bounceinset_21The first few weeks of any season see a plethora of changes in opinion when it comes to who the best teams in the area are.

But this year is on another level.

The first week of SAC play did a number on all of us in terms of who should be ranked where. More upsets (are they upsets?) came to fruition elsewhere as well last week.

Bounce tries to make sense of it all in his latest power poll.

Note: there will be no power polls next week on Christmas Eve, but Bounce will return on December 31 for his post-SAC Tournament editions.

1. BLACKHAWK CHRISTIAN (3-1)

WHY #1?

While the Braves fell to Trey Kaufman and Class 3A No. 1 Silver Creek last weekend, they have yet to lose to a team in northern Indiana.

That fact, coupled with the less-than-impressive performances out of other top teams thus far, keeps Blackhawk Christian at No. 1 this week.

A home matchup against Culver Academy on Saturday will be a good pre-Christmas test.

WHY NOT HIGHER?

No. 1 reigns supreme.

RECORD VS. OTH TOP 10: 1-0

2. HOMESTEAD (4-1, 1-0 SAC)

WHY #2?

The egg laid against Marion at home is still puzzling, but the Spartans have bounced back since with blowout wins over Bishop Dwenger and a good New Haven squad.

Grant Simmons is the latest “who is this kid?” player for Coach Chris Johnson. The junior is averaging 9.6 points per game for the Spartans.

WHY NOT HIGHER?

The Marion defeat still weighs heavily in Bounce’s mind. Should Homestead be above Blackhawk Christian? That can be debated either way.

RECORD VS. OTH TOP 10: 1-0

3. CARROLL (3-0, 1-0 SAC)

WHY #3?

The Chargers went 2-0 last weekend in a back-to-back against Concordia Lutheran and Columbia City to stay undefeated.

Coach Marty Beasley’s team is sneakily hovering in the conversation as the best team right now in the area as they have seen a leading scorer rise to the top in Jalen Jackson. Scoring hierarchy will mean a lot for this team.

WHY NOT HIGHER?

The quality of competition hasn’t been off the charts, but that changes this weekend with a Friday showdown with Wayne followed by a trip to Norwell. We will know more about Carroll come Saturday night.

RECORD VS. OTH TOP 10: 0-0

4. NORWELL (4-0, 0-0 NE8)

WHY #4?

Coach Mike McBride’s team dispatched of Bishop Dwenger and Eastbrook by a combined 70 points last week. Will Geiger has been a menace around the bucket for Norwell in the early part of the season, just another aspect of his game that opposing teams have to respect.

The Knights are one of just three undefeated teams left in the area.

WHY NOT HIGHER?

Bounce has Norwell moving up five spots this week in his poll, a serious jump. A tough weekend with DeKalb on Friday and Carroll on Saturday looms, a barely 24-hour stretch that will teach us a lot about the Knights.

RECORD VS. OTH TOP 10: 0-0

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

WHY #5?

Why not? A blowout loss to Culver Academy to begin the season has been followed up by a surprise victory over Snider on Friday followed by a win on the road at South Bend Washington, who isn’t exactly a slouch team.

The Generals proved a lot last week, and not just with the Snider win. To put a big league win behind them and focus enough to beat a decent Washington team on the road one day later shows to Bounce that Coach Byron Pickens has this team buying in from the outset.

WHY NOT HIGHER?

The loss was a lopsided one, and we still don’t know how good Snider is. Wayne plays three games in four nights starting with Wednesday against New Haven. Let’s see how this goes.

RECORD VS. OTH TOP 10: 1-0

6. SNIDER (1-1, 0-1 SAC)

WHY #6?

A limited sample size for the Panthers, but you cannot help but be puzzled with the loss to Wayne. This is a team that underperformed in games last year despite having a talent advantage and it did so again against the Generals.

Still, this team is built to be good over the long run. A three-game week this week will be telling.

WHY NOT HIGHER?

A loss to Wayne to begin the SAC slate is a good place to start.

RECORD VS. OTH TOP 10: 0-1

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

WHY #7?

The Archers dropped a spot from last week, although it was nothing they did detrimental as they stomped rival North Side by 31 points. But South’s loss to Leo to open the season looks a little more questionable after the Lions lost at Concordia.

A visit to Northrop on Friday concludes the pre-Holiday Tournament slate for the Archers. Having Ashton Johnson back in the lineup only makes this team deeper.

WHY NOT HIGHER?

Similar to Snider, there isn’t a big enough sample size for the Archers to judge too far in the positive or negative. South could be a sneaky team in the Holiday Tournament, where it kick things off against Carroll.

RECORD VS. OTH TOP 10: 0-1

8. LEO (3-1, 0-0 NE8)

WHY #8?

It is tough to drop the Lions below South Side, considering Leo knocked them off just a few weeks ago, but the Archers have looked solid since while Coach Cary Cogdell’s squad lost in The Cage against Concordia Lutheran last weekend with the Cadets looking like one of the lowest teams in the SAC race.

A matchup at Northrop this week and the NE8 opener against Huntington North will be telling.

WHY NOT HIGHER?

Bounce is having a lot of trouble ranking these second-tier teams currently. Who belongs above you? It is a lot of convoluted thinking right now. Should Leo be higher with wins over South Side and Churubusco? Maybe, maybe not.

RECORD VS. OTH TOP 10: 1-0

9. BISHOP LUERS (3-1, 1-0 SAC)

WHY #9?

The lone loss for the Knights came at the hands of an undefeated Warren Central team, and last week’s win over Northrop was businesslike in its approach.

Senior Demarcus Hudson is scoring at a torrid pace, notching 26-point efforts in each of the first three games.

A visit to Homestead on Friday is next up.

WHY NOT HIGHER?

Coach Fonso White’s team is debuting in the top 10 at No. 9, which Bounce feels is pretty fair. A win or even a close game at Homestead this week would really legitimize the Knights in this frog’s mind.

RECORD VS. OTH TOP 10: 0-0

10. NEW HAVEN (2-2, 0-0 NE8)

WHY #10?

The Bulldogs dropped from No. 8 to 10 after their second blowout loss in the last two games. Thing is, those two defeats have come to Blackhawk Christian and Homestead, arguably the two best teams in the area right now.

A visit to Wayne on Wednesday will be telling for both teams.

WHY NOT HIGHER?

New Haven is the lone team in this week’s poll with multiple losses. Bounce feels this position is quite fair.

RECORD VS. OTH TOP 10: 0-2

Other teams in the conversation (in no particular order): Prairie Heights (6-0), DeKalb (3-1), Concordia (2-2), Bluffton (3-1), Churubusco (2-2), Central Noble (2-1), Westview (2-2)

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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