central (5-7, 3-3 NIC) at Marian (9-3, 6-1 NIC): The No. 8 (Class 3A) Knights marched to a 41-34 win over Elkhart Central a season ago, Luke Teich accounted 13 points in the Blazers’ 70-55 loss to No. 6 (Class 3A) Saint Joseph. Marian came up with 24 points in the second quarter against Bremen. Matt’s pick: Marian 71, Elkhart Central 54.
Bremen (4-10, 0-6 NIC) at Jimtown (9-5, 3-4 NIC): The Jimmies came away with a 55-48 win over Bremen a year ago. Ty Feldman chipped in three points for the Lions against Marian. Clay Campbell came up with five points in Jimtown’s 58-50 loss to Riley. Matt’s pick: Jimtown 54, Bremen 41.
Concord (1-10, 0-4 NLC) at Wawasee (9-5, 1-3 NLC): The Minutemen downed Wawasee, 65-48, last season. Braedon Taylor managed two points in Concord’’s 56-36 loss to Warsaw. Collin Roberson contributed two points in the Warriors’ 41-23 win over Bethany Christian, Matt’s pick: Wawasee 46, Concord 39.
Goshen (7-6, 1-3 NLC) at Elkhart Memorial (8-7, 2-2 NLC): The Chargers claimed a 53-48 win against Goshen in their previous meeting. Jarah Byler’s 14 points were not enough for the RedHawks in their 75-56 loss to NorthWood. James Peters added two points for Elkhart Memorial against Northridge. Matt’s pick: Elkhart Memorial 65, Goshen 58.
Mishawaka (6-6, 2-4 NIC) at Penn (6-7, 4-2 NIC): The Cavemen are looking to make amends for a 75-51 loss to Penn last year. Donovan Snyder recorded nine points for Mishawaka against Clay. Evan Groves’ three points were not enough for Penn against Saint Joseph. Matt’s pick: Penn 70, Mishawaka 55.
New Prairie (8-6, 1-4 NIC) at Glenn (12-4, 3-4 NIC): The Falcons captured the TCU Bi-County tournament crown with a 48-30 victory over New Prairie on January 25. Derek Daniels racked up two points for the Cougars against Glenn. Silas Kaser had two points in Glenn’s 83-70 loss to Washington. Matt’s pick: Glenn 51, New Prairie 42.
Northridge (4-0 NLC) at Plymouth (6-9, 3-1 NLC): The Raiders slipped past Plymouth, 62-59, a season ago. Micah Hochstetler’ two points lifted Northridge to a 68-49 win over Clay. Brady Hissong scored six points for the Pilgrims against Wawasee. Matt’s pick: Northridge 61, Plymouth 53.
Riley (8-7, 4-2 NIC) at Clay (2-11, 1-7 NIC): The Colonials dropped an 89-60 decision to Riley in the 2018-19 campaign. Tieon Autry mustered 11 points for the Wildcats against Jimtown. Christian Love tallied four points for Clay against Northridge. Matt’s pick: Riley 80, Clay 60.
Saint Joseph (11-3, 5-1) at Washington (8-8, 3-3 NIC): The Panthers clawed past Saint Joseph., 64-57, a year ago. Will Terry finished with 16 points for the Indians against Elkhart Central. Marcus Northern’s eight points helped Washington against Glenn. Matt’s pick: Saint Joseph 75, Washington 70.
Warsaw (10-3, 3-1 NLC) at NorthWood (10-4, 2-2 NLC): The Tigers roared to a 61-47 win over NorthWood last season. Wyatt Amiss had five points for Warsaw against Concord. Ian Raasch totaled 10 points for the Panthers against Northridge. Matt’s pick: Warsaw 43, NorthWood 42.
Elkhart Central (5-8) at Warsaw (10-4): The Tigers eliminated Elkhart Central from the 2019 Class 4A Elkhart Sectional with a 43-41 win in the semifinal round. Rodney McGraw had four points in the Blazers’ 49-33 loss at Marian. Jalen Coon’s 10 points were not enough for Warsaw in its 56-44 loss to NorthWood. Matt’s pick: Warsaw 53, Elkhart Central 45.
Goshen (7-7) at Penn (7-7): The Kingsmen cruised to an 80-57 win over Goshen last season. Zack Barker recorded 15 points in the RedHawks’ 56-49 loss to Elkhart Memorial. Joe Smith added 13 points in Penn’s 55-48 win over Mishawaka. Matt’s pick: Penn 68, Goshen 54.
Lakeland (6-8) at Wawasee (10-5): The Lakers suffered a 56-37 loss to Wawasee a year ago. Brayden Bontrager went over the 1,000-point mark with his 20-point performance in Lakeland’s 54-34 win over Garrett. Austin Miller chipped in 12 points for the Warriors against Bethany Christian. Matt’s pick: Wawasee 58, Lakeland 41.
Lakeshore (10-1) at Adams (13-2): This marks the first meeting on the hardwood between the Michigan-based Lancers and No. 10 (Class 4A) Adams. Ben Brower came up with 11 points in Lakeshore’s 41-35 loss to Portage Central. Sydney Jeffries came up with 17 points for the Eagles in their 68-56 loss to No. 7 (Class 4A) Chesterton. Matt’s pick: Adams 77, Lakeshore 75.
LaPorte (7-8) at Concord (1-11): The Slicers edged Concord, 60-54, a season ago. Grant Ott-Large finished with 18 points in LaPorte’s 68-65 loss to Crown Point. Zaven Koltookian recorded 19 points for the Minutemen against Warsaw. Matt’s pick: LaPorte 69, Concord 48.
Marian (10-3) at Hamilton Southeastern (10-5): The Knights and Hamilton Southeastern are playing hoops for the first time. Michael Baughman netted three points for Marian against Elkhart Central. Kole Hornbuckle tallied 19 points in the Royals’ 53-39 win over Noblesville. Matt’s pick: Marian 73, Hamilton Southeastern 69.
Mishawaka (6-7) at Plymouth (6-10): The Cavemen are looking to make amends for a 65-60 setback to Plymouth in their previous meeting. Nick Hoopingarner mustered only two points for Mishawaka against Penn. Joe Styers had only two points in the Pilgrims’ 73-33 loss to Northridge. Matt’s pick: Mishawaka 42, Plymouth 32.
South Central (6-8) at New Prairie (8-7): The Cougars held on for a 39-35 win over South Central last year. Zach Christy scored 13 points in the Satellites’ 73-43 win over LaCrosse. Braydon Flagg’s 22 points couldn’t help New Prairie in its 58-53 loss at Glenn. Matt’s pick: New Prairie 50, South Central 45.
Washington (9-8) at Crown Point (8-7): The Bulldogs rolled to a 74-53 win over Washington last season. Jylen Petty’s 22 points paved the way in the Panthers’ 67-60 win over Saint Joseph. Ty Smith’s 20 points helped Crown Point over LaPorte. Matt’s pick: Washington 67, Crown Point 66.