BounceInset_2Next week, I will present my final girls power poll of the season heading into the postseason. But until then, we still have some work to do.

As the case has been for much of the season, there isn’t a lot of movement in the rankings, but a couple of surprising results last week did lead to some back and forth with the movement in Bounce’s standing.

Homestead girls remain the holder of Bounce’s Traveling Trophy and they will defend it once more this week visiting Northrop.

1. HOMESTEAD (21-3, 8-0 SAC)

WHY #1?

The Spartans are coasting into the postseason as the SAC champions again. They have never lost in the SAC race. Ever. As it has been all season, depth continues to be the word for them. Ayanna Patterson has elevated herself to one of the very best players in the area and Rod Parker has his team fully bought in. When you consider that this team has grown so much this season, not only do they belong in the top spot of this poll, but you have to consider them a favorite from the north part of Class 4A to head to Bankers Life Fieldhouse in February.

The Spartans did drop their third game of the season on Monday, losing at Heritage Christian.

WHY NOT HIGHER?

Best team in the best conference in the area. And there still isn’t a way, even through Bounce’s limited mathematical mind, to have a ranking higher that first.

RECORD VS. OTH TOP 10: 8-0

2. CENTRAL NOBLE (21-0, 9-0 NECC)

WHY #2?

23.4 points. That is how much the Cougars are beating their opponents by on average. Led by the school’s best scorers, rebounder, passer and leader in steals, there is no better time to be a Cougar. This team is, and has been, considered the favorite in Class 2A and they have been able to live up to any and all expectations every inch of this season.

Are you not entertained?

WHY NOT HIGHER?

Homestead.

RECORD VS. OTH TOP 10: 3-0

3. BELLMONT (18-2, 6-0 NE8)

WHY #3?

Bellmont may be playing the best basketball that the program has ever played. A conference title is not a rare accomplishment for them, but it is a big statement and confidence booster for them. As mentioned last week, the win over Norwell was as big as they have had, mostly because of what it meant to this group of girls. The backslide Tuesday was not good for them at all, but they found their back to the right path quickly and that shows that they will be dangerous into the postseason.

WHY NOT HIGHER?

The win over Norwell would have moved them up if Homestead and Central Noble were not ahead of them. The loss to Snider makes leaving them at #3 an easy choice.

RECORD VS. OTH TOP 10: 5-1

4. NORWELL (17-3, 5-1 NE8)

WHY #4

Norwell was never what I would call exposed last week, but two losses are two losses. When you had one in the first two and a half months of the season, those two losses scream loudly. That said, Norwell is a very good team and neither loss is anywhere near a “bad loss.” Norwell played tough, as they do, in each outing. They support each other, they play physical and there is always a next girl up to pick up any slack needed. Bounce really enjoys what he’s seen from Norwell all season and they are absolutely still one of the area’s best.

WHY NOT HIGHER?

Last week was not a headline week for the Knights.

RECORD VS. OTH TOP 10: 3-3

5. JAY COUNTY (15-7, 6-0 ACAC)

WHY #5?

Beating Norwell is certainly a booster for the Patriots as they head into the final week of the season. The Patriots have been playing quite a tough schedule all season long even though it is ranked 119th in strength of schedule according to the latest Sagarin ratings. Bounce has been impressed with the road they have had to take and they are still at 15 wins. As I said, that win over Norwell shows the growth they have had since losing to so many other top 10 area teams earlier in the season. Jay County sharpened themselves in the ACAC.

WHY NOT HIGHER?

Jay County has not succeeded against their high echelon opponents all season, save for last Tuesday.

RECORD VS. OTH TOP 10: 1-4

6. SOUTH SIDE (12-7, 6-2 SAC)

WHY #6?

With the 32nd toughest schedule in the state, South is going to take some bumps but really hasn’t faltered badly other than last Friday. With seven losses, the Archers have had to have been considered a contender in every single game and that shows how highly I think of coach Juanita Goodwell and her bunch and how much opponents respect the Archers. It would have been nice to see them play unbeaten Penn last Saturday if not for the snow.

WHY NOT HIGHER?

South took arguably their biggest hit last Friday in a loss to Carroll. Don’t count them out or even down, but there are areas to grow into the postseason.

RECORD VS. OTH TOP 10: 4-4

7. ANGOLA (17-6, 9-1 NECC)

WHY #7?

Defense wins championships, right? Well that makes Angola dangerous with the postseason looming as they’ve lost out on their first two attempts to win a title. Outside of the top three teams in this poll, the Hornets are arguably on the biggest tear, winners of 12 of their last 13 games. If they can beat Bellmont on Wednesday, they go into the postseason as one of the five best teams in this area, mark my words.

WHY NOT HIGHER?

They are still clearly #2 behind Central Noble in their conference and they don’t have a ton of experience lately outside of their conference.

RECORD VS. OTH TOP 10: 1-3

8. BISHOP LUERS (12-6, 6-2 SAC)

WHY #8?

Take out the slow start to their season undermanned (underwomanned?) and the Knights are 12-3 since then. They have won five in a row this time and every time Bounce mentions them, it seems like they have a different face emerging to be a big time player for them, whether it is one of the Gray twins or Kennedy Glenn or Lydia Reimbold or others. I could list their entire roster if I neeeded to.

They are headed full steam ahead into the postseason and have made their Class 3A sectional one of the best ones in the upper half of the state because Luers makes this now perhaps a five team race.

WHY NOT HIGHER?

They have still struggled against upper echelon teams.

RECORD VS. OTH TOP 10: 2-6

9. CONCORDIA (13-6, 4-4 SAC)

WHY #9?

Concordia is still a very good team and based purely on potential, there is an argument that they are still a top 5 team or close. But potential hasn’t panned out the same way that actuality has. Concordia has lost 4 of their last 5 and lost games they probably shouldn’t be losing right now.

WHY NOT HIGHER?

The losses are piling up at a bad time.

RECORD VS. OTH TOP 10: 4-5

10. CARROLL (10-9, 3-4 SAC)

WHY #10?

This spot has been up for grabs weekly between Carroll and Bishop Dwenger, with consideration toward a couple of NECC teams. But last Friday’s win over South Side sealed that the Chargers were in the poll this week. They are playing really good, deep basketball right now. They are a threat on many places on the court and have become fun to watch.

WHY NOT HIGHER?

Carroll is on the edge in this countdown, but outside of last Friday, they lack signature wins

RECORD VS. OTH TOP 10: 1-5

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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