It is the final week of only being girls basketball season. And even as such, the boys got in some action with their scrimmages, as you will read about below.
This is also the final week of just one Sunday column. That’s right, after much consideration, Bounce has decided that each Sunday I will have a column that touches on girls basketball through the week and a separate column for the boys because I’m not looking to shortchange anyone.
Also, as boys start this week, look back at all of our 2019-2020 season preview coverage including our Top 10 area teams.
CARROLL IS BUILT TO RUN
Carroll came to play on Tuesday when they hosted an unbeaten Huntington North and they pushed a pace that was incredibly impressive. Emily Parrett and Olivia Hoeppner (15 points Tuesday) lead the charge, but they aren’t alone. Coach Mark Redding is playing a lot of girls to see who fits when and where.
So far, he has to be a little happy, even if he isn’t satisfied yet. Remember the name Taylor Fordyce too when you talk about something that is helping to separate the Chargers right now. Another of the freshman class who is really making her presence felt. She fit right into the flow of the game on Tuesday. On Friday, eight Chargers scored led by Hoeppner’s 25, Parrett’s 19 and Jasmine Anderson‘s 10. Depth, scoring and a lot of trouble.
As nice as Tuesday’s win was, it didn’t make the statement quite like Friday’s win over Northrop did. The Bruins have taken a couple of quick SAC losses but their length, athleticism make them a tough matchup. Carroll put up a major fight and proved that they fit in just fine with their own skill set. The Chargers now sit right there with Homestead and South Side in the top three. And we now have to ask, is this a team who could pull off some conference upsets because of their tempo?
• If we thought Homestead at Concordia was going to be close on Friday, there is some pie on our face this weekend. I mean, I did. I picked the Spartans to win, but this was our Game of the Weekend for a reason. No such luck for Concordia and that means the gap in the SAC may be much bigger than we thought. If Sydney Graber can score 24 and Rylie Parker can score 18 in the same night, the Spartans aren’t going to be beatable. That is just fact. 73-29 over a team that had beaten two Top 10 teams already that season; that is a major statement.
• Those looking forward to seeing South Side host Bishop Luers now have a makeup date. The game should have been played already but was delayed due to water damage in South Side’s gym. They will now play Saturday, January 25.
• Speaking of those Archers, they battled this weekend. After cruising to a conference win on Friday over Wayne behind Jaci Jones‘ six made three pointers, South picked up a quality road win over South Bend Washington on Saturday. That game belonged to Olivia Smith, who scored 18 points and registered six swipes. There are a lot of options for the Archers and as we’ve talked about other teams to start this season, I feel like maybe we’ve forgotten them too much. Won’t be making that mistake much.
• There is a reason that Huntington North started 3-0 and now sit at 5-1. Their first three opponents weren’t on Carroll’s level but there was a lot to appreciate against the Chargers Tuesday even when Huntington North got down quickly. Reece Colclesser has improved her poise so much from a season ago and freshman Taylor Double has the chance to be one of the best area players in her class in the coming seasons.
Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will be a Matt Hinds led Viking program. But, the start of this season has been a good one and Huntington North is going to make some waves this season, believe you me.
• Norwell is in for OTH Top 10 slugfests. The Knights survived Bishop Luers by the skin of their teeth in a back and forth overtime game on Wednesday. This is another early candidate for game of the year just days after Norwell was in a huge game, coming back to beat Angola. The Knights are very strong and are going to be contenders in any game even with a halftime deficit, we know that now too.
Norwell had two 20 points scorers in Breann Barger and Kaylee Fuelling and Maiah Shelton scored 15 in that overtime win. With that range of scoring, good luck keeping pace with Norwell unless you are having your night of the season.
• Jay County is young and Oak Hill is down from last year’s state champion team, but that doesn’t make Tuesday’s win for the Patriots mean a ton less. Jay County needed an early season win to strengthen them and they got it behind Izzy Rodgers‘ 13 points.
• It is turning out that a loss to Garrett really was a one game malfunction for the Warriors of Woodlan. They churned out two more wins this week against Prairie Heights and Leo and the scoring punch of Dakotah Krohn and Addison Bayman is in full swing, both scoring 19 against Prairie Heights on Tuesday. We knew Woodlan could be the team to beat in the ACAC and they are really beefing themselves up at this point before starting conference play November 29 against the aforementioned Jay County.
• On Tuesday in a 77-18 win over North Side, Garrett scored the most points they had in six years. While the Legends aren’t on the top end of opponents, the Railroaders continue to be among the most pleasant surprises this early season. On Friday, they topped county rival DeKalb to move to 4-0 with freshman Bailey Kelham having 20 points, continuing her great career start and Morgan Ostrowski had a double double of 17 points and 11 rebounds.
• Central Noble isn’t back but they won’t be a pushover. Some people probably though the Cougars were done after a TOUGH opening loss at Bishop Luers. Not so quick. Bridgette Gray is going to be a very good scorer, she had two great games this week. Central Noble didn’t build themselves up for a titanic fall and I think this week reminded people of that. Gray added 17 in a win over Fremont on Friday and Madi Vice is showing that she can be a growing contributor with 14 in Saturday’s win over DeKalb.
• Coming off her FAN VOTE Performance of the Week win, Churubusco‘s Mariah Hosted had another good game Tuesday scoring 14 points in a win over Lakeland Christian.
• It is great to see Lakewood Park bouncing back this week after some early season scorers. They had four girls in double figures on Tuesday in a win over Westview, led by Chloe Jolloff‘s 22 points. On Thursday, Jolloff scored 27 in a win over Lakeland Christian. The Panthers are going to get some good wins with Jolloff and Taylor Gerke getting more comfortable.
BOYS KICK OFF WITH SCRIMMAGES
Bounce took in a couple of scrimmages this week but all around teams got to learn a little bit more in a game environment.
Leo can up a lot of points in a hurry if they are hitting their outside shots. Even if you know what they plan to do, as Canterbury did on Thursday, you still have to be able to chase down their ball rotation. Canterbury couldn’t do that a ton. While Will Shank played very well and the aggression of Chris Diwis was nice to see for the Cavaliers, their 37 point spread against Leo shows they need some more depth and that Leo is pretty good, even if they think I’m sleeping on them. I really liked Zack Troyer for the Lions, he made a big immediate impression with his rebounding and rim protection.
Saturday afternoon, Bounce also took in Snider‘s scrimmage against South Bend Washington that turned into a shoot out at moments. The Panthers won some of that and lost at other times, mostly when back in a zone. Big takeaways: Isaac Farnsworth‘s confidence and flow shooting the ball and the second chance scoring from Dillon Duff and Michael Eley who are going to have to handle a TON of slack in the rebounding department this year.
New Wayne coach Byron Pickens seemed content with his group’s Saturday morning scrimmage against Homestead, also noting how big and long the Spartans were, including Grant Simmons, a Spartan up from the JV. New Haven outscored Carroll by 18 in their scrimmage late in the week. While we can’t take a ton from the score of these games, but getting a leg up on a team that is always fundamentally sound like Carroll says good things about New Haven’s potential.
As always, make sure you vote in this week’s Performance of the Week FAN VOTE. Remember, this doesn’t reflect a body of work as much as the best single game performance. Voting is open through Tuesday here: FAN VOTE: Girls hoops Performance of the Week for Nov. 18-23
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