bounceinset_21It is that time again: a full slate of games is on tap this week on the girls end of high school basketball season and good luck finding anyone more excited than this frog. In the same vein as my burly football season counterpart, I will be making my picks on the games each week.

But don’t expect this to be just like Blitz’s Picks. For one, there are no spreads here; picking spreads in basketball is a pain. And two, I certainly can’t pick every single game on a schedule. So each Monday (from next week on), I will be talking about and picking 10 of the top games in the area each week; 5 from the girls side, 5 from the boys side. And then on Thursday or Friday, Outside the Huddle will go much more in depth on the Game of the Weekend, where I will make an additional pick.

So that makes 11. Eleven games each week for me to pick a winner on. To start the season, I will be picking 10 girls games and then splitting that up once boys season is upon us. What you will not find today is Central Noble at Bishop Luers, which will be highlighted later this week at the Outside the Huddle Game of the Weekend.

Last season: 129-59 (or about 69 percent correct)

This season: TBD

Heritage at DeKalb, Tuesday

Among the first teams to actually get going this season, these two teams present pretty different paths. Heritage is well established and a top returning player while DeKalb is looking for an identity. If the Barons can ramp up the tempo like they have said this preseason they want to, this game could be interesting. But in the end, too much Bree Dossen. Bounce picks Heritage

Norwell at Oak Hill, Wednesday

Norwell isn’t playing games this time around, testing themselves out of the gate with 6-foot-1 Taylor Westgate and an Eagles team that was a 25-3 state champion a year ago. Fellow senior Abby Shaw is back for Oak Hill, but they graduated seven seniors including four starters. So what will they look like? Who knows, but its a super strong program. This is a close one that is arguably the overall game of the week. Going with a gut and taking the team that has more experience. Bounce picks Norwell

Woodlan at Garrett, Thursday

Here are two teams that developed a ton over the past year. While both teams are capable scorers, I would expect this to be low scoring as it was a year ago because both defenses are going to take uptempo out of the picture as much as they can. In the end, Woodlan is likely too big here and they will already be a game into the season; expect a big game from Addie Bayman. Bounce picks Woodlan

Heritage at Leo, Friday

Friday night lights! Sort of. While their football team is looking for a Sectional title, the Leo girls are looking for some footing. There are a lot of new faces in new roles for the Lions, but there is a reason why a lot of people in the area aren’t writing them off in the NE8 top half race. Home court helps, call this my first upset of the week? Bounce picks Leo

Bluffton at Winchester, Saturday

Another one of the traditional opening week games will see Bluffton travel to the always dangerous Winchester. Maddie Lawrence averaged 16 points, six assists and four steals a game last season coming off a torn ACL. This is a great measuring stick for a Bluffton team that has a lot to replace. Unfortunately for the Tigers, who have a solid season ahead of them, they aren’t going to measure up this strong just yet. Bounce picks Winchester

Carmel at Homestead, Saturday

It seems like you’d have to be in a dream to get to see these two power schools square off on the first Saturday of the season each year, but here we are. What level is Ayanna Patterson ready to play at day one? It is a question that the Homestead program is likely keeping close to the chest. The Greyhounds are still rebuilding off a 14-11 season and will be very good again soon. Just not this weekend. Bounce picks Homestead 

Carroll at Columbia City, Saturday

This is a really interesting matchup with a Carroll team that is poised to battle at the top of the SAC and a Columbia City team that knows they need to start better than last season. The Eagles need for early swing to the win column and the nostalgia associated with their last ever home opener on their current court makes me want to swing the Eagles way. Then there is the defensive pressure that Carroll can combat them with. I’m not calling this the game of the weekend, but it may be the hardest game to predict. Bounce picks Carroll

Norwell at Warsaw, Saturday

Norwell continues their tough opening week by traveling to the big school in Warsaw. The Tigers are a hungry group and are going to be a terror in the Northern Lakes Conference. But Norwell may have more to prove coming off a titleless season a year ago. Especially if the Knights can beat Oak Hill earlier in the week, they are a team that can start seasons with mid-season form momentum. Bounce picks Norwell

Indianapolis Cathedral at South Side, Saturday

Cathedral graduated nobody from their 10-15 team last season and that is great. Can’t ask for much better experience than that. But South Side has almost everyone back too from a team that was far better than 10-15. Its a situation to start a season with for South and there is a reason we have two Archers in the top 5 of our preseason player countdown. Jaci Jones and Olivia Smith do what they do, but lets say that Alaya Chapman has a big day and call this one. Bounce picks South Side

West Noble at Blackhawk Christian, Saturday

The strides made by the Braves under coach Steph Gongaware were impressive. What do they have in store for her sophomore act? This is a quality test against a West Noble team that has a lot to replace, but returns Lily Mast. The Chargers looked good this summer and if they can push the pace and make Blackhawk Christian play chase, this is their game to lose. Bounce picks West Noble

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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