The pickings may not be super slim this week for key games but with the ACAC and NECC out of the equation for their own tournaments, it is up to the SAC, NE8 and other area teams to pick up the slack. And that, Bounce thinks, they do.
My traveling trophies stayed put this last week with Homestead successfully defending both on Friday with wins over South Side.
Check back on Friday for a full preview of the Game of the Weekend in a rematch of the SAC Holiday Tournament finals when the Homestead boys visit Snider.
Last Week: 6-4
Blackhawk Christian at Homestead, Tuesday
The Spartans kick off their toughest week of the season with this one and the worry has to be who for the Spartans can play against Caleb Furst in the post. Since coming back from his injury, Furst has been a monster inside and the Spartans don’t have the height to deal with him. They will rely on defensive effort by committee in this one. I left the SAC Holiday Tournament impressed by both Will Smith and Alec Grinsfelder. They need to be on their ‘A’ game.
Bounce picks Blackhawk Christian
Concordia at Huntington North, Tuesday
Concordia got a dose of reality this past Saturday when they visited Blackhawk Christian and suffered their worst loss of the season. How do they bounce back under first year head coach Phil Brackmann. The Cadets have been able to play very good basketball with a lot of guys stepping up in various roles. It has been impressive. Huntington North has been mostly ignored despite being among the very best teams in the area. This is going to one of the best games of the week and may steal the show.
Bounce picks Concordia
Bellmont at Norwell, Friday
While the girls game the next night has more hype, this could be fun too in a wide open Northeast 8 race. Will Geiger versus Kade Fuelling could be the most underrated and underappreciated battle in the area all year and these two are going to go tick for tack all night. Who steps up next? Aaron Lehrman has been strong for the Braves, but Drew Federspiel is breaking out lately too for Norwell.
Bounce picks Norwell
Bishop Dwenger at Wayne, Friday
This one is always fun and the Saints will be in the middle of a long week. Their loss Friday and only scoring 27 points questions their scoring in a slower game. Against Wayne, I can’t imagine we use the word slow. Craig Young has always played very well against the Saints and this is a true battle of styles. Who imposes their style best?
Bounce picks Wayne
Canterbury at Columbia City, Saturday
After a two week layoff, this will be Canterbury’s third game in five days so we will know much better Saturday how they are after the break. But right now, one has to assume there is rust. Columbia City is below .500 but they have been playing very good basketball against quality opponents in the process.
Bounce picks Columbia City
Northrop at Lakewood Park, Tuesday
The return to the team of Treva Datcher last Friday was huge after she missed the SAC Holiday Tournament. The senior is a physical presence capable of double-double games often. As great as the youth of Northrop is, she is a game changer. This is a nice chance for Chloe Jolloff of Lakewood Park where she will get a chance to show how elite her game can be against a SAC opponent.
Bounce picks Northrop
Carroll at Bishop Luers, Friday
The two teams may be heading in opposite directions after last Friday, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t very close with teams 3 through 8 in the SAC seemingly even in a lot of ways. Defensively, the Knights have a leg up on a lot of teams in the conference. They will need to find the kind of scoring by committee they had last week if Lydia Reimbold isn’t back.
Bounce picks Bishop Luers
Concordia at South Side, Friday
South Side has been oh so close to actually taking down Homestead. While they will have to wait until Sectional play for a third chance, a win over Concordia could almost wrap up a runner up finish in the conference. The first meeting, in the SAC Tournament semi finals, was fun. Bounce expects nothing less out of this one.
Bounce picks South Side
Huntington North at Columbia City, Saturday
Playing for third place in the conference may not sound fun, but these two teams are pretty evenly matched. Madalyn Robrock versus Alaina Rongos will be one of the more fun matchups of the week, but the Eagles seem to just have more on the perimeter right now.
Bounce picks Columbia City
Norwell at Bellmont, Saturday
Here it is. The Northeast 8 comes down to this and everyone knew it would before this season started. Bellmont will be in their third game of the week while Norwell will be in their second, but as of writing this, they are a combined 29-2 with the only losses coming to SAC opponents.
On a night where the area girls scene will be populated by the NECC and ACAC Tournament finals, this will essentially wrap up the NE8 even though not officially. Both teams have flexed more depth lately and Bellmont has to be confident that maybe this is the one they can really take away. But there is also that problem where I don’t know which Norwell player they need to be most worried about. Kaylee Fuelling was the go to for a long stretch, but lately Maiah Shelton has been unstoppable.
Bounce picks Norwell
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