Last week’s results were the best way to rebound from a subpar start in picking winners in local high school boys basketball games.
A 13-4 mark (76.5 percent) was a welcome sight following the record of 5-4 for the opening week’s predictions. That bring the year-to-date mark up to a more respectable 18-8 (69.2).
Missed calls last week were Elkhart Memorial over Elkhart Central, Clinton Christian over Jimtown, Fairfield over Lakeland and Prairie Heights over Bethany Christian.
Westview at NorthWood — Westview was a 61-53 winner a year ago, but NorthWood maintains a 10-5 lead over the last 15 meetings with the Warriors. This will be Westview’s first real road test of the young season. NorthWood has already faced a tough test at home in last Friday’s 66-62 win over perennial 1A powerhouse Triton and that could give the Panthers an edge. NorthWood.
Howe School at Bethany — Howe School was a 57-53 winner over the Bruins in last season’s sectional. Bethany has a 16-2 edge in the series over the past 15 seasons. The Bruins have played three good teams so far (8-2 combined) record and it’s a game like this where that strength of schedule could be a factor. Bethany.
Bremen at West Noble — The WN Chargers won 62-56 last season and hold a 2-0 advantage in the series over the last 15 seasons. West Noble returns a key number of players from last year, which should give them the edge. West Noble.
Angola at Northridge — The Northridge Raiders hold a 13-3 advantage in the series with the Angola Hornets over the past 15 seasons, following last year’s 65-42 victory. This one matches a pair of first-year coaches as Ronnie Thomas has taken over the Northridge program and Ed Bentley is the new leader of the Angola program. The Raiders appear to have played a stronger schedule up to this point of the young season. Northridge juniors Nate Ritchie and Sam Ahonen are averaging in double figures and senior Joey Ganyard isn’t far behind. Northridge.
Penn at Concord — This one matches a pair of local coaching legends as Steve Austin of Concord is in his 28th season and has 386 career wins while Al Rhodes of Penn is in his 32nd season and has 500 wins. Concord was a 59-50 winner a year ago, but the Penn Kingsmen have a 12-8 record over the past 15 seasons. Both teams had balanced scoring in their openers with four Minutemen scoring in double figures in a 93-40 win over John Glenn. Three Kingsmen were in double figures in Penn’s 69-54 win over Fort Wayne North. Concord.
Culver Military at Memorial — The Memorial Crimson Chargers were an easy 83-40 winner last season in the first meeting between the two schools over the past 15 seasons. Memorial lost a lot to graduation, but the talented Markese MaGuire is still around. He tossed in 35 points in a 60-60 win over Elkhart Christian and 16 in a 49-47 win over Elkhart Central. Memorial.
Elkhart Christian at New Prairie — These two schools have not met over the past 15 seasons. The ECA Eagles are off to a good start so far this season with four players — seniors Kenny Bearss and Tyler VanArsdale plus juniors Ryan Kupferschmid and Tanner Watson — all averaging in double figures. ECA.
SB Riley at Central — The Riley Wildcats hold a slim 11-10 edge in the series with the Blue Blazers over the last 15 seasons after Central’s 84-78 win a year ago. Both teams have played Northridge. Central was a 60-54 winner while Riley dropped a 64-63 thriller. This should be a close one and playing at home might give Central an edge. Central.
Goshen at DeKalb — This will be Goshen’s first long road trip of the season. The Redskins were 44-33 winners last season, but the DeKalb Barons hold an 8-7 advantage over the past 15 seasons. Goshen will be facing a former Redskin player in Jon Everingham, who is in his fifth season coaching the Barons. Goshen showed some determination in last Saturday’s 48-45 overtime win against Central after a couple of lopsided wins. Goshen.
NorthWood at Fairfield — The NorthWood Panthers were 48-28 winners last season and hold a 13-2 lead in the series over the past 15 years. NorthWood’s talented twosome of juniors Jonathan Wilkinson and Zach Zurcher could be a problem for the Falcons. NorthWood.
Central Noble at Westview — These two played in the sectional last season with the Westview Warriors winning 56-47. The Warriors have won 19 of the last 23 contest with Central Noble. That combined with Westview’s home-court advantage is probably too much for the Cougars to overcome. Westview.
Bethany at Lakeland — The Lakeland Lakers have won 12 of the last 15 meetings with the Bruins, including last season’s 57-40 victory. This could be a close one and playing at home might push the Lakers over the top. Lakeland.
Churubusco at West Noble — The Eagles are 0-3 and haven’t been in a close game yet. Don’t look for this one with the talented Chargers to be an exception to that situation. West Noble.
Whitko at Wawasee — Whitko is off to a slow start with its lone winning coming against Central Noble. Wawasee is averaging a little better than 10 made 3-pointers per game and if the Warriors continue that this one should go in the win column. Wawasee.
Argos at Jimtown — Argos has won six of the last 11 meeting with the Jimmies, including a 50-28 decision last season. Both teams could use a win. Argos has played a little tougher schedule so far and that could be the difference. Argos.
NorthWood at Jimtown — The NW Panthers have a 12-3 edge in this series over the past 15 meetings and look for that trend on to continue. NorthWood won 45-28 last season and returns more from that game than the Jimmies do. NorthWood.
SB St. Joseph at Memorial — The Crimson Chargers have won nine of the last 12 meetings with the St. Joseph Indians, including a 69-36 decision a year ago. Memorial.
Lakeland at Lakewood Park — Lakewood was a 67-45 winner last season and the Panthers have won two of the last three meetings with Lakeland. Lakewood Park.
Triton at Bethany — Triton was a 39-33 winner last season and the Trojans return the talented Clay Yeo. Triton has won 12 of the last 15 games with the Bruins. Triton.