Bounce was busy this week with pure basketball euphoria. Five nights in the last seven days have been spent in a gym and nothing short of those famed Ossian crickets could make Bounce any happier than I have been in those gyms.

There was a lot of joy and a lot of sadness for end of seasons and championships. On Friday, Bounce’s invisible traveling boys trophy made a move too as it now resides at Carroll thanks to their win over Northrop. They will have possible defenses against Huntington North and Homestead this week.

But Bounce is long winded this week, so lets get started on a look back at the week.

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Angola’s Hanna Knoll moves the ball during Saturday, February 9’s Class 3A Regional final against Marion at Columbia City.

MOST GIRLS SEASONS END AT REGIONALS

Regional Saturday started with seven area girls teams left. Heading into next Saturday’s semistate, there is only one team left in the defending Class 2A state champion Central Noble. It makes sense that the NECC gets through to the next round, they had an area best four teams win Sectional titles.

But for Central Noble’s success, there was a lot of sadness as more seasons and careers came to a close. West Noble and Bluffton girls lost their morning games and Fremont lost on Saturday night, but that was very expected against Marquette Catholic, the defending Class 1A state champion.

Two games that we knew would be close were Homestead’s loss to Hamilton Southeastern and Angola’s loss to Marion. The Spartans had just a wide array of emotions Saturday. They weathered the storm of Zionsville in the morning despite the Eagles’ nine first half three pointers. It took Homestead double overtime to reach the night game of Regional Saturday, but Haley Swing’s free throw with four seconds left got them there. Was their nighttime loss exhaustion? Or was Hamilton Southeastern just that good? You know Bounce’s opinion. But now the Spartans will lose some of the most successful seniors they have ever had and build back up behind Ayanna Patterson, Sydney Graber, Rylie Parker and Grace Sullivan, who all return next season.

For Angola, there will still be a lot to build on with the likes of sophomore Hanna Knoll and freshman Lauren Leach, who both showed a lot of tenacity on Saturday night in the overtime loss to Marion. The question for Angola will be if they can continue their defensive prowess into next season because it certainly has been impressive. It was the catalyst in keeping them in the game with Marion as Angola’s defense directly impacted 17 of Marion’s 24 turnovers with 12 steals in that mix. There is a lot of heart in the Hornet program and with the NECC opening up a little bit next season, Bounce is interested in where Angola will go in 2019-2020.

CARROLL MUDDIES SAC TITLE WATERS

This is starting to feel like a trend.

A season ago, the SAC regular-season championship came down to the Carroll vs. Homestead matchup in mid-February, with the winner earning the championship. The Chargers won that game 55-45, earning their first-ever SAC crown.

This year, Friday’s showdown between the rivals and former Northeast Hoosier Conference foes will go a long way to deciding the SAC title once again. With Carroll’s victory last Friday over Northrop, the Chargers are now tied with the Bruins atop the SAC standings at 7-1. The lone team outside of that duo with any chance of sharing the title is Homestead, who sits at 6-2.

If Carroll beats Homestead, it will clinch its second-straight SAC championship regardless of what Northrop does at Bishop Dwenger due to the Chargers holding the tiebreaker. If Homestead wins and Northrop loses, there will be a three-way tie at 7-2 for the league title. Meanwhile, the Bruins can clinch their first SAC crown since 2013 (and first outright since 1987) with a victory over the Saints and a Carroll loss.

Friday’s game at Carroll will surely be as packed as last year’s showdown at Homestead was. The Spartans have already beaten the Chargers once this year, a 51-40 victory in the SAC Holiday Tournament.

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Woodlan freshman Joe Reidy boxes out Southern Wells’ Mikel Sutton during a February 8 game.

IS JOE REIDY THE AREA’S BEST FRESHMAN?

Making an impact as a freshman isn’t the easiest thing to do. Few freshmen get the chance to play varsity minutes, let alone make an impact. When a player gets the chance to make an impact and actually performs, you can tell they have a good chance to develop into something special.

Reidy is up for our Performance of the Week here at Outside the Huddle for Friday’s career best 34 points in a dominating performance against Southern Wells. Not even a full season into his high school career, Reidy was able to score at will at the basket and even with his 6-foot-5 frame, the Southern Wells boys were big on the interior and not exactly easy to pound the ball inside against. Reidy had 11 rebounds and 3 blocks to go with his career scoring performance. Woodlan is going to be better in the next year and more, but Reidy has certainly made an impact early.

His other two games of the week came with 17 points, eight rebounds and three blocks in a loss to Antwerp (OH) and 16 points, 5 rebounds and 5 blocks on Saturday in another ACAC win over South Adams. With added aggression and a little more weight, Reidy could be an unstoppable force in the ACAC. Time will tell what Reidy will ultimately become, but there is little doubt that he has established himself as one of the best varsity playing freshmen in our 40-plus team area.

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Fort Wayne Hawks junior Kaleb Keysor drives to the basket against a Cornerstone Prep player on February 7 at Spiece Fieldhouse.

HOME SCHOOL BASKETBALL IS A FUN GETAWAY

This past Thursday, Bounce had a night off. So what did I do? I watched basketball of course. This time, I ventured out to Spiece Fieldhouse to take in a game of the Fort Wayne Hawks, one of the area’s several home school basketball teams. The Hawks picked up a win on their senior night in a pretty intense affair that came down to the wire. I don’t know that I had any major expectations, but it was good basketball being played. What I enjoyed the most was that this game was not like what Bounce sees — and mostly hears — when I am out at most games.

Fans were not heckling, let alone berating the officials. The kids playing were playing like kids. That is what they are, after all. Though I may want to check the license of the Hawks’ Jacob Winde, who sports a beard that would make James Harden blush. It was pretty pure; something Bounce didn’t realize how much he misses until Thursday night with the Hawks.

Bounce also got a little glance at junior Jake Lock, who I have heard a lot about. Lock, a junior, has scored over 2,000 points and you can tell that he just understands the game at a higher level than most of his counterparts. Lock only played less than five minutes, a credit to his coach/dad who wanted to get the seniors maximum time on the court. When Lock did enter the game, he scored eight points and helped close out the win. Lock will make a great team again next year with Kaleb Keysor, another junior, who showed off his slick moves to push the pace and get to the basket all game long. It was a fun escape to some basketball purity and Bounce will be back.

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Blackhawk Christian senior Frankie Davidson pulls up for a shot in the first quarter against Snider on February 5.

WHY DOES FRANKIE DAVIDSON STILL SURPRISE ME?

On Tuesday, Blackhawk Christian survived a defensive onslaught from Snider and more than thrived in the second half after trailing by seven points at halftime. The second half was a showcase of Caleb Furst, who put up 18 points in the half alone in front of Purdue head coach Matt Painter and Butler assistant coach Emerson Kampen. But when this frog looked up at the scoreboard at the end of the game, it was Frankie Davidson that actually led Blackhawk Christian in scoring.

This is the second time Davidson has done this to me in the last month. And it happens because Davidson is so smooth in his performances that he always ends up being more offensively ingrained than you would think. Everything he does flows to his team’s momentum at any given moment. That is impressive when you think just how dominant and loud his skills can also be.

NOTEWORTHY PERFORMANCES

  • Homestead boys basketball set a school record for most three pointers in a game on Wednesday in a 91-49 win over Canterbury. In the process of getting then season highs from Xavier Overstreet and Alec Grinsfelder, the Spartans made 14 three pointers in the win.
  • Friday night was a night of career highs on the boys side. Joining Woodlan’s Joe Reidy (34 points) in scoring career high points on the night with big scoring totals were Snider’s Dillon Duff (40) and Jay County’s Michael Schlechty (29).
  • Conference champions were crowned in two of the four boys conferences on Friday night. Jay County beat Heritage to win the ACAC regular season title and East Noble clinched a second straight undefeated NE8 crown with a win over New Haven. The NECC is all but wrapped up with Westview being able to clinch the conference on February 19 unless they get help beforehand. The Warriors are 10-0 in conference and will play Fremont on the 19th to try and go unbeaten. Read above to see where the SAC stands.
  • Don’t forget to vote in our weekly Performance of the Week fan votes for the best single game performances of the week. With Sectional final and Regional Saturday options for the girls, this will be the final girls Performance of the Week fan vote this season.

FAN VOTE: Boys hoops Performance of the Week (Feb. 4-9), sponsored by Rico’s Barbershop

FAN VOTE: Girls hoops Performance of the Week (Feb. 4-9), sponsored by Ellen Vance of Ruoff Home Mortgage

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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