BounceInset_2No jockeying for position this week. While teams played some great games, locally there will be no movement in Bounce’s top 10 this week.

Why? Well nobody earned movement around here. The only big loss came in Concordia’s loss to Norwell. But, in the grand scheme, does that make anyone below Concordia better than them? Bounce says no. But don’t worry, this will be a crazy week with a lot of upset and power poll movement potential.

1. HOMESTEAD (5-0, 2-0 SAC)

Why #1?

A busy week for the Spartans will help test their legs as they will play three games this week after just five in their first 23 days of the season. But what we’ve seen so far has been phenomenal. No team is able to key in on any scorer with this group and that has been well covered if you read my Sunday columns.

The month of December is when we really find out what Homestead has to offer outside of the Fort Wayne area. But here, they are untouchable.

And, in case you missed it, in the spirit of something the great John Harrell does, Bounce decided last week on Twitter that I was starting my own completely invisible “traveling trophy.” That too is in the hands of Homestead until someone locally can beat them. May the odds be forever in your favor.

Why not higher?

Why do I ask myself this every week?

2. CENTRAL NOBLE (8-0, 3-0 NECC)

Why #2?

This team is winning by an average of 32.4 points per game, bested only locally by Homestead and Adams Central. Bounce has talked about other people stepping up all season, but right now, let us talk Sydney Freeman. Freeman has been nothing short of overwhelming. She can’t be stopped. She can’t be beat. And her performance last weekend to beat then unbeaten Class 2A Triton Central should keep this team 100 percent the state title favorite.

Why not higher?

Because Homestead exists. And because Homestead hasn’t lost.

3. NORWELL (6-0, 0-0 NE8)

Why #3?

Beating Concordia last Tuesday night justified my decision to move this team up over South Side last Tuesday afternoon. Norwell is on an unbelievable run and did exactly what you need to do to stop Garcia and Concordia. Out-toughing an emotionally charged Snider team Saturday was just another tip in their cap.

Why not higher?

With wins over NorthWood and Concordia, we can not say they haven’t beaten high tier teams. But does Norwell have what it takes to beat a great? They visit Homestead on December 11.

4. SOUTH SIDE (4-1, 2-0 SAC)

Why #4?

Since last week’s poll, the Archers have no played, in the midst of a 13 day layoff. So while we don’t know much more, they stay just as strong as we knew they were a week ago. Knowing how Juanita Goodwell runs her team, Bounce can only guess that they have been getting even better in practice during this break.

Why not higher?

Since beating Cathedral in the season opener, the Archers do not have another marquee win since. That is because of a schedule that always leans heavy in December and January. Teams above them just have bigger wins . . . so far.

5. CONCORDIA (5-2, 1-1 SAC)

Why #5?

They have gone 1-1 over the last week, but their win over Valparaiso was a decent enough bounce back from an 0-2 stretch with losses to unbeatens Homestead and Norwell. Concordia is still the leader of the middle of the SAC and dangerous to pull upsets of top tier teams almost any night.

Why not higher?

The heavy loss to Norwell exposed the depth issues that have been a question for Concordia since the preseason.

6. BELLMONT (6-1, 0-0 NE8)

Why #6?

Winners of their last five, Bellmont could basically erase those first two games because they are playing at a higher level quickly. They have seven games left in 2018 and they would be considered favorites in six of them.

Why not higher?

Bellmont only beat a middling Mississinewa last week, so it is hard to give them an edge over Concordia after their loss.

7. ANGOLA (4-3, 2-0 NECC)

Why #7?

The defending NECC champs have a target on Central Noble. They aren’t playing as well as they were last season before they beat the Cougars, but their defensive efforts against Eastside and Garrett were more than applaudable.

Why not higher?

Their setbacks against Northern Lakes opponents in last weekend’s classic pitting the NLC against the NECC hurt the argument that their defense can stop high powered offenses, giving up 59 points per game in the two game stretch, over 11 points more than their defensive average,

8. BISHOP DWENGER (5-1, 2-0 SAC)

Why #8?

While their opponents may have not been of the highest caliber, Bishop Dwenger is winning those games easily, outscoring opponents at an average of nearly 20 points per game and losing by only eight to Bellmont is a good sign. Eight different Saints are playing more than 10 minutes per game and six players are averaging between 5-10 points per game, led by sophomore Maggie Cheever’s 9.3 points.

Why not higher?

The first month of the Saints’ season is traditionally their easiest stretch. Their wins come over teams with a combined record of 7-27.

9. WEST NOBLE (4-0, 1-0 NECC)

Why #9?

The Chargers have answered every challenge that has come their way so far and they’ve done so with a senior laden group that all are well prepared for the challenges they have faced. Lillian Mast (60 percent) and Megan Godfrey (58 percent) have been shooting the ball at an outstanding rate.

Why not higher?

No movement for West Noble because the win over Class 1A opponent Fremont, even though a conference game, doesn’t tell us much.

10. CARROLL (5-1, 1-0 SAC)

Why #10?

The book on Carroll hasn’t changed since last week with only a victory over East Noble in the meantime. Carroll plays smart, fundamental basketball and their new core has picked up the slack quickly.

Why not higher?

Their biggest test, 10 days ago against Hamilton Southeastern, was a critical failure. The upper end of the SAC and several other high caliber Class 4A opponents are coming. Can they be better?

JUST OUTSIDE THE TOP 10

Westview (6-1), Columbia City (3-4), Bluffton (4-2), Heritage (6-2)

These opinions represent those of Bounce and Outside the Huddle. No opinions expressed on Outside the Huddle represent those of any of our advertisers. Follow Bounce on Twitter at Bounce_OTH

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