BounceInset_2After two long weeks of tournaments, shootouts and general basketball chaos, Bounce gets to power these Polls once more. For the first time all season, all four area conferences are represented on the girls side.

1. HOMESTEAD (18-2, 6-0 SAC)

Why #1?

Homestead is scoring 22.9 points more on average than their opponents. How do you stop a team that can have four players in double digits every night? That is something everyone is still trying to figure out. Ayanna Patterson has developed every game and gone from a very good freshman to a very good varsity player, regardless of class. Patterson fixing her weaknesses every time we see her makes Homestead tough to top.

Why not higher?

Even in ancient Sanskrit, they didn’t have a number better than one to rank teams.

Record versus OTH Top 10: 7-0

2. CENTRAL NOBLE (16-0, 7-0 NECC)

Why #2?

They have not lost a game. That should be reason enough. They haven’t lost a game in a year. The Cougars are very good and this week is one where they will work to capture a title that alluded them last year. Their offense keeps getting deeper too.

Why not higher?

The Cougars don’t have the state wide resume Homestead does.

Record versus OTH Top 10: 2-0

3. NORWELL (15-1, 4-0 NE8)

Why #3?

As the sophomore class gets credit across the area, nobody should get more credit than the Knights’ fantastic group. Kaylee Fuelling, Lauren Bales and Maiah Shelton lead that group and the trio are all capable and have put up Performance of the Week quality numbers. Sometimes, all three of them do it in the same game. Norwell is deep with quality talent and have often superior coaching. That is a dangerous mix for any opponent.

Why not higher?

Norwell lost to Homestead. Central Noble is undefeated. Those are the only reasons I have.

Record versus OTH Top 10: 3-1

4. BELLMONT (15-1, 4-0 NE8)

Why #4?

Not since a November 1 loss to Concordia has this team tasted defeat. Their 15 wins is already the third best in the last 20 years for the program with no signs of slowing up. As Grace Hunter has seen more pressure from opposing defenses, Kenzie McMahon and Meghan Busick have become one of the best second/third option pairs in the entire area.

Why not higher?

To be the women, you have to beat the women. Saturday will see them get their chance at Norwell.

Record versus OTH Top 10: 4-1

5. SOUTH SIDE (11-6, 5-1 SAC)

Why #5?

The Archers played fantastic defense for six of eight quarters against Homestead in the last two weeks, but came up 0-2 in those games split between the SAC Tournament and the regular season. Their defense helped shine a light on potential Spartan deficiencies and keeps a potential third meeting intriguing should it happen in the Sectional round. Right now, defense makes South Side a tough game for anyone and with a tough January schedule still ahead, the Archers will be sharpened ahead of the postseason.

Why not higher?

Losses to two of the teams ahead of them in our poll.

Record versus OTH Top 10: 3-3

6. CONCORDIA (13-4, 3-2 SAC)

Why #6?

Carissa Garcia remains one of the area’s best scorers but teams have found ways to slow her. Meanwhile, Nautica Rogers continues to become one of the best post players in the SAC and Meg Barkley and CC Calloway have seen their confidence and stock rise in the Cadet backcourt.

Why not higher?

Concordia is finding other options behind Garcia, but they’ve still lost 2 of their last 3.

Record versus OTH Top 10: 4-4

7. JAY COUNTY (9-7, 5-0 ACAC)

Why #7?

After their record suffered early against top talent from the area and state, the Patriots have won 7 of their last 8 and the only defeat was in overtime to Concordia. They are poised to win another ACAC Tournament title this week and Shelby Caldwell has to be considered the conference’s best player.

Why not higher?

Of their 7 losses, four of them are to area teams ranked ahead of them in this poll. Can’t get those back.

Record versus OTH Top 10: 0-4

8. BISHOP LUERS

Why #8?

After winning seven straight, they lost three in a row to top level teams, but he Knights have righted the ship by beating Concordia a week after almost upsetting the Cadets in the SAC Holiday Tournament. Both of those games against Concordia have been won without leading scorer Lydia Reimbold. The Knights are favored to win five of their last six games and they are getting deeper headed into the postseason. Perhaps the most valuable play of late has come from freshman Anna Parent.

Why not higher?

There are seven teams ahead of them in our poll. Six of them have beaten the Knights.

Record versus OTH Top 10: 1-6

9. BISHOP DWENGER (9-7, 4-2 SAC)

Why #9?

The avenged a SAC Tournament loss to Carroll by beating them last Friday. The Saints are looking like they will reach double digit wins for the fourth straight season despite being a team that plays just one senior. Juniors Carissa Wiegman and Molly Ream have been setting a strong pace in games on both ends of the floor.

Why not higher?

Bishop Dwenger has not won back to back games since November. Although, odds favor them winning both games this week to push a win streak to three.

Record versus OTH Top 10: 0-4

10. ANGOLA (12-5, 7-1 NECC)

Why #10?

The Hornets have won seven games in row and Reace Peppler has become a true second option behind Hannah Knoll. The Hornets have exercised any early season demons and have the third best defense in the NECC. They will be a favorite to challenge Central Noble in this week’s conference tournament.

Why not higher?

Outside of a game two win over Bishop Luers, there is not yet that signature win. That could change this week.

Record versus OTH Top 10: 1-2

OUTSIDE THE TOP 10

Carroll (9-8), Woodlan (12-5), Lakeland (12-5)

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