Is everyone refreshed and ready for basketball in 2019? No? Well I don’t think it matters because we are back at it in full force this weekend with high school basketball hoops after a week full of shootouts, tournaments and holiday cheer.
Bounce’s traveling trophies, invisible and all, both now sit out at Homestead High School after the Spartan boys beat Snider in the finals of the SAC Holiday Tournament. Homestead boys now hold onto the trophy after its first movement.
Now lets get to picking the first games of the new year.
Outside of these top 10 games, on Friday you can read about our Game of the Weekend as Snider visits Northrop on Friday night in a rematch of the SAC Holiday Tournament semi final. Outside the Huddle previews that game this Friday complete with Bounce’s prediction.
Two Weeks Ago: 6-5
Woodlan at Churubusco, Wednesday
Who sets their pace first? Bounce has seen both of these teams play this season and both times I have been impressed with the tempo they are able to impose on opponents. This game becomes who can do that first. And it comes in two big time match ups on the court in Mitch Mendenhall versus Jackson Paul and Joe Reidy versus Brayton Bonar. When Paul has been off, Bonar has taken control of games, but hasn’t had to contend with much of the size that Reidy has. Woodlan is still likely playing without junior pace setter Ben Reidy.
Bounce picks Churubusco
Westview at East Noble, Thursday
When they met last season at this time, there were zero combined losses. Now, there are five. Does that make this game any less of the best game on the schedule this week? Snider, Northridge, Warsaw, Center Grove and Valparaiso are the teams to beat the two teams. And things are clicking in both places. East Noble has seen Brent Cox return after missing several games will illness and Charlie Yoder for Westview is coming off a career defining game of 37 points opposite Purdue commit Brandon Newman and Valpo. This is a heavyweight slugfest on a Thursday.
Bounce picks Westview
Adams Central at Jay County, Saturday
Still early in ACAC boys play, this game isn’t a game changer yet still very important. Jay County does a good job controlling the post in games, but how much time will be spent worrying about Dylan Miller? Kevin Brown is a killer shooter, arguably the area’s best but the Flying Jets are coming off three straight losses. Both teams would love the momentum before the ACAC Tournament, only one of them desperately needs it.
Bounce picks Jay County
DeKalb at New Haven, Saturday
If you didn’t follow the local scene and I told you that DeKalb has the better record here, would you be confused? New Haven has been hard to read. They blowout a quality Bellmont, almost beat Snider and Merrillville then get torched by Huntington North. What I do love about New Haven is sophomore Thomas Latham, who is capable of being a game changer as he continue to mature. DeKalb is coming off a nice win against Central Noble and Cole Richmond is playing well.
Bounce picks New Haven
Concordia at Blackhawk Christian, Saturday
The Cadet comeback over Snider was impressive because of their improved defense that has them contending for a SAC title as January starts. Brayden Pearson had one of the best overall Holiday Tournament performances. But they are likely just the next SAC team fed to Blackhawk Christian, fresh off their 2nd straight North Daviees Tournament win. Frankie Davidson, Caleb Furst and Zane Burke all played outstanding as they beat Barr Reeve in the finals and against cemented themselves as the top team in Class 1A.
Bounce picks Blackhawk Christian
Carroll at Norwell, Wednesday
Carroll flexed some of their depth in their two games at the SAC Holiday Tournament and introduced casual fans to more of their future talent, including Malia Williams. They are a dangerous defensive team and will try to continue some momentum opposite Norwell. The Knights are fresh off a 2-0 showing at the Wawasee Classic with Maiah Shelton leading their performances. We should’t expect the 13-1 Knights to let up this week.
Bounce picks Norwell
Bishop Luers at Concordia, Friday
This is one of the rematches fresh out of the Holiday Tournament. Luers did a fantastic job limiting Carissa Garcia’s touches and making sure that someone else from Concordia had to beat them. Unfortunately, there were more than willing takers. Concordia is getting stronger and deeper as the year goes on. Will Lydia Reimbold, who sat out the SAC Tournament for undisclosed reasons, be back for this one? Could be a difference maker.
Bounce picks Concordia
South Side at Homestead, Friday
The Archers slowed Homestead more than anyone in the area has just six days before this game will be played. Did they learn enough? The Archers’ defense the first time around was where it needed to be, but they need more offense to show up to stop the Spartans. Homestead, meanwhile, had a couple of poor shooting performances last week and still managed a 4-1 record. A lot of that hinges on the fact that Ayanna Patterson is arguably the most unstoppable player in the area right now.
Bounce picks Homestead
Jay County at Bluffton, Friday
With the ACAC Tournament lingering, this more than likely determines the regular season champion. They have matching records as of today, but Jay County will have to play Carissa Garcia and Concordia on Wednesday first. Shelby Caldwell has been practically unstoppable and it lends to the thought the Patriots stay ACAC elite. But Bounce knows the girls of Bluffton have been playing for this game and this moment. Friday night, home game, conference title on the line: how do they raise the bar?
Bounce picks Jay County
Carmel at South Side, Saturday
Carmel’s record of 6-8 would surprise a lot of people on the surface. But, they play one of the toughest schedules in this state and their eight losses come against teams with a combined record of 113-14, so those aren’t shabby losses. Similar to Homestead in they have a variety of capable scorers, but different in that nobody that has shown an ability to just take over games. South’s quick moving zone could cause problems and the post trio of Lamyia Woodson, Alaya Chapman and T’Laizha Morris will be important.
Bounce picks South Side
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