For the first time in awhile, we have a change atop Bounce’s weekly power rankings.

Northrop looked ready to ascend to the top spot after its overtime victory over Homestead last Friday, but again had a letdown in the non-conference with a loss at Marion one day later.

Are the Bruins more the team we saw beat a good Homestead squad or the one that lost to the mediocre Giants? Even Bounce isn’t sure about the answer to that.

1. BLACKHAWK CHRISTIAN (14-2)

WHY #1?

Some will cry foul at the Braves being above Northrop, considering the fact that in early January Blackhawk lost to the very Homestead team that the Bruins just beat.

Bounce’s decision was made when Northrop lost on Saturday. Blackhawk Christian has been able to step outside of the area and beat quality teams, namely 3A Brownstown Central and one of the top teams in Illinois Division II, Chicago Orr.

Blackhawk Christian has won four straight since that loss to Homestead, but have tough games against SAC opponents South Side, Snider and Northrop (ooo!) coming up.

The Braves also visit the very Marion team that beat Northrop.

WHY NOT HIGHER?

No. 1 reigns supreme.

RECORD VS. OTH TOP 10: 1-1

2. NORTHROP (11-4, 6-0 SAC)

WHY #2?

The hot Twitter topic over the weekend was Northrop’s decision to hold the ball in the second half against Homestead, leading many to take sides on whether or not it is good for high school basketball.

It turned out well for the Bruins, who triumphed over the Spartans in overtime to stay undefeated in the SAC.

However Northrop did it, credit must be given to the Bruins finding the fortitude to beat Homestead. Bruins teams of the recent past would have not been able to win the mental battle like this group did.

Sydney Curry had himself a week and is starting to look like the favorite for player of the year honors, depending on how the postseason goes. Despite being held to just two points in the first half against Homestead, he came alive after the break, then followed it up with 41 points against Marion.

WHY NOT HIGHER?

Speaking of Marion, Saturday was the third time this season in which the Bruins followed up a big SAC victory on Friday with a loss to a non-conference foe on Saturday.

Bounce praised the mental fortitude of this team for its Friday win, but there seems to be something missing when it comes to putting a big win behind this team and refocusing quickly. That will be problematic come the playoffs if it is not rectified.

RECORD VS. OTH TOP 10: 5-1

3. HOMESTEAD (13-2, 4-2 SAC)

WHY #3?

The Spartans let one get away against Northrop. While Homestead played well, it wore down in the fourth quarter and overtime, having issues keeping up with the quickness and physical style of the Bruins.

But Homestead will be better because of last Friday. It got key contributions again from guys like Trent Loomis and Alec Grinsfelder, but Luke Goode and Zak Krueger are still the primary scorers.

WHY NOT HIGHER?

Well, the loss to Northrop didn’t help stay in the top two of Bounce’s poll.

RECORD VS. OTH TOP 10: 6-1

4. EAST NOBLE (13-2, 5-0 NE8)

WHY #4?

One of the more underrated wins last week was the Knights going on the road on Saturday to beat Norwell in a battle of NE8 unbeaten. Now, East Noble sits at 5-0 in the league with games against Bellmont and New Haven remaining.

The most intriguing game left on the schedule is in mid-February, a visit to Homestead. Despite three straight winning seasons, East Noble is only 1-3 in that span in the postseason. The Spartans aren’t in the Knights’ sectional, but it is the caliber of opponent that Coach Ryan Eakins’ team is going to have to beat in order to win one.

WHY NOT HIGHER?

East Noble has played just one SAC team thus far this year, Snider. The Knights lost. There are five SAC teams in Sectional 5.

RECORD VS. OTH TOP 10: 3-1

5. WESTVIEW (15-4, 7-0 NECC)

WHY #5?

One of the great tragedies of this season is going to be when Westview sweeps through Class 2A, wins a state championship and no one really gives it much thought.

Unfortunately, Westview is just far enough out of Fort Wayne that there is not much in the way of interest in the Warriors outside of Topeka. The lack of opponents from Allen County and the immediate surrounding area doesn’t help.

But the Warriors truly are one of the top teams in the state in Class 2A. Charlie Yoder is the best player you have never heard of. In a perfect storm, he could be the player of the year in northeast Indiana.

Stay tuned.

WHY NOT HIGHER?

The aforementioned lack of a significant amount of games against Fort Wayne-area programs makes it difficult to rank Westview ahead of some of the heavy hitters locally.

RECORD VS. OTH TOP 10: 0-1

6. CARROLL (10-4, 5-1 SAC)

WHY #6?

How about some love for the Chargers? Coach Marty Beasley’s team went on the road last Friday to Snider, dominated for three quarters, survived a fourth-quarter Panthers surge and won the game in overtime with their star fouled out.

Impressive.

David Ejah ended the Snider game on the bench after picking up his fifth foul on the first possession of OT, but he once again showed that he is making the most of his final prep season. He plays hard and intense on both ends of the court on every possession, collectively raising his teammates to greater heights.

The schedule toughens in the coming weeks, but Carroll looks like it is rounding into form. And it still has a shot at the SAC title.

WHY NOT HIGHER?

Early-season struggles feel more and more in the rearview mirror, but losses to East Noble, Concordia and Homestead put the Chargers towards the back of this poll and they have been fighting their way up it ever since.

RECORD VS. OTH TOP 10: 3-2

7. SNIDER (10-5, 3-3 SAC)

WHY #7?

The struggles continue. Not only has the roster shrunk with freshman Jaylen Lattimore now enrolled at South Side, the team still looks out of sync and had trouble with Carroll’s lockdown defense last Friday.

But sometimes adversity can bring a team together, which could still be the case with the Panthers. The SAC is out of reach, but that allows Coach Jeremy Rauch to focus on prepping his team for sectional play.

Kudos to junior Airyan Thomas, who singlehandedly kept the Panthers in the game against Carroll with his three-point shooting prowess.

WHY NOT HIGHER?

The Panthers have lost four of their last six dating back to the SAC Holiday Tournament championship. Of the seven games left in the regular season, only one (Bishop Luers) looks like a guaranteed win.

RECORD VS. OTH TOP 10: 3-4

8. SOUTH SIDE (3-9, 2-4 SAC)

WHY #8?

The Archers’ lone losses in 2019 have come to Homestead, Carroll and Marion. While this team is not one of the area’s elite, it is a solid member of that next tier right below them.

South Side is scheduled to play Blackhawk Christian on Wednesday, although weather will likely push that back, if not outright see it canceled.

WHY NOT HIGHER?

South Side has not beaten a single team in Bounce’s top 10 so…there’s that.

RECORD VS. OTH TOP 10: 0-4

9. HUNTINGTON NORTH (13-3, 4-1 NE8)

WHY #9?

It is probably the most uninteresting 13-win team in the area, but that is about how Coach Craig Teagle likes it.

Huntington North made it wins in 10 of its last 11 with a win last weekend against DeKalb.

Unfortunately, a showdown with Carroll scheduled for Wednesday has already been canceled.

WHY NOT HIGHER?

Like the Archers, Huntington North has yet to beat a team in Bounce’s Power Poll.

RECORD VS. OTH TOP 10: 0-2

10. WAYNE (8-7, 3-3 SAC)

WHY #10?

Well, someone has to be in this spot. Wayne held No. 10 down last week, although a two-point win over Bishop Luers last Friday did little to back that ranking up.

That said, the Generals were competitive in losses to Blackhawk Christian and Northrop in recent weeks.

They have also not lost to a team outside of the top 7 in this poll.

WHY NOT HIGHER?

See above.

RECORD VS. OTH TOP 10: 0-5

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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