There have been some pretty dominant teams across Northeast Indiana this season when you look at the girls side and then at the boys side. But it started to make me think as the girls season winded down, is there a school that is better than everyone else?
It may be a little premature since we don’t know all of the teams that are winning conference titles, let alone postseason titles on the boys side, but I needed to ask the question, what is the best basketball school in the area for the 2019-2020 season? It was easy to narrow down to the top teams, but what about ranking them? Here are MY top 5 choices; the best basketball schools right now in Northeast Indiana.
NUMBER ONE: NORWELL
This was actually simpler than I expected to make the very top choice. These teams have a combined six losses with just one of them coming on the boys side as of press time. Between them, they have both Northeast 8 titles – yes, the girls shared it – and a Sectional title on the girls side. With a double championship for the girls and the boys having the least amount of losses on the boys side in the area this year – and being ranked as OTH’s top boys team weekly for a while – right now Norwell is the best place for basketball in this area. Add to that the fact that Will Geiger and Maiah Shelton are both top contenders for Player of the Year honors in my humble opinion and right now, I just have to go with the Knights.
NUMBER TWO: HOMESTEAD
The Homestead girls were outright SAC and Holiday Tournament champions, won a Sectional and lost just once to a team from inside the state. As usual, the Spartans were the area standard on the girls side. They held onto Bounce’s traveling trophy for the entire season; as a matter of fact, they are the only girls program to hold it in two full seasons. Nobody around here stacks up to the Spartan girls. On the boys side, they have been solid, but not at the top where they have been. They have a chance to share the SAC and also are a contender in their Sectional. If the boys can upend Norwell on February 28, then maybe we would move them up. They too have Player of the Year contenders in Sydney Graber and Luke Goode.
NUMBER THREE: CARROLL
Two more titles for this school with the boys winning the SAC Holiday Tournament (and still, kind of mathematically in the race for a regular season title) and the girls playing fantastic basketball down the stretch to finish second in a heavy SAC and then a fourth straight Sectional crown. Carroll’s biggest benefit is depth; they don’t have a huge star in either program, but they get to work with blue collar basketball and have a wealth of scorers and defenders making waves every night. The boys team and girls team each boast five players at the top of their lineups that can lead the teams any given night.
NUMBER FOUR: BISHOP LUERS
After the Knight boys beat Snider last Friday, this program certainly has a lot of arguments to make in their favor. They don’t have any titles this season, as of yet, but the girls were a tough out every night and the boys program has been revitalized after winning just four games last season into being a SAC title contender this season. When a school is flirting with 30 total wins between their two programs, you know they have something good going on.
NUMBER FIVE: WOODLAN
No postseason honors for Woodlan, again as of press time, but the school took home 3/4 of the ACAC bragging rights by winning both conference tournaments and the girls’ regular season title. This was one of the best and most energetic girls teams the school has seen in some time, led by Addison Bayman. The boys team was a loss to Bluffton away from winning the ACAC regular season and their experience and the skillful play of sophomore Joe Reidy has Woodlan boys with their highest win total in six seasons.
Honorable Mentions: Central Noble and Blackhawk Christian
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