Oh those Bruins, they ruined my streak of correct Game of the Weekend picks with their win over South Side on Friday. Good for them, bad for Bounce. Just when I thought I was hitting my stride, I am going to have to get better.
We all know if my pick record isn’t on point, I am going to have to hear from that big angry bear Blitz when he comes out of hibernation.
Bounce’s traveling trophies (you can feel them in your heart, but not with your hands), stayed put as the Homestead girls topped local foes Norwell and Bishop Luers and the Snider boys topped North Side. They both put them back on the line this week before the gauntlet of the SAC Holiday Tournament makes them tougher to defend.
Outside of these top 10 games, on Friday you can read about our Game of the Weekend as the girls of Bishop Luers and Bellmont travel Saturday to the Hoosier Gym to clash. Outside the Huddle previews that game this Friday complete with Bounce’s prediction.
Last Week: 8-3
Snider (4-0) at New Haven (2-4), Thursday
The Panthers will see this as game two of three over four days with only Wednesday off. That is a heavy load for a team who has had a nicely paced opening schedule. How does the rotation of 11 to 12 handle this heavy load, on finals week nonetheless? Three of New Haven’s losses have come in blowout fashion, but their win over Bellmont in their last outing is interesting. The Bulldogs figured to be ahead of Bellmont in the NE8 preseason, but the Braves jumped out to a 5-0 start. New Haven added some help last week, but depth is an issue when you factor in how much depth the Panthers have.
Bounce picks Snider
Fremont (3-3) at Woodlan (1-6), Thursday
Tanner Behnfeldt started off on a torrid scoring pace until Angola maybe laid out a blueprint to slow him last week. Meanwhile Woodlan world has to be smiling after Joe Reidy’s 23 point effort Friday in a loss to Adams Central. Big scoring output from the younger Reidy is critical. Woodlan outscoring a tough AC over the final three quarters also shows signs that a rough start against a heavy schedule may be changing. Plus, I’m promised a “Ben Reidy” chant for Joe’s older brother and even if I am not there, I expect video.
Bounce picks Woodlan
Huntington North (5-2) at Manchester (3-3), Friday
How do you stop a three headed monster like the Vikings? Two teams have figured it out, though barely. Zach Daugherty and Hank Pulver both are averaging 12.9 points per game and Bounce is a fan of the aggression Sawyer Stoltz is showing. Manchester has some fun players and they are really trying to find their footing in this game. Bounce really likes Weston Hamby and Thane Creager for the Squires and neither have been as good as teammate Brayden Casper yet this season. I look at this game this week because a comfortable Manchester could make a statement. A mean Huntington North could make a bigger statement.
Bounce picks Huntington North
Blackhawk Christian (5-0) at Indianapolis Manual (4-3), Saturday
There is yet to be a reason to doubt Blackhawk Christian. No, literally, they have not lost and recently have gone unbeaten without Caleb Furst and Michael Pulver. Frankie Davidson is an early top contender for the area’s best player and has been something special to watch. This day at Manual is always a fun one with many teams and games in the shootout; Wayne will also play North Central. The Redskins’ 69.1 points per game would be impressive here is Blackhawk wasn’t averaging a slight 90.4 points. Jalen Johnson can be deadly for Manual, scoring 24.4 points a game while shooting 60 percent from the field. This could be a game.
Bounce picks Blackhawk Christian
Westview (6-0) at Warsaw (4-3), Saturday
If you think you can stop Charlie Yoder, good luck. That is all you really need to say about Westview, but Bounce will say a little more. Warsaw’s biggest challenge here may not be Yoder or Elijah Hales, but the recently returned to form Nick Rensberger. Tyler Metzinger is going to be challenged here and while Warsaw has played good basketball, having the legs to deal with Westview’s range will be tough.
Bounce picks Westview
Columbia City (6-6) at Concordia (10-2), Monday
The Eagles are somewhat of an enigma, while we know all we need to know and probably all we will know about the Cadets. Columbia City has very good quality players, but run into a problem in how you can defend both Nautica Rogers and Carissa Garcia competitively. If you zone Concordia and try to help your defense, you better hope she has the worst night of her career. But with less stress after taking over the school’s all-time leading scorer spot, good luck slowing her.
Bounce picks Concordia
West Noble (9-1) at Angola (6-5), Tuesday
The Chargers may no longer be unbeaten, but with the scare they put into Central Noble, they should still have the NECC on notice. West Noble is a very good basketball team and while they wanted a win over the Cougars, beating Angola would mean a lot before January’s NECC Tournament. Last Friday’s Angola (beating Lakeland) can make this a game. The Angola from the game before (losing to Leo) will struggle with West Noble.
Bounce picks West Noble
Bishop Dwenger (7-5) at Bluffton (7-4), Thursday
This is an opportunity for Bluffton to make a major statement and they have the players and experience to do it. The home court advantage won’t hurt either. Emme Boots has been one of the ACAC’s most consistent players all year and if the support roster is there as it has been, this could be a breakout night area wide for her. The Saints have been tough too, but are much younger and less experienced overall. That said, Bishop Dwenger has played a tough schedule lately, tougher than Bluffton’s. This could be the closest game all week of any game on this list. To upset pick or not to upset pick?
Bounce picks Bluffton
Oak Hill (12-1) at South Side (8-3), Thursday
Bounce loved the way that South played in the second half last Friday in finishing off Northrop. They certainly were able to turn up a second gear coming out of the locker room. They don’t play between that game and this game, so here is to hoping they can stay in that same gear. This is one of those games where it is hard to read to the gap in scoring where South Side averages 61.7 points per game and Oak Hill gives up just 26.2. With one common opponent on their schedule so far, they both have eight point wins over Jay County. So what does that teach us? Nothing.
Bounce picks South Side
Homestead (12-0) at North Central (12-2), Friday
Bounce saw someone refer to the Spartans as the girls high school hoops equivalent of the Golden State Warriors. Sheesh, the Warriors wished they had the record the Spartans do. But they do have so many double digit scorers every night, I guess I can get the comparison. But here we have arguably the best two teams in the state and certainly two of the top five. North Central’s Rikki Harris should be a lot of fun against whoever the deep Spartans throw at her on defense.
Bounce picks Homestead
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