And here it is, the regular season finale week for high school basketball this season and Bounce’s first trip around Northeast Indiana. It has come to a fast close. And while Bounce and Outside the Huddle will continue to be with you until the very last team plays their very last game of the season (and beyond that too), this will be my final attempt to pick regular season games.
I will still be picking Sectional title games, so don’t you dare fret. And maybe, just maybe, we will avoid weather long enough to play this week’s games. Coming Thursday, we will break down the Game of the Weekend with two of the top NECC teams doing battle as Fairfield visits Central Noble in a Friday night regular season closer.
Last Week: 5-4
ANGOLA AT EAST NOBLE, TUESDAY
The success of Angola has been underestimated this year. They have shaped a very good season heading to the postseason behind a senior laden group that puts amazing pressure on opponents. Do the Hornets have the bodies to match up with East Noble? This is actually probably a yes. They will have to control the interior and Brent Cox and Ali Ali, always easier said that done. Look for some fun matchups with Dyer Ball and Luke Honer but also keep an eye on who can set the pace between East Noble’s Hayden Jones and Angola’s Blake Pocock; if either of them gets going, that swings momentum easily.
Bounce picks East Noble
BLACKHAWK CHRISTIAN AT SOUTH SIDE, TUESDAY
Back to back wins over Huntington North and Snider show that South Side is still a dangerous threat and not for the reason that we probably expected most in November. Kamron Mitchell has become arguably the most dangerous player on this Archer roster and the fact he isn’t relying solely on his three point shooting is critical. Blackhawk represents a bigger hurdle though because JT Langston Jr. and Amari Hall have been able to slow but, in no way stop quality posts. The Archers are getting a lot better and they have to be considered a threat in their Sectional again. But this may be a week too early against a team too comfortable.
Bounce picks Blackhawk Christian
BISHOP DWENGER AT BELLMONT, TUESDAY
Who is Bishop Dwenger? I feel like I have been asking this all season. With wins over two of the three SAC champions, we know that they can play really good basketball. But with uninspired losses along the way, I am some meaty substance here. A win AT Bellmont would mean a lot to Bounce. It is an aggressive game when you look at the two sides and Bellmont is not an easy place to go win at. Kade Fuelling has established himself as one of the best players in the NE8, but I want to see Bellmont’s Brady Manis and Bishop Dwenger’s Brenden Lytle just go to war up and down the court. Who has more scorers in this one? With Matt Kochanski stepping up and Jared Lee playing big, we may have an answer, but it is razor close.
Bounce picks Bishop Dwenger
NORTHROP AT BLACKHAWK CHRISTIAN, THURSDAY
This is certainly the showcase game of the week and one that everyone will watching to see that Caleb Furst or Frankie Davidson versus Sydney Curry battle. The SAC is over, these teams are in distant classes from each other in the postseason, so this is simply for bragging rights. Is that important? It will be for a lot of people. Northrop, all of the sudden, has lost 3 of their last 4 and 4 of their last 6. Cause for concern? It would be for me against a Blackhawk Christian team that has, in the last month, beat two of the teams that Northrop, in the last month, has lost too.
Bounce picks Blackhawk Christian
CARROLL AT WARSAW, FRIDAY
Each year, Warsaw has the capability to win any game it seems like. That said, they have only been able to put away one of the area’s more elite programs this season. Carroll is playing up and down basketball, but I still stand by the fact that the Chargers are hard to beat if Dan McKeeman and David Ejah are both playing at a top level. Can they be at Warsaw, where the Tigers are 8-0 this season?
Bounce picks Carroll
HOMESTEAD AT NORWELL, FRIDAY
Homestead has set themselves up to have one of their best seasons ever and the final stop will be Norwell with Mr. Double-Double Will Geiger. This is going to be a really fun game and Geiger is a top tier talent that deserves to be seen and games against the SAC elite will allow for that. This game comes down to two things: Homestead is just deeper and every time I pick against Chris Johnson, it comes back to get me. Happened last Friday. Won’t happen this Friday.
Bounce picks Homestead
HUNTINGTON NORTH AT BISHOP LUERS, FRIDAY
Bishop Luers needs a big win before the postseason, but they have to be happy with their progress so far in the season. Naylon Thompson is arguably the best player in this game, but the Vikings have shown they are very layered on both sides of the floor. This could be a nice showcase for them against a team still building.
Bounce picks Huntington North
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