What? Could it be? Two different sets of game picks from yours truly?! That is right my fearless readers, because of the delay in girls hoops Sectional contests, we have ourselves a championship Monday and yours truly is going to let you know who is winning a Sectional title…or at least in my little mind.
Check back tomorrow for my usual weekly picks, all on the boys side.
Where is Bounce heading for Sectional title Monday? You’ll have to wait and see. Until then, this is what is on the agenda for Monday, February 4.
CLASS 4A AT DEKALB
Northrop vs. Carroll
These two teams are pretty young and entered this season knowing they were a year away from contending in the SAC. But because this entire Sectional was pretty young, one of them will be able to have something huge to build on with most of their rosters returning next season. There is on factor for each team that gives them a nudge in this contest. For Carroll, it is more consistency at the top of their scoring arch. Emily Parrett is at the top of the food chain and with others accenting her, Carroll has made some good noise. For Northrop, it is that one of their few spots of non youth is in senior Treva Datcher, who has been dominant so far in the postseason.
When they last met on November 16, it was Carroll with an eight point win. But that feels like an eternity ago and neither team is the same team they were then.
Bounce picks Northrop
CLASS 3A AT WEST NOBLE
West Noble vs. Tippecanoe Valley
Can West Noble do anything after upsetting NorthWood? They proved that home court advantage is a very powerful thing with a closing seconds fake countdown from the crowd that didn’t provide NorthWood to get off a truly good shot at tying the game. This is going to be a slugfest of a contest with West Noble having to try and contain Sophie Brussard, who went 18-of-21 from the foul line against Lakeland. Keeping her in check is important, but moderately impossible.
The Chargers have now won five straight and continue to do it with a balanced effort on both ends of the floor. They lost to Tippecanoe Valley in December by six, so that is what we’d call a wash. Bounce’s head says one thing and his heart says the other. When talking home court advantage, especially the likes of which we’ve seen at West Noble in the past, it is OK to follow your heart.
Bounce picks West Noble
CLASS 3A AT NORWELL
Bellmont vs. Marion
It is of the opinion of many people that the winner of Norwell and Bellmont last Tuesday was the team to beat in this Sectional. That does not change. So it is on Marion to do that. While yours truly leaned toward Norwell, there was never any doubt that Bellmont was the more equipped team overall to handle the different sizes of players and rigors of unique teams, the most unique of which was always Marion.
I like the idea of this game hinging on Kenzie McMahon’s ability to rebound and defend in the post. I hate to always go back to the Rashaya Kyle well, but how can you not? Marion is good without her too, but her size is a big problem for most teams. That isn’t something I see deterring McMahon or Grace Hunter in a couple of probably matchups.
Bounce picks Bellmont
CLASS 3A AT CONCORDIA
Concordia vs. Angola
This is the final we expected and it could be a really fun defensive battle. Don’t expect a lot of points to be scored here as neither team gives up more than 40 a game. Could we see this one in the 30s? Winners of 14 of their last 15, this Angola team may have claim to being one of Brandon Appleton’s best Hornets squads ever. Most years, that would simply be enough. Across from them on Monday night however will be Carissa Garcia, truly a generational talent for the Cadets. And I don’t use that title lightly.
In Appleton’s four previous seasons leading Angola, he has seen their season end at the hands of Concordia three times. The last three times in fact. So if that doesn’t add extra incentive for this defensive juggernaut, Bounce isn’t sure what will. I am well aware that Concordia has an advantage inside with Nautica Rogers, but they have to get past halfcourt for that to matter. While Garcia can break Angola’s defense, what will the Cadets be able to do if Angola can isolate her. This is a game that could be won or lost on the hands of CC Calloway and Meg Barkley.
This is also your game of the night. This is the hardest Sectional final to pick. Hands down.
Bounces picks Concordia
CLASS 2A AT CENTRAL NOBLE
Central Noble vs. Bremen
A rematch of their December 28 game that Central Noble won by 20, this one shouldn’t go much different. The Cougars have quickly become a team that has three high quality scorers with the way that Bridgette Gray has been playing lately. Bounce can’t say that he knows a ton about Bremen, but I do know plenty about Central Noble.
Bounce picks Central Noble
CLASS 2A AT BLUFFTON
Bluffton vs. Adams Central
Bounce really thought that we would be seeing South Adams here, but it is no fluke that Adams Central will instead take the Adams County spot in this final. They have won four straight, more than 10 overall games for the first time in 9 years, have a winning record for the first time in 15 years and the most wins (15) in the last 16 years. Things have turned around greatly at Adams Central.
Like most Sectionals, these two teams have already played once and Bluffton picked up the ACAC conference win by 20 points. Both teams have seen different ladies step up in different games down the stretch and into the postseason so it is possible that player for player is mostly a wash out. But I do believe that Emme Boots is the best player in this game, even if she hasn’t been Bluffton’s statistical leader the last couple of games. Bounce is also a sucker, if you haven’t noticed, for postseason home court advantage.
Bounce picks Bluffton
CLASS 2A AT MANCHESTER
Oak Hill vs. Manchester
Oak Hill is the overwhelming favorite here and everyone knows it. This is a team that contend for a state title in Class 2A and they beat Manchester by 30 when the teams met the first time. Marion, South Side and Northwestern have handed the Eagles their only losses of the season. Taylor Westgate helps lead a team that is very strong on the boards and there is no reason to think that Manchester can close the gap from their first game enough.
Bounce picks Oak Hill
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