The ACAC Tournament kicks off on Tuesday at sites around the area. Below is the list of teams, ranked in order of Outside the Huddle’s projection of the likelihood of a tournament title.
WOODLAN (12-5, 5-0 ACAC)
The Warriors are on their way to a regular season title and this could be a grand tournament for them. Their trio of scorers (Addison Bayman, Gabby Joyce and Dakotah Krohn) are averaging 31 points per game but more and more girls are contributing. This team’s tournament hopes are based on pace; they have the third best offensive scoring average in the ACAC. Their range of winning in the conference has varied, but when Woodlan shows up and shoots well, they are easily the best team in this conference. Their five losses include four of the best teams in this area.
Potential Tournament Star: Addison Bayman has played her heart out this season and overcome bad games with good outings. After not playing in the tournament loss last year, expect a solid effort this time.
HERITAGE (10-6, 2-3 ACAC)
A week ago, Heritage probably wouldn’t have been the team in this spot. But their overtime victory against Adams Central, with a monster 29 point game from Bree Dossen, was the very best momentum they could have into this week after three straight losses (two in conference). Can they do it twice in a row? Look for Abby Sheehan to try and get hot shooting from long range.
Potential Tournament Star: As noted above, Bree Dossen reminded everyone last week that she can be, by far, the top scorer in this conference.
JAY COUNTY (10-6, 4-1 ACAC)
The Patriots are going to need to play the steadiest games they have all year. They have been more hot than cold lately, winning 9 of their last 10, but their games against our picks for the top two teams in the tournament have been very close. Can they win these close ones consistently? This is the only team that could still share the regular season title with Woodlan.
Potential Tournament Star: Renna Schweiterman has been the breakout star of the conference this season. Her 16.8 point/7 rebound per game averages mean she is the major player to watch this week.
ADAMS CENTRAL (10-6, 3-3 ACAC)
They won three in a row before an overtime loss last week to Heritage. They may the team with the most to prove in this tournament. Adams Central has been solid overall behind McKenna Dietsch and Carly Holley but are 0-3 against the teams listed above them in this article.
Potential Tournament Star: Is Carly Holley the best interior player in this conference? She can prove a lot this week with some big games and maybe even a double double or two.
BLUFFTON (4-12, 0-5 ACAC)
This has been a very disappointing year for the Tigers, who have struggled to replace the production of last season’s graduating class. That said, they still have a lot of talent and the potential to make waves. Can they live up to that potential? They’ve failed to do so this year, never winning more than one game at a time.
Potential Tournament Star: When you talk about winning games at the rim, the presence of Zoe Barger could be a major difference maker for Bluffton.
SOUTH ADAMS (7-7, 2-2 ACAC)
Freshman Peyton Pries is one of the conference’s best players, so clearly among the best freshmen. Averaging 12.1 points per game, Pries is going to be relied on to be a calming influence for the Starfires to contend.
Potential Tournament Star: Lydia Loshe has taken a backseat to Pries this season, but she is very seasoned in this position. The Starfires got an upset win in this tournament last year with her playing a big role.
SOUTHERN WELLS (3-11, 1-3 ACAC)
It has been another season of struggle for the Raiders, with junior Georgia Hanauer again expected to be a bright spot for them in the tournament. Their biggest benefit? They get the bye in the random draw so they need just two wins to take a title.
Potential Tournament Star: It is probably Hanauer or bust for the Raiders. And they need her to get hot and stay hot.
BOUNCE’S FULL PREDICTIONS