And just like that, there is just one week left in the regular season.

While there are a few decent games this week, nothing will match last week, with several highly-ranked teams in Bounce’s poll going down.

The debate is always this – how far do you drop a Carroll or a Northrop? Do you put Huntington North (who beat Carroll) and Bishop Dwenger (who beat Northrop) above the Chargers or Bruins?

Tough decisions. Guess that’s why Bounce makes the big bucks.

1. HOMESTEAD (18-9, 7-2 SAC)

WHY #1?

It wasn’t pretty at times, but the Spartans came up clutch against their rival Carroll last Friday. First it was Xavier Overstreet hitting a key three to put Homestead in front by one, then it was Zak Krueger nailing a 16-footer in the closing seconds.

Homestead has lost just once since early December. It isn’t always pretty, but the Spartans continue to find ways to beat opponents, including both the Chargers and East Noble last week.

A three-game week that kicked off last night against Jay County is on tap.

WHY NOT HIGHER?

Believe me, if Bounce could rank them even higher he would.

RECORD VS. OTH TOP 10: 9-1

2. BLACKHAWK CHRISTIAN (19-2)

WHY #1?

Beating up on poor 1A teams (Lakewood Park and Hamilton in the last week) is one thing, but going to Marion on a weekday and taking care of business against the Giants is another.

That’s exactly what Blackhawk Christian did last week, just the second team from Fort Wayne to beat Marion this year (the other being Bishop Dwenger in mid-December.

This week sees a pair of tough games in South Side and Northrop. Win or lose, Blackhawk Christian is the heavy favorite in Class 1A heading into the playoffs.

WHY NOT HIGHER?

Blackhawk Christian dropped one spot this week not because of what it did, but rather how good Homestead looked. Considering the Spartans beat the Braves in January, there isn’t much to argue here.

RECORD VS. OTH TOP 10: 2-1

3. EAST NOBLE (17-3, 7-0 NE8)

WHY #3?

Where else can you lose a game and actually move up? Yes, Bounce likes to think outside the box.

The Knights gave Homestead a game last week, but dropped a 49-44 decision before bouncing back with a victory at Wawasee.

East Noble still has not gotten the pub that Fort Wayne teams have received this year, particularly in 4A. But the question remains, can the Knights beat teams like Snider and Carroll when it counts in sectional play?

WHY NOT HIGHER?

There aforementioned loss to Homestead tells you why.

RECORD VS. OTH TOP 10: 3-2

4. WESTVIEW (20-4, 10-0 NECC)

WHY #4?

Is this a bit of a stretch? Could be. I mean, the Warriors have played just one team in this power poll (East Noble) and lost.

But 20 victories is legit, and the Warriors have arguably one of the best teams in Class 2A. Charlie Yoder is in the conversation for area player of the year.

This is a very good team. Top 4 in the area? Maybe.

WHY NOT HIGHER?

Westview lost to East Noble by seven, so you cannot put the Warriors above them at this point.

RECORD VS. OTH TOP 10: 0-1

5. CARROLL (14-7, 7-2 SAC)

WHY #5?

A three-game losing streak ended last Saturday when the Chargers beat Indy North Central by three, but it surely didn’t lessen the hurt of Friday’s loss. With a win over Homestead, Carroll would have won its second-straight SAC championship. Instead, it has to share it with the Spartans and Northrop.

The Chargers played some teams that really put their scorers on lockdown. Dan McKeeman and David Ejah are crucial to this team’s playoff chances.

WHY NOT HIGHER?

Make no mistake, all three teams the Chargers lost to during their skid, Carmel, Huntington North and Homestead, are good. But it’s tough to say Carroll is peaking right now with sectionals looming next week.

RECORD VS. OTH TOP 10: 4-4

6. SOUTH SIDE (10-7, 5-4 SAC)

WHY #6?

Can the Archers surprise in Sectional 6? Homestead and Huntington North will be the favorites, but South beat the Vikings 10 days ago and gave the Spartans a game in January.

What truly opened Bounce’s eyes was last Friday’s 12-point victory over Snider. The Panthers have a very talented roster, but the youthful Archers took care of business. That shows the maturation of this young team over the course of the season.

WHY NOT HIGHER?

Tough to vault the Archers over a team like Carroll that beat them by 13 points when they met in mid-January.

RECORD VS. OTH TOP 10: 2-5

7. HUNTINGTON NORTH (17-4, 6-1 NE8)

WHY #7?

It was a two-victory week for the Vikings last week, including a win over Carroll thanks to Zach Daugherty’s dagger with less than 25 seconds left from three-point range.

With a very good defense and an offense that does just enough, this squad is going to be a tough out in Sectional 6.

Two games this week will help HN prepare for a rematch with Homestead in the first round of sectional.

WHY NOT HIGHER?

Yes, Huntington North has just four losses, but three have come to teams above them in this poll. So there is that…

RECORD VS. OTH TOP 10: 1-3

8. NORTHROP (13-9, 7-2 SAC)

WHY #8?

Within barely two weeks time, the Bruins went from an undefeated SAC season to barely earning a share of the league crown.

Northrop has lost three of four, with last Friday’s loss at Bishop Dwenger the most surprising of the trio. The Saints were able to slow down and neutralize the speed of the Bruins in transition, similar to what Carroll was able to do a few weeks ago.

WHY NOT HIGHER?

This is still a good team, but with the season finale at Blackhawk Christian this week, it is doubtful that the Bruins will enter the playoffs with much momentum.

RECORD VS. OTH TOP 10: 5-2

9. WAYNE (12-9, 5-4 SAC)

WHY #9?

The Generals continue to look like a team that can contend with anyone in the area on any given night. Since a 16-point loss to Northrop on January 18, Wayne is 5-2 with losses by single digits to Homestead and Noblesville.

Craig Young is putting an exclamation point on his prep hoops career, setting individual season highs in points in two of the last three games, dropping 26 on South Side and 27 on Concordia.

WHY NOT HIGHER?

Wayne continues to struggle for wins against upper-echelon teams. But they have been competitive and will be a tough out as it hosts the sectional.

RECORD VS. OTH TOP 10: 1-6

10. SNIDER (13-8, 5-4 SAC)

WHY #10?

The Panthers have been a mainstay in Bounce’s top 10 all year, including being anchored in the top spot a time or two. But that seems like a long time ago. Snider is just 3-3 in February, with the most alarming performance coming last Friday in a 12-point loss to South Side.

This team is still extremely dangerous and is capable of putting it all together on any given night. But the struggles are real.

WHY NOT HIGHER?

Bounce may be dropping Snider a bit too much here at No. 10, but with the way it has been playing of late, it feels right.

RECORD VS. OTH TOP 10: 3-6

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

 

 

 

Advertisements

1 Comment »

  1. I would only say that some of Snider’s woes is directly related to #23 not staying out of foul trouble. Missing the end of the 1st and all of the 2nd quarters against South just throws off the team rhythm. Same at Cathederal. Not to mention #5 also was saddled with foul trouble against South. Snider is set to breakout @ Sectional. Loved reading your commentary all year!!!!!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s