The first round of the Marion County tournament is in the books after eight games were played on Tuesday. There are four quarterfinal games tonight. Here’s a look at the matchups, players to watch and my “revised” predictions (yes, I was wrong on Lawrence North-North Central):
• Lawrence North (10-1) at Warren Central (6-6), 7 p.m.: Lawrence North lost all of a 14-point lead against North Central but recovered nicely and won, 61-57. The Wildcats are better than I thought going into the season. Senior guard Pat Bacon (16 points) has been getting a lot of attention and rightly so, but what really impressed me Tuesday was how the interior players took control. Wes Bender, a 6-7 junior (12 points, four rebounds), 6-6 freshman Kevin Easley (nine points, five rebounds) and 6-6 sophomore Ra Kpedi (seven points, five rebounds) were all effective. Junior Jaylen McKay (nine points, seven rebounds) was also active on both ends and freshman guard Antwaan Cushingberry continues to be a steady hand. Warren Central slipped past Perry Meridian 55-50 in its first round game as junior guard Bishop Smith scored 20 points. Perry Meridian senior Dylan Windler had 32. The pick: Lawrence North defeated Warren Central 68-60 just five days ago. I like Lawrence North to win again.
• Ben Davis (8-3) at Brebeuf Jesuit (7-6), 7 p.m.: Ben Davis rolled over Lutheran 69-33 in the first round and gets another shot at Brebeuf, a team it lost to 56-54 on Jan. 3. The Giants are 3-0 since that game, including a win over North Central. Even without 6-6 senior Brennan Gillis, Ben Davis should have an advantage inside with 6-6 senior Tylor Shane and 6-3 sophomore LeShaun Minor. Senior guard DeShon Tate is also having a strong senior season. Brebeuf Jesuit rolled over Speedway, 67-49 on Tuesday as 6-4 senior Aaron Banks scored 28 points and 6-2 senior Andrew Terrell added 16. The Braves have won six of their last eight. The pick: I think Ben Davis gets it done in a close game.
• Park Tudor (10-0) at Southport (11-0), 7 p.m.: The game of the night pits two of the state’s No. 1 teams (Park Tudor, 2A and Southport, 4A). Park Tudor knocked off Beech Grove 60-48 on Tuesday as 6-8 senior Evan Frank scored 17 points. Southport defeated Decatur Central 72-58 in its first round game as Joey Brunk finished with 21 points. With its size – Frank, 6-8 Jaren Jackson Jr., 6-4 Dwayne Gibson and 6-6 Brandon Tiassum off the bench – Park Tudor is one of the few teams that might be capable of keeping Brunk, 6-3 sophomore guard Paul Scruggs and Co. off the offensive glass. Another good matchup is at the guard spot between Park Tudor senior Bryce Moore and Southport senior Malik Bennett. The pick: Park Tudor is the two-time defending champ but I’m sticking with Southport, which would play the next three games at home if it can continue to advance.
• Pike (7-2) at Lawrence Central (4-9), 7 p.m.: Pike struggled to get past Franklin Central, 60-52, as Ball State commit Tahjai Teague scored 14 points on Tuesday. Lawrence Central defeated Roncalli 64-52 as Virginia recruit Kyle Guy scored 27 points for the Bears. Pike won at Lawrence Central, 68-65, on Dec. 19. The pick: I’m sticking with Pike but am wavering a bit. The Bears may have gotten through a ridiculously tough early season schedule better off for it.