Now that we have gotten the open of boys Summit Athletic Conference out of the way, lets talk upsets. Two just last Friday night on the boys side, if you ask me. This could be the year for that in the SAC, just as it was for football.
Teams are making some of their last preparations this week or next before all of the shootouts, tournaments and so forth that make up the holiday season. Before you know it, we will be deep into the likes of the Marion Classic, Hall of Fame Classic or North Daviess Tournament or the SAC, ACAC or NECC Tournaments.
What a time to be a frog who covers high school hoops!
Both of Bounce’s invisible traveling trophies stayed put last week and will be back on the line this week. Homestead will defend first against Norwell on Tuesday and Snider defends against North Side on Friday.
Outside of these top 10 girls and boys games of the week, Outside the Huddle’s Game of the Weekend will be Friday’s SAC showdown between two undefeated teams as Northrop visits South Side. Make sure to check back Friday morning for a full breakdown of that one.
Last Week: 8-3
Canterbury (2-2) at Concordia (2-1), Tuesday
Concordia pulled one of those upsets last Friday night when they beat Carroll for the first time since 2012. Adam Gottschalk is playing very good basketball right now and the Cadets defense was able to hold Carroll, traditionally a strong offense, to their lowest total since 2016’s loss to Warsaw.
This game is a matter of who imposes their will. Concordia wants to keep things low scoring, giving up just 39.7 points per game while Canterbury is averaging 67.3 points. Canterbury threatens will more shooters than Concordia has faced any game and the Cadets will have their hands full chasing Noah Drapala and company off the three point line.
Bounce picks Canterbury
Carroll (2-3) at Wayne (1-2), Friday
Carroll’s Jekyll and hyde look continued last week with a loss to Concordia, but then they appeared to have righted the ship with a win Saturday over Columbia City. This shouldn’t be a situation where the Chargers’ opponent will try to slow things down. Carroll coach Marty Beasley will be looking for his 200th win at the school in this one. Wayne has to be happy coming out of last weekend’s 1-1 effort as they showed a lot of strengths in their loss to Snider. Carroll, like most teams, is going to have their hands full with Darius Alexander on the interior.
Bounce picks Carroll
New Haven (1-3) at Bellmont (4-1), Friday
Both these teams will play earlier in the week and New Haven’s schedule does not get any easier with three straight losses at this point. It took a fantastic effort from Heritage last Saturday to end Bellmont’s perfect season. This is a great NE8 Friday night game where statistics say Bellmont all day, but you can never count out the Bulldogs.
Bounce picks Bellmont
Bishop Dwenger (2-0) at Marion (1-3), Saturday
These Saturday games after Friday night conference games become a bit of a forgotten thing. Neither team will be doing much preparation for this one for that reason and different reasons all at the same time. Marion has lost three straight and is coming off a conference opening loss and will play at conference opponent Kokomo on Friday. Dwenger is coming off an upset of Homestead to have them at 1-0 in the SAC and will play Concordia Friday after playing at DeKalb on Tuesday.
Jalen Blackmon is often on another level for the Giants and freshman RaSheed Jones has played very well. Can they keep up with the physical, frantic pace that we’ve seen from Bishop Dwenger so far? Homestead beat Marion, Bishop Dwenger beat Homestead.
Bounce picks Bishop Dwenger
Merrillville (3-1) at Snider (2-0), Saturday
Keep in mind that the Pirates’ three wins have come against teams that are a combined 2-10. I say that to warn against thinking they are like the Merrillville teams of recent seasons. While young, this Pirates team can score. They had three 20-point scorers in their win over Andrean, led by 22 of the lone veteran Rishard Balkcom. A lot of points are going to be scored in this game and the Panthers are going to need to find a groove early in this weirdly timed 5:30 p.m. game. Who schedules a game at that time?
Bounce picks Snider
Norwell (9-0) at Homestead (9-0), Tuesday
One of two battle of undefeated teams this week on the girls side, Bounce hasn’t been excited about many games more than this one lately. I defy anyone, who actually uses reason, to tell me any program that has been — from top to bottom — better than these two programs over the past decade. Eric Thornton versus Rod Parker. This could be an excellent chess match. Both teams have depth, both teams have scorers, both teams have fantastic coaches. It should be loud inside Homestead High School.
Bounce picks Homestead
Heritage (10-2) at Jay County (4-6), Thursday
Heritage has their most wins under fourth year coach Melissa Connor and its only mid-December. But is that all for naught if you can’t beat the other Patriots? 51-11 is the combined record of teams that beat Jay County, so their record really is false. Shelby Caldwell is consistent 20 point a night scorer and this will be a good battle between her and Heritage’s Bree Dossen. The future of the ACAC regular season depends heavily on this one.
Bounce picks Jay County
Concordia (9-2) at Bishop Dwenger (6-4), Friday
Carissa Garcia is likely to become the school’s all time leading scorer in this game and that is worth the price of admission alone. Her skills are undeniable and she is a good measuring stick for what someone like Dwenger’s Emma Lyons could end up being. The present versus the future? Bounce is sticking with the proven.
Bounce picks Concordia
West Noble (7-0) at Central Noble (11-0), Friday
Coming into this week, the area has four unbeatens. After this county battle Friday, there will only be two at best. This game is a good measuring stick for the Cougars and how much better and more mature they may be from last year’s Class 2A state title team. A year ago, this would be a game they may not be equipped for (see last season’s Angola game). This year, few would consider for West Noble to have a chance. That presents its own issue: the “letdown” game. West Noble is good. They aren’t Central Noble good. Does that matter?
Bounce picks Central Noble
Bluffton (5-4) at Adams Central (6-3), Saturday
This game may matter more is Heritage loses on Thursday. If so, then Bluffton may be the only team left in ACAC title contention with Jay County. The Flying Jets are a hard bunch to read. Their Woodlan win was big, their Southern Wells loss was confusing. If they win this one, they probably still can’t win the regular season, but it puts either team with momentum heading to January’s ACAC Tournament.
Bounce picks Bluffton
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