Bounce’s Picks for the Week of Jan. 6

Welcome one and welcome all to my first picks of 2020. This is a big week in conference races on both the boys and girls sides, so there are a lot of important games, some that may not even be mentioned here.

Since I last made picks before Christmas, the Homestead girls have hung on to the invisible to the eye Bounce Traveling Trophy. They will defend it Friday at South Side. The boys version has made some travel during the SAC Tournament, first to Snider and then too Carroll. The Chargers will defend theirs Friday against Bishop Dwenger and, pending they still have it, Saturday against East Noble.

I will again be picking five girls games and five boys games today, but you will not see Leo at Norwell boys, which will be our Outside the Huddle Game of the Weekend running later this week.

Since last column (including SAC and Marion Classic picks): 18-4

Season total: 73-22


Fairfield at Garrett, Tuesday

This is a really fun meeting between two still young NECC programs that are up near the top of the conference. Next season, this may be the most marquee matchup in the conference but it isn’t too bad this season either. At this point though, there is no reason to believe that Garrett isn’t the best of the young talent with Bailey Kelham becoming one the area’s best scorers, let alone best freshmen and Nataley Armstrong pushing the best pass first point guards in the area. Bounce picks Garrett

Norwell at Carroll, Tuesday

Norwell is quietly coming off a very good week where Maiah Shelton played like the area’s best double-double presence on the girls side. Visiting Carroll is a fun test because these Chargers are feisty at the rim and are going to work to not give Shelton as much as she’s been getting. Olivia Hoeppner’s return means a lot on both sides of the ball and Jasmine Anderson really impressed me in their SAC Tournament game. Is Emily Parrett in the lineup injured? How does that change how you guard the Norwell power weave? Bounce picks Norwell

Woodlan at Blackhawk Christian, Thursday

The Warriors need: A) a good tuneup for the ACAC Tournament and B) a trap game to test their focus. Woodlan has to be the favorite in next week’s tournament but they can’t look past an improving Braves team on Thursday. Blackhawk Christian can push pace and score a lot so Woodlan will need to put the ball in the basket, which isn’t a problem too often. Bounce picks Woodlan

Homestead at South Side, Friday

Lets run this thing back again. It doesn’t matter who wins the games between these two, we are always going to look forward to them playing. The Archers will appreciate having this one at home and feeding off the unique environment at South Side. I’m going to say this one remains closer than their SAC Tournament game even and it will come down to inside presence. Alaya Chapman was very solid last week, how will she be up against Ayanna Patterson, Sydney Graber and Amber Austin. This is going to be a slug fest, but there is a pattern in these games for a reason. Bounce picks Homestead

Columbia City at Bellmont, Friday

The last real challenge standing in Columbia City’s way of a NE8 title may be Bellmont. There are still tests on the way for Columbia City, but they still control their own destiny with a win on Friday and that is a powerful motivator. The rise of Morgan Shifferly for Bellmont has almost made you forget how potent Kenzie McMahon and Meghan Busick are. Almost. The Squaws are no stranger to monster home games with title implications and this is going to be a fun for sure. A Bellmont win throws this conference into some crazy chaos with four teams sitting at one loss as of this writing. Tough call. Bounce picks Bellmont


Canterbury at Leo, Tuesday

A rematch of a scrimmage that was close and fun to watch in some portions. The Cavaliers played their last game without Chris Diwis and Will Shank, so not having them again would be unfortunate for their chances. That said, Noah Drapala has hit a stride and Holidey Stephenson’s contributions have been pretty underrated all season. Leo is a team, when at their best, are practically unstoppable on their schedule. They played close last with Warren Central and DJ Allen has started to hit his stride, which when paired with Zack Troyer inside is super tough. Bounce picks Leo

New Haven at Snider, Tuesday

Snider has a tough week ahead with this, Friday against Northrop and Saturday opposite Lawrence North. Focus should be Friday. Yet, this could make a major statement for either team. Ja’Kar Williams and Dre Wright are a physical duo that could make things difficult on Snider, who lacks a real true post and with Dillon Duff likely busy chasing Thomas Latham around. The real winner here: anyone who gets to watch Jamarr Hutchins and Jayshawn Underwood chase each other around the court. Bounce picks Snider

Churubusco at Woodlan, Wednesday

A lot of people have been waiting for this one as Busco’s Landen Jordan will get to make his season debut and it couldn’t come at a better time as the Eagles have been trying to navigate some rough waters. Jordan versus Joe Reidy is a fun matchup to think about, but this one has all the makings of getting a little physical and a little wild. Is full strength Churubusco, if Noah Wolfe is back too, as good as we expected them to be? Bounce picks Churubusco

Angola at Prairie Heights, Friday

The Panthers try to stay unbeaten and the last team in the area to do so with a big NECC game. Angola is a team that is capable of forging some upsets and throwing wrenches into this conference behind the length of Dyer Ball and the intelligent disposition of Joel Knox. But Prairie Heights is unbeaten for a reason and that three headed monster hasn’t shown any signs of slowing. Bounce picks Prairie Heights

New Haven at DeKalb, Saturday

Opposite Leo/Norwell, this may be the next most important conference game this weekend. The Bulldogs have proven to be deep and aggressive on a different level while DeKalb is not a team we’ve considered a NE8 contender. That said, the Barons have shown some things lately with Connor Penrod playing tough and Brantley Hickman being a calm and collected floor general. This is a major test for DeKalb, but when the game is in Waterloo, a lot of bets are off. Bounce picks New Haven

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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