Mishawaka, Indiana

I have seen a ton of great basketball teams through the years in Northern Indiana, and this years Penn Kingsmen squad led by senior Notre Dame commit Markus Burton is something special.

The Kingsmen are off to a (6-0) start this year with their biggest win coming against Penn State commit Logan Imes and Zionsville down in Southport, 58-51. Penn trailed in that game 21-1 until Markus Burton exploded for 38 points to lead the Kingsmen to victory. Burton is averaging 27.7 points per game and head coach Al Rhoades thinks he has a good shot at Mr. Basketball this year.

The story isn’t simply just about Markus Burton. The Kingsmen are big down low, and that is what it is going to take to compete with teams from the Indianapolis area. 6’8 Senior Josh Gatete and 6’8 Senior Dylan Derda are both good rebounders on both sides of the floor. Senior Joey Garwood (12.5 PPG) is an effective shooter who has really grown as a player. Garwood played his AAU ball for Five Star Basketball who has done a great job with Northern Indiana hoopers. Senior Joe Smith (11 PPG) has also been excellent, a kid who simply does not get enough recognition for what he brings to this Kingsmen squad.

Penn recently fell from #2 to #3 in this past weeks one class IBCA coaches poll. The December 18th poll has Ben Davis #1, Cathedral #2, Penn #3, Homestead #4, Brownsburg #5.

Looking ahead, Penn Vs Ben Davis @ Hall of Fame Classic

On December 30th, Penn will meet their toughest test of the entire season at the Hall of Fame Classic at New Castle against #1 Ben Davis. The Giants resume is pretty incredible when you take a look at who they have beaten so far this season. Ben Davis has beat Fishers, Zionsville, Southport, Pike, Kokomo, FCHS, Cathedral, Warren Central, Bronwsburg. There is no doubt that the Kingsmen are looking to be that one team who can take down the Giants.

The matchup between Ben Davis PG Sheridan Sharp and Penn’s Markus Burton is going to be awesome to watch. The Kingsmen will need to control Valparaiso commit Zane Doughty on the boards. That is easier said than done for someone who is averaging 16 and 10 against tough competition this season. (2024) K.J. Windham has a sweet stroke and is a great facilitator.

Quite simply you know where you need to be if you love Indiana high school basketball on December 30th. It is going to be a show.