Bounce’s Picks for the Week of Dec. 9

It may be hard to believe but we are really narrowing things down on the girls side already when it comes to conference contention. That gets even more critical this week, including in the Northeast 8 but more on that later in our Game of the Weekend.

Homestead girls retain the Bounce Traveling Trophy with their win over Carroll last Friday and the Homestead boys also still hold onto their Traveling Trophy despite their loss to Marion since the Giants are not part of our coverage area.

I will be picking five girls games and five boys games in my regular picks. What you will not find today is Norwell at Columbia City girls, coming this Friday night, which will be highlighted later this week as the Outside the Huddle Game of the Weekend.

Last week: 6-4….not a good week for me.

Season total: 38-13


Bellmont at Bishop Luers, Wednesday

We are talking about Bellmont again as they’ve started to find a solid flow and are still right there in the thick of the NE8 race. Wednesday is a good measuring stick for them because they know that Luers took NE8 rival Norwell to overtime. This is going to be a game where Kenzie McMahon is going to have to be on her best game on the interior to counteract the multitude of options that the Knights have. If Luers is truly a SAC contender, this should be a contest they handle with relative comfort. Yet there is just something in me that says Bellmont won’t go so quietly. Sleeper game of the week? Bounce picks Bishop Luers

Warsaw at Carroll, Wednesday

Talk about seasons that have gone a little sour. Warsaw started 4-0 and now sit at 5-5. Is a trip to Carroll what ails them? That’s a tough one unless they have some depth. This is a Tiger team that beat Norwell and their losses are to teams a combined 46-3 so you can’t call them bad at all, but you don’t know about a bounce back from so many losses until you have to put it together against a good team. Bounce picks Warsaw

Bluffton at Woodlan, Friday

Things haven’t gone so smoothly for the Tigers this season and if there is a day to try and right the ship, this is it. They can throw a wrench into the ACAC and they can give themselves confidence and momentum for the conference tournament that they can beat anyone in the field. That is easier said than done with the Warriors at Woodlan. I wouldn’t go as far as to call the Warriors a Jekyll and Hyde act but they’ve certainly missed out on some opportunities and lost games they probably shouldn’t have. Will this be another of those? Bounce picks Woodlan

Concordia Lutheran at Carroll, Friday

Good for some positioning and confidence heading toward the SAC tournament, both these teams want this win. They both opened the season well but saw some tough realities when facing Homestead. While Carroll has been balanced, it has been a few games since Olivia Hoeppner has made significant noise. She is going to be a tough one for the Cadets to contain. Bounce picks Carroll

Homestead at Notre Dame Academy (OH), Saturday

The Eagles sit at 4-0 as they face Homestead for the fifth consecutive season. Notre Dame Academy consistently puts out a solid program in the state of Ohio, but have never beaten Homestead during this continuing series. Right now, Sydney Graber is continuing at the best pace of her career for the Spartans and Ayanna Patterson showed little to no signs of rust this past weekend in her return to the court. Admittedly, we know more about Homestead than Notre Dame Academy, but Bounce doesn’t think it would matter anyway. Bounce picks Homestead


Churubusco at Columbia City, Tuesday

The last time these two teams played at the home of the Eagles, things were a little…rough. But two years removed from that, one program has trended upward while the other is treading water. Expect Columbia City to be a hungry team here, they’ve dropped their first three games of the season by a combined 18 points and with this being Busco, the likes of Mitchell Wilson and Gregory Bolt are going to be at their best. Is it good enough? The Eagles are still missing a big piece, but Hunter Perlich has proven very important inside and he is going to win most of his matchups. Bounce picks Churubusco

Bishop Dwenger at Norwell, Tuesday

This was a bit of a dogfight last season with Brenden Lytle and the now graduated Hayden Smithey finding an advantage for Dwenger. But a lot has changed and so has the change of venue. The Knights are coming off a week long layoff as they host Dwenger in the Saints’ opener. Bishop Dwenger is going to need to work out some kinks with a mostly knew lineup and this, unfortunately, isn’t a good place or team to have to work those out with. Lytle keeps Dwenger in this, but there is no answer right now for Will Geiger inside and the double-double machine keeps rolling. Bounce picks Norwell

Northrop at Bishop Luers, Friday

Jockeying for position is what we call this and with it coming before the SAC Tournament pairings announcement, it could have an effect on those Sagarin ratings. Northrop has played well enough, but is clearly missing a player the caliber of Qualen Pettus who broke his hand during football season; his timetable for a return is unknown. Meanwhile, the Knights are coming off three very good games last week and Naylon Thompson and Demarcus Hudson are in the argument of best 1-2 scoring punch in the conference. Bounce picks Bishop Luers

Blackhawk Christian versus Silver Creek, Saturday

This one will be played in Southport as part of the annual Tip-Off Classic featuring the Braves against the defending Class 3A state champions. The 6:40 tip time comes the day after a late game in Elkhart for the Braves, so there is some heavy travel next weekend although Silver Creek will be hosting a conference game the night before. The Dragons sit comfortable at 3-0 and have absolute monster in 6-foot-9 junior Trey Kaufman, averaging 30 points, 11.3 rebounds and a pair of blocks per game to match up with Caleb Furst (26 points, 13.5 rebounds per game).

Kooper Jacobi and Branden Northern also average double digit scoring for Silver Creek. The Braves have Zane Burke and Marcus Davidson averaging double digit scoring and two more guys at 9.5 points per game. Jacobi being at 6-foot-6 is where we see a bit of a matchup problem for a small Braves team, so who matches up with him could be a difference maker. This is arguably the hardest game Blackhawk Christian will play all season. Heavyweight collision, super difficult pick to make. Bounce picks Blackhawk Christian

New Haven at Homestead, Saturday

Still a favorite in the NE8, New Haven is not shying away from big tests. Traveling to Homestead ranks right up there on tough things to do. The Bulldogs need a big game from Thomas Latham, who has been strong every game except a loss to Blackhawk Christian. This is pure style clash of aggression versus finesse and both teams are very good at asserting their particular will. New Haven is like Marion and Homestead is like Blackhawk Christian in several ways, so both teams have to put in a good planning week. Bounce picks Homestead

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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