Posted On: 12/26/18 10:14 AM

Each week this year we are going to preview the upcoming games by listing our 3 teams, 3 games, and 3 players to keep an eye on. This will be a post that happens every Monday this season to tune you into the things you need to keep an eye out for. These are the things you should keep an eye on for the week of December 26th – December 29th.

3 Teams

Valparaiso lost two tough games last week and now come into the Hall of Fame Classic needing two wins to keep Brandon Newman in the Mr. Basketball race. Valpo plays Warren Central in the first round of the Hall of Fame Classic and then will play either Center Grove/Westview. Valparaiso needs to either split these two games or win both to keep themselves both in the poll and Newman in the Mr. Basketball race.

This is a big week for Westview as they play some of the best competition in the state. They open the Hall of Fame Classic with Center Grove, a team that they could beat if they play well. The likely loser of Valparaiso and Warren Central is up next as it would be an uphill climb to beat Center Grove. Westview needs two close losses to really prove themselves this week after a loss last week. 

This is the point when Greensburg is going to finally get tested this year. With a first round game against Franklin, and a probable matchup with Cathedral with a win. Greensburg is 7-0 and a big week at the Richmond tournament may solidify them at the top of 3A. It could also slide them down and out of the top half of the poll with a couple ball losses.

3 Games

Linton-Stockton vs. Casey-Westfield (Ill.)
This one is going to be one of the best games of the First Financial Bank Wabash Valley Classic and it comes in the first round. Linton is a very solid team this year as evidenced by their one loss. Casey-Westfield is one of the better western Illinois teams this year and they have been on the come up for the last few years. This could be one of the better games of this tournament. 

Brownstown Central vs. Fort Wayne Blackhawk
Fort Wayne Blackhawk was thought to be the team that comes into this tournament and really takes over but after a loss at Manual they are looking like they could be susceptible to a loss. Brownstown Central is a team off to a really good start to the year and could hand FW Blackhawk a loss in the first round. This is a game to keep an eye on for sure.

Howe vs. LaVille
Howe and LaVille meet in the Park Tudor tournament and it is a match up of two of the top 2A teams in the state. Howe is a team that could contend for the State Championship and LaVille is undefeated and is looking like they are going to make some noise themselves. This is a team where we will be able to see how they compete with the top of 2A after this tournament. 

3 Players

Caleb Furst
Furst is a player for FW Blackhawk that is going to be someone to watch this week as he returns from injury just in time for the Graber Post Buildings Classic. Furst is a high level player who is going to make an immediate impact for FW Blackhawk and will be a needed addition that comes just in time for the tournament. Furst is a guy who is going to be a player who is going to be a game changer for Blackhawk this week. 

Brandon Newman
Like I talked about earlier, this is almost a make or break week for Newman as he is needing to get off to a really good week. He plays some top level competition throughout the state this week and is going to need to shine if he wants Valparaiso to win two games. Newman is in the conversation for Mr. Basketball and it will either make or break his case this week.

Armaan Franklin
Franklin and Cathedral are in the Richmond tournament this week and they are probably the favorites to win the tournament. Cathedral does need a strong showing this week to be able to get back into the conversation at the top of 4A. Franklin needs a good week as well just so he can cement himself in the thick of the Mr. Basketball conversation. Should be a solid week for Franklin.