It is time.

No re-dos. No second chances.

Starting today, you lose and your season is over.

But before all the drama begins playing out, Bounce thought it would be nice to release one more of his power polls.

So where do we stand entering the playoffs?

1. HOMESTEAD (21-2)

WHY #1?

Victories in all three of their games last week has kept the Spartans’ momentum going heading into the postseason. That is eight straight victories since an overtime loss to Northrop on Jan. 25.

For the sixth time in the last seven seasons, Homestead will take on Huntington North in sectional play. With the way the Spartans have been playing, the Vikings will have to execute almost flawlessly to have a chance.

WHY NOT HIGHER?

You cannot top No. 1.

RECORD VS. OTH TOP 10: 9-1

2. BLACKHAWK CHRISTIAN (21-2)

WHY #2?

Despite the No. 2 ranking that some may find low, the Braves are a clear-cut favorite in the 1A playoffs. Anything short of the program’s first-ever state championship will be a colossal disappointment.

WHY NOT HIGHER?

Bounce contemplated the Braves jumping Homestead for the top spot after dispatching of South Side and Northrop last week, but your favorite frog hesitated.

That’s not a knock on Blackhawk Christian, but rather just how good Homestead has been in recent weeks.

RECORD VS. OTH TOP 10: 4-1

3. CARROLL (15-7)

WHY #3?

Judging where the Chargers are right now is a tad difficult. They have lost three of five, but the defeats were to powerhouse Carmel, a last-second loss to Homestead and a two-point setback on the road at Huntington North.

Add in the fact that this team has by far the best defense in Sectional 5 and you can begin to understand why Bounce has them above East Noble this week despite the Knights winning the head-to-head matchup earlier in the season.

WHY NOT HIGHER?

Carroll lost to Homestead twice and did not play Blackhawk Christian.

RECORD VS. OTH TOP 10: 4-4

4. EAST NOBLE (19-3)

WHY #4?

The Knights dropped a spot despite impressive wins over Angola and Elkhart Memorial, two teams with a combined 33 wins this year.

There is no question that the Knights will be in Friday’s semifinal at DeKalb after dispatching of North Side earlier in the week. That is when things will get tough.

WHY NOT HIGHER?

The fact that it has been nearly two decades since East Noble last won a sectional title has Bounce buying into the idea that the Knights have to prove themselves.

RECORD VS. OTH TOP 10: 3-2

5. SOUTH SIDE (7-12)

WHY #5?

Ignore the record, because the Archers had to forfeit their first four victories for using an ineligible player. Instead focus on he fact that J.J. Foster’s team has beaten Huntington North and Snider in recent weeks and hung tough with Blackhawk Christian just last week.

The Archers get to wait and see who wins between Homestead and Huntington North and may be a threat to clip the winner on Friday.

WHY NOT HIGHER?

That’s a lot of losses for the No. 5 team, let alone higher.

RECORD VS. OTH TOP 10: 2-6

6. HUNTINGTON NORTH (19-4)

WHY #6?

The Vikings have lost just two games since before Christmas. Only one of those (an OT loss to South Side on Feb. 9) came to a team from inside the state.

Recent wins include beating Carroll and going to a 14-win Plymouth team and rolling them by 21 points.

In other words, tonight’s game against Homestead could be very interesting.

WHY NOT HIGHER?

Just one victory over a team currently in Bounce’s top 10, the aforementioned victory over Carroll.

RECORD VS. OTH TOP 10: 1-3

7. SNIDER (14-8)

WHY #7?

Despite a 2-3 record over their final five regular-season games, it was tough not to bump the Panthers up after knocking off Marion 70-59 last Friday. One of the most impressive defensive performances of the year was laid down by Snider against the Giants, holding super sophomore Jalen Blackmon, who averages close to 30 points, scoreless in the first half.

Has this team turned the corner? We will find out this week.

WHY NOT HIGHER?

The Panthers have not beaten a team currently in Bounce’s top 10 since Northrop on Dec. 28.

RECORD VS. OTH TOP 10: 2-6

8. WESTVIEW

WHY #8?

The most shocking score of the final weekend of the season was Concord clipping Westview 49-47, which ended a 14-game winning streak for the Warriors.

The fact that Concord was a six-win team coming in to the game doesn’t reflect well on Westview, but consider that the Minutemen are a 4A team. Basically, Bounce is saying that the Warriors are still a solid bet in 2A despite the loss.

WHY NOT HIGHER?

Westview played just one team this season ranked in Bounce’s top 10, a loss to East Noble.

RECORD VS. OTH TOP 10: 0-1

9. WAYNE (13-9)

WHY #9?

The Generals really do not have a bad loss, with six of nine defeats coming to teams in Bounce’s Power Poll.

Conversely, Wayne doesn’t have much in the way of a ‘marquee’ win either, other than perhaps South Side.

This is what the Generals are – they are good enough to beat the majority of teams on their schedule, but not good enough to beat any upper-echelon squads.

WHY NOT HIGHER?

Wayne’s longest winning streak of the season is three.

RECORD VS. OTH TOP 10: 1-6

10. NORTHROP (13-8)

WHY #10?

Three straight losses to Bishop Dwenger, Noblesville and Blackhawk Christian do not instill a lot of confidence in the Bruins right now.

What’s the issue? Well, that’s a simple question with a complicated answer. One has to be the fact that Northrop lost to three pretty good teams. But the lack of focus and execution has been concerning.

The Bruins are capable of winning Sectional 5 if they can fix some problems. Will they do so in time?

WHY NOT HIGHER?

Northrop is 2-5 in their last seven games.

RECORD VS. OTH TOP 10: 5-3

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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