What did I tell you, picking basketball games is a lot more difficult than picking football games. I am looking at you Blitz.
That and a reality that my preseason top 10 maybe are not as warmed up overall as I thought made my week basically a wash. New at prognostication, maybe I need to make some adjustments. So I consulted the handbook for how to project winners, talked to a couple of non hairy forest creatures and I am ready to bounce back — pun intended — as girls high school basketball gets into week three.
Here are Bounce’s top ten games of this coming week.
Last week: 5-5
South Side at Bishop Luers, Monday
The Knights’ inability to put up points has hindered them in games expected to be closer against NECC opponents. While Bounce had them ahead of South Side in the preseason top 10, I certainly worry about their ability to score on the interior against the Archers. They are miss Kathryn Knapke right now and a transition hasn’t been as seamless as I, for one, expected.
Bounce picks South Side
Columbia City at Snider, Tuesday
Despite starting 1-2, Bounce hasn’t lost faith in the Eagles just yet. I was a fan of what I saw on Friday night opposite the worst team on their schedule so far, but Snider is better than that. Not only that, the Panthers represent an upgrade in pace and Columbia City won’t be able to throw the traps and pressure at them they did at Whitko. Stopping Da’leshia Davis may not be an option, but holding back those around her could be.
Bounce picks Columbia City
Bishop Dwenger at Bellmont, Tuesday
Every year, this game plays out with some of the biggest stat lines for a single game. Grace Hunter thrives against the Saints and last year, Ellen Ross was a monster for Bishop Dwenger. Only one of them is back. Enter 6-foot sophomore Maggie Cheever, who opened eyes Saturday in a win over Snider to start the SAC slate. The Saint are relying heavily on a sophomore class and they’ve passed both tests so far at 2-0. But, they are still sophomores and Bellmont is seasoned.
Bounce picks Bellmont
Westview at Lakewood Park, Tuesday
Bounce isn’t sure that Lakewood Park has much hope in the way of stopping Ashya Klopfenstein. Outside of her, as arguably the second best post in the NECC, Westview hasn’t played the most inspiring basketball as they figure things out early. But do they need to? Isn’t the point of having a player like Klopfenstein to give the team time to gel? Lakewood is building too, but building around a sophomore in Chloe Jolloff.
Bounce picks Westview
Bellmont at Jay County, Friday
The second of a three game week for Bellmont is more of a true test for Jay County. The Patriots sandwich this game between facing two of Class 2A’s top teams in Oak Hill (Tuesday) and Winchester (Saturday). That is a troublesome week for a team just a single untested game into the season. They will have to be on point shooting the ball, which they were to the tune of 54 percent in their opener. Hunter and Bellmont should be more than ready in a big week of their own.
Bounce picks Bellmont
Concordia Lutheran at Homestead, Friday
After sitting out Saturday’s win over Wayne, Homestead’s Ayanna Patterson gets a good test on the interior against Chastity Craig and Nautica Rogers. That is what Bounce is most looking forward to in one of the SAC’s most intriguing games all season. If Homestead continues to play with depth, Concordia will need to have a few good sets of lungs to keep up but Carissa Garcia will be a great equalizer all year long. This could be a fun game, but only one of these teams looks like a state title contender at this point.
Bounce picks Homestead
Marion at Columbia City, Friday
This is absolutely a test for Alaina Rongos on the inside, considering that she really is not an inside player. She had to go into the post in the win over Whitko, but Marion’s Rashaya Kyle, at 6-foot-6, is a completely different challenge. The Eagles are finding themselves, but this is one battle they probably aren’t up for at this point in the season.
Bounce picks Marion
Woodlan at Leo, Friday
Leo’s 0-3 start wasn’t on my radar. Their blowout loss to Heritage didn’t do them any favor to set the tempo that led to two more losses. Meanwhile, Addie Bayman has set a strong defensive tone to consider Woodlan more of a contender than pretender what will be a fun ACAC race. Bayman is averaging four steals per game to go with her 17.3 points. I’m not sure Leo has anyone to keep the ball away from her or stop her when she gets it.
Bounce picks Woodlan
Norwell at NorthWood, Saturday
Both teams will play their second game of the week when Saturday rolls around. Norwell’s 3-0 start has been dominating, winning by an average of over 21 points per game including a nice win over Angola last weekend. NorthWood is eight players deep and they can all score, with their two best scorers, Maddy Payne and Kate Rulli, shooting over 50 percent from the field. Home court could be a difference maker. For Norwell to win this one, they need to turn up the aggression and Aubrey Dunnuck needs a quality outing.
Bounce picks NorthWood
South Bend Washington at South Side, Saturday
South Bend Washington freshman Mila Reynolds may be the toughest player that South Side has seen this season so far and that is saying something. At 16.7 points, 8.7 rebounds and 3.7 assists, she represents a deep challenge. Bounce is all about seeing her face off against fellow freshman Olivia Smith of South Side. This could be a very gritty game and that grit usually favors the more experienced team. Last Saturday, experience of Northridge was overwhelming to South.
Bounce picks South Side
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