BounceInset_2The girls side of SAC double header Friday did not yield upsets, but earlier in the week, Bellmont showed how much they have improved since their lone loss to Concordia earlier this season.

Homestead hold on to this frog’s traveling trophy but will defend it tonight. In what game you may ask? They face likewise unbeaten Norwell. It will be one of two meetings in the are this week that insure our teams without a loss total from from 4 to, at the best, 2.

1. HOMESTEAD (9-0, 4-0 SAC)

Why #1?

The Spartans have played just one game in the last week, but didn’t miss a beat still without Rylie Parker. Homestead continues to show their variety with freshman Ayanna Patterson most recently leading the way. They have a gauntlet ahead, but there is no reason to imagine they won’t handle it well. Homestead is currently ranked number one in both the coaches and media polls, so everyone else clearly sees what Bounce sees.

Why not higher?

Really, we still ask this question?

Record versus OTH Top 10: 2-0

2. CENTRAL NOBLE (11-0, 5-0 NECC)

Why #2?

No team has been able to run the Cougars’ Sydney Freeman off the three point line. So you would have thought that Westview could have tried to match them inside at some point last week. No luck. They put their unbeaten record on the line against West Noble’s unbeaten record Friday. They are currently ranked 14th, regardless of class, in the coaches poll

Why not higher?

Central Noble needs to get some Fort Wayne teams on their schedule.

Record versus OTH Top 10: 1-0

3. NORWELL (9-0, 2-0 NE8)

Why #3?

When you consider that Norwell is off to this strong start with a team most would consider pretty young, the whole thing is awfully impressive. They are the most similar to Homestead in the fact that they run a lot of scoring options with a guard heavy look. Their defense continues to step up when it needs to in games, as it did with last week’s win over Northeast 8 contender Columbia City.

Why not higher?

They’d have to beat one of the more proven teams ahead of them. Up tonight: they visit Homestead.

Record versus OTH Top 10: 1-0

4. BELLMONT (9-1, 2-0 NE8)

Why #4?

Bellmont’s win over South Side last week is arguably their biggest win in this four year program revival they are in the midst of. Even as they got stronger this season, I struggled to have them leapfrog a Concordia team they lost to. After last week’s handling of South Side, I couldn’t do that. They beat the Archers in three of the four quarters, showing that it wasn’t a single strong eight minutes that got them there. A week ago, I would have said that Norwell was locked in to win the NE8. Now? I wouldn’t make that prediction at all.

Why not higher?

While three teams stay unbeaten, the one loss Bellmont can’t move up.

Record versus OTH Top 10: 2-1

5. SOUTH SIDE (7-3, 4-0 SAC)

Why #5?

South Side’s immediate impact this season led my to believe that their identity would start on the perimeter. And as good as Jaci Jones and Olivia Smith are, maybe their identity will start on the inside as sophomore Lamyia Woodson continues to grow in the game. The Archers are still a very good team that just lost to two very good teams this week. That zero in their SAC record stands the most important number as of today. They are the only contender to Homestead’s SAC title hopes.

Why not higher?

The loss to Bellmont says South is not better than them right now. Emphasis on RIGHT NOW.

Record versus OTH Top 10: 1-1

6. CONCORDIA (9-2, 3-1 SAC)

Why #6?

Carissa Garcia, if you haven’t heard, is about to become the best scorer in the history of this program. That says something big, especially as she wasn’t the lone heavy hitter on offense her first two seasons. They have won five straight games and their schedule from now through January 11 will give us the best litmus test on how good this team could be come the postseason.

Why not higher?

No knock on Concordia, Bellmont just got better and South Side has shown more diversity.

Record versus OTH Top 10: 1-2

7. WEST NOBLE (8-0, 3-0 NECC)

Why #7?

It is time to start showing West Noble more respect for what they have accomplished so far this season. Does being the second best NECC team mean much with you consider the SAC and NE8. Are lower ranked teams in those conferences better by default? It is hard to think that way when a team has made it to this point still unbeaten and by an almost 20 point margin. The Chargers are playing very good basketball and it shouldn’t matter what conference they are doing that in.

Why not higher?

As much as I want to give them credit, there is some credence to the argument mentioned above. They have one total game in against the other three main conferences in the area.

Record versus OTH Top 10: 0-0

8. BISHOP DWENGER (6-4, 3-1 SAC)

Why #8?

The Saints continue to win games they should and lose games they should lose. They can change all that in the next seven days with two teams ranked above them in this poll. Emma Lyons showed some nice flashes of possible elite play against Homestead, but the team will need to continue to shoot better. Overall, Bounce has stayed impressed with this young group, even in losses.

Why not higher?

There has yet to be a signature win over a top team.

Record versus OTH Top 10: 0-2

9. BISHOP LUERS (6-3, 3-1 SAC)

Why #9?

Six straight wins has Bounce believing in Bishop Luers again. Maybe we gave them too much credit with their preseason ranking, but as they have had time to settle in, they are showing great promise. We know that Lydia Reimbold would need some help around her and Anna Parent, Dori Javins and Ashlynn and Katelynn Gray have all been picking up the slack and it is no coincidence the Knights have been picking up wins.

Why not higher?

The Knights too are searching for a signature win. They will get their chances with four straight games against OTH ranked teams after tonight.

Record versus OTH Top 10: 0-2

10. WARSAW (8-4, 1-0 NLC)

Why #10?

A fringe team of our coverage area, the Tigers are putting together a decent season and even received votes in this week’s coaches poll. Good Plymouth and Carroll teams have both been victims over the last week. Maddie Ryman has been tough for them and is shooting the ball most nights at a high rate.

Why not higher?

The lack of area teams on their schedule make it tough to really know how they match up in the Fort Wayne area.

Record versus OTH Top 10: 0-1

OTHERS UNDER CONSIDERATION

Hertiage (10-2), Carroll (7-4), Jay County (4-6), Bluffton (5-4), Lakeland (9-2)

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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