\bounceinset_21This will be the final week with just a girls power poll. Next week, I will also have a boys power poll.

1. HOMESTEAD (5-0, 2-0 SAC)

WHY #1?

The Spartans have paced themselves, playing just a game a week as they did last week and they will again this week with just rival Carroll on the agenda. They have no missed a beat with Sydney Graber arguably playing her best basketball of her career. The Spartans are rolling smooth so far.

WHY NOT HIGHER?

Not applicable.

RECORD VERSUS OTH TOP 10: 1-0

2. NORWELL (6-1, 0-0 NE8)

WHY #2?

The scoring gap on average isn’t big but the Knights have proven they can win in almost any situation and that is huge. Close games, blowouts, home, away, overtime; Norwell has been able to do it all. That is because of their next girl up mentality. Any time that one of their players struggles, there is someone else ready to step in.

WHY NOT HIGHER?

We can only wish that we had Norwell at Homestead playing again this year. Until then, the Knights will need some Homestead missteps to rise.

RECORD VERSUS OTH TOP 10: 3-0

3. SOUTH SIDE (3-2, 1-0 SAC)

WHY #3?

The Archers are right on the verge of breaking through to a high level. They are in gamed that they lose and look to be of great power locally. Jaci Jones and Olivia Smith continue to be a solid tandem inside and the rebounding and paint presence of Lamyia Woodson has been solid.

WHY NOT HIGHER?

Though out of area, the Archers do sit with two losses. How do they stack up against the rest of the top of the SAC? We really won’y find that out until the SAC Holiday Tournament later this month.

RECORD VERSUS OTH TOP 10: 0-0

4. CARROLL (5-1, 1-0 SAC)

WHY #4?

Carroll is playing at high pace and even when they struggle with individual consistency, their team consistency has built them up. They are dangerous in their press when it is as its best.

WHY NOT HIGHER?

Their lack of SAC opponents leaves holes in their resume, but four of their next 6 games will tell us a lot including Homestead and Northridge this weekend.

RECORD VERSUS OTH TOP 10: 0-0

5. BISHOP LUERS (4-2, 1-0 SAC)

WHY #5?

Not knowing much about Columbia City because of player absences mean that we don’t know if Luers’ loss to them is good or bad. But we do know that Lydia Reimbold has asserted herself in the argument of the best players in the city this season. Playing up to her level makes this team better and we do know that they have played extremely strong all season, even in losses.

WHY NOT HIGHER?

Pushing a .500 pace against the better teams in the area puts the Knights right here, squarely in the middle.

RECORD VERSUS OTH TOP 10: 1-1

6. ANGOLA (6-2, 3-0 NECC)

WHY #6?

We all know about Hanna Knoll and your team is going to be good if your best player is arguably the best pure scorer in the area. Lately though, it is Lauren Leach who has really grown and evolved as a sophomore. Angola has two upper level scorers right now.

WHY NOT HIGHER?

Their record against fellow Top 10 competition holds them back. 0-2 against teams we rank high not in the NECC. Neither loss was bad, Angola was right there, but they still didn’t get over the hump.

RECORD VERSUS OTH TOP 10: 1-2

7. CONCORDIA LUTHERAN (5-2, 1-1 SAC)

WHY #7?

After two straight big losses, the Cadets didn’t fall too far by bouncing back over visiting Valpo despite not getting a high scoring output from Chanteese Craig. The Cadets are very good when Craig is playing at a high level and are showing they can put together good showings even when she’s not on her best.

WHY NOT HIGHER?

Their lack of SAC games means we don’t know where they fit in with that successful group of teams other than behind Homestead.

RECORD VERSUS OTH TOP 10: 0-2

8. BISHOP DWENGER (7-0, 2-0 SAC)

WHY #8?

A 7-0 start is the best in the area and its hard to say whether it was expected or not. Bishop Dwenger has played deep with their talent and are winning by over 20 points per game.

WHY NOT HIGHER?

4-3 Blackhawk Christian is the only team that the Saints have beaten that have a winning record. Is Bishop Dwenger good or just better than who they’ve been playing?

RECORD VERSUS OTH TOP 10: 0-0

9. GARRETT (5-1, 1-1 NECC)

WHY #9?

The Railroaders are sitting a hair away from a perfect record. They have played consistent and quality basketball despite four of their best players being so young. Faith Owen is finding a good role again while fellow sophomore Morgan Ostrowski and Nataley Armstrong are both following suit. Then there is that super freshman Bailey Kelham, coming off a double-double against Prairie Heights.

WHY NOT HIGHER?

Their loss to Angola keeps them squarely back behind the Hornets.

RECORD VERSUS OTH TOP 10: 1-1

10. WOODLAN (6-1, 1-0 ACAC)

WHY #10?

The Warriors have won five straight games and they are looking strong, putting them into this 10th spot with a handful of teams that could be worthy. Save for a poor shooting night against Garrett, they are winning pretty big. A win in their last game over Jay County, while predictable this year, does line them up as the favorite in the ACAC.

WHY NOT HIGHER?

Not much experience against the upper echelon of teams. This will be a heavy and challenging December.

RECORD VERSUS OTH TOP 10: 0-1

Other teams in the conversation (in no particular order): Central Noble (5-1), Fairfield (5-3), Eastside (4-1), Columbia City (4-3), Huntington North (5-2), Warsaw (4-4)

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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