GOSHEN — Santa answered my Christmas letter and gave me another good week of high school boys basketball predictions.
The final tally for last week was 13-3 (81.3 percent). Missed calls were Elkhart Memorial over Concord, Goshen over Fairfield and South Bend Trinity over Lakeland Christian.
That gives me a 36-17 year-to-date mark (67.9).
Elkhart Memorial vs. Mishawaka Marian — The Marian Knights were 92-52 winners over Memorial a year ago. Memorial has won nine of the last 14 meetings in the series. Memorial may have the edge in strength of schedule as their opponents have a combined record of 17-12 compared to Marian’s 14-10. Memorial.
Concord vs. Mishawaka — The Concord Minutemen won a 44-42 thriller last season and have a 19-5 lead in the series in recent years. Concord has a 1-2 scoring punch of senior Ramon Johnson and junior Filip Serwatka that has been tough to shutdown. Concord.
Penn vs. Goshen — Penn has won 14 of the last 20 meetings with the Goshen Redskins, including a 78-34 decision last year. Penn’s offense is averaging 69.8 points per game compared to 44.9 for Goshen. Penn’s defense is giving up 52.8 while the Redskins allow 45.0. Penn.
SB St. Joseph at Northridge — The St. Joseph Indians were 53-50 winners over the Northridge Raiders last season. The two teams have played six times in recent year with each team winning three games. This could be a close one as the Indians are averaging 61.0 points on offense and the Raiders 58.2. Northridge will be playing on its home floor and led by senior Nate Ritchie should be able to get the job done. Northridge.
Mishawaka Marian vs. Concord — The Minutemen were 68-63 winners a year ago and Concord has won all six of the recent meetings with the Marian Knights. Both teams lost NCAA Division I players from a year ago as Franko House of Concord is now playing at Ball State while Demitrius Jackson and Austin Torres of Marian have moved on to Notre Dame. Concord might have a slight edge in returning talent in Johnson and Serwatka. Concord.
Mishawaka vs. Elkhart Memorial — Mishawaka has won 14 of the last 25 meetings with Memorial, including last season’s 55-49 victory. This should be a close one and it could come down to Memorial playing on its home floor. Memorial.
Goshen vs. SB St. Joseph — Goshen has a 5-4 lead in recent meetings with the Indians after dropping a 54-53 thriller last year. Goshen has a few more games under their belt since the Indians have pushed back the start of their season due to the success of the football team in recent years. That might be enough to give the Redskins the upper hand. Goshen.
Northridge at Penn — The Penn Kingsmen captured a 66-47 victory a year ago and have won 14 of the last 21 meetings in the series with the Raiders. This is probably the biggest challenge the Raiders have faced so far as Penn is loaded with players that can hit from 3-point range. The Raiders need to defend the perimeter while hitting from outside themselves and getting some points on the inside as well. Northridge.
Lakeland at Westview — This series has been close over the last 20 years with Westview holding a slim 14-12 advantage after last season’s 56-42 victory. Westview is scoring at the rate of 56.6 points per game and Lakeland’s defense allows 61.0. Senior Jordyn Bontrager has been doing a great job so far both running the Warrior offense and scoring points. Westview.
Jimtown at Central Noble — Central Noble was a 48-42 winner in overtime last season. Jimtown has a 12-9 lead in recent meetings with the Cougars. Give the Jimmies the upper hand based on strength of schedule (19-8) compared to Central Noble (15-15). Jimtown.