A quick hitter for you all to wrap up Friday (or wake you up on Saturday), I am here to supplement my weekly Bounce Picks now that we know the matchups for the final day of the SAC Holiday Tournament played at Wayne High School.
I am going to do my best to project the winners of Saturday morning/early afternoon’s semi finals and, just for the heck of it, also going to pick some championship winners even if I have no earthly idea who will play in Saturday night’s games.
GIRLS SEMI FINAL 1, 9 A.M. – HOMESTEAD VS. BISHOP LUERS
There has to be some intrigue here because of Luers’ upset in their meeting in 2017. It remains just one of two games Homestead has lost to a SAC opponent since they joined the SAC and was the first of such. It is also the only thing keeping Homestead from playing for a 5-peat this tournament. And yes, I know there are few of the same players on either roster from that game, but its still notable.
The Knights just played Homestead eight days earlier and led for what was really the majority of the game. A big question will be Kennedy Glenn’s availability after missing Thursday’s Luers win, she would help a lot against Homestead’s stout post presence, especially as Amber Austin continues to come into her own. Two of the best games we’ve seen in the first two days have come from Luers’ Delaney Bailey and Homestead’s Sydney Graber and a shootout between the two could be fun. Bounce picks Homestead
GIRLS SEMI FINAL 2, 10:45 A.M. – SOUTH SIDE VS. NORTHROP
This is always a fun one because of the intensity that radiates from both sidelines with coaches Juanita Goodwell and Rashida Muhammad. Northrop, as the seven seed, has to be happy with what they’ve done in this tournament. They are pressuring the ball, setting up traps on the wing and forcing opponents into one and out situations at the rim. That pressure has caused instant offense as their guards leak out into transition.
South Side’s bread and butter may be their guard play too, but they have a couple of bruisers inside and the Archers have nearly unparalleled experience for teams in this tournament. The Archers are on the verge of making their fourth finals and they have plenty of girls in Jaci Jones, Alaya Chapman and Lamyia Woodson who have seen the majority of those trips. Experience is often key. Bounce picks South Side
BOYS SEMI FINAL 1, 12:30 P.M. – NORTHROP VS. CARROLL
Northrop had to scrap by late in a low scoring affair to get to this game in what they call an “upset” over top seeded Wayne. I’ll call it an upset, but it certainly wasn’t a natural 1 vs. 9 seed game. That is beside the fact here that the Bruins are a different team with Qualen Pettus. He brings a composure and confidence to Northrop that they lacked without him and everyone is playing better around him, including Te’Noah Ridley, who really shined in the second half of Friday’s Quarterfinal win.
Carroll, if they play the way they did Thursday, should be just fine. Northrop is going to bring a similar style as South Side did and Carroll was able to handle that pressure just fine as they picked and chose when to run and when not to. Sam Strycker is going to need to play big and physical on Northrop’s Devin Baney. If Strycker can get Northrop’s defense go collapse a little, it benefits everyone on the Chargers team shooting or beating the Bruins on the dribble drive. Bounce picks Carroll
BOYS SEMI FINAL 2, 2:15 P.M. – HOMESTEAD VS. SNIDER
The Panthers are looking to exorcize some demons here. They were the favorite in last year’s tournament but couldn’t turn momentum into a title, losing to Homestead in the finals. Who will Snider match up with Alec Grinsfelder inside? I say now, that will be the key here. Grinsfelder was able to work on Luers well on Friday and get multiple Knights into foul trouble. If this is a Dillon Duff assignment for Snider, foul trouble is not an option. Could Isaac Farnsworth get the call? It is the most intriguing matchup to me.
And why? Because let the shooters guard the shooters. Michael Eley on Luke Goode and vice versa needs to happen. If Snider is to win this game, they are going to need a maximum effort from Eley anyway. What is going to motivate him more than having to guard the conference’s most recruited talent? If Homestead is going to win, it is by asserting that Goode is just that: a dominant Division 1 talent that can take on anyone at any time. Bounce picks Homestead
GIRLS FINAL, 6:15 P.M.
I wish you could see my face. There are aspects of every team left that I really like. But nobody has what Homestead has. That is no disrespect, just a second straight crown. Bounce picks Homestead to win the SAC Holiday Tournament
BOYS FINAL, 8:15 P.M.
We don’t know who will be here, so this is a crapshoot too. If it is my predicted Carroll vs. Homestead final, I am going with Sparty to win the rivalry game. Too long for most teams, Homestead should impose their will over 32 minutes no matter who would be across from them. Bounce picks Homestead to win the SAC Holiday Tournament
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