Just a week remains in the regular season, which means we have a lot of planning to do at Outside the Huddle in terms of making our picks for the postseason.

But before we worry about that, Bounce lays out his final power poll of the year.

1. NORWELL (20-1, 7-0 NE8)

WHY #1?

The Knights have resided atop the Power Poll for awhile now, so this should be no surprise.

Barring a loss at Homestead on Friday (which would be a surprise to Bounce considering how each team has looked of late), Norwell will take a 13-game winning streak into the postseason.

Coach Mike McBride’s team isn’t overwhelming opponents as much as it is breaking them down over the course of a game and coming up big in key moments. Will that continue and lead to a deep run in 3A?

WHY NOT HIGHER?

Not possible.

RECORD VS. OTH TOP 10: 3-0

2. BLACKHAWK CHRISTIAN (19-3)

WHY #2?

The Braves have not lost to a local team since a 14-point setback against Homestead in mid-January. Since that game, Blackhawk Christian has been trending up, while the Spartans have been going in the opposite direction.

Speaking of trending up, Caleb Furst is averaging 20.5 points and 14.4 rebounds over the last seven games. His game has reached another level in 2020.

WHY NOT HIGHER?

No head-to-head matchup between Blackhawk Christian and Norwell makes it difficult to choose between the two.

RECORD VS. OTH TOP 10: 3-1

3. BISHOP LUERS (14-6, 7-2 SAC)

WHY #3?

The SAC champs jump a spot in our final poll of the season. And why not? Coach Fonso White and the Knights got it done in a league they were expected to finish in the lower half in.

A visit to New Haven tonight will be a good barometer on where Bishop Luers is heading into a solid Garrett Sectional.

WHY NOT HIGHER?

The loss to South Side a few weeks ago still worries Bounce going forward. That and staying healthy will be key for the Knights in the postseason.

RECORD VS. OTH TOP 10: 3-4

4. CARROLL (16-5, 7-2 SAC)

WHY #4?

Can we talk about how impressive the Chargers were last Friday? Yeah, they dropped a one-point game to North Central in Indy on Saturday, but Coach Marty Beasley’s team took it to Homestead in every facet on the Spartans’ home court without Jalen Jackson.

The hope is that Jackson returns next week, but time will tell. But a 16-win campaign with a home game against Warsaw left is the latest example of how Beasley can win no matter who he has (and doesn’t have) on the roster.

WHY NOT HIGHER?

Carroll lost to Norwell and Bishop Luers and doesn’t play Blackhawk Christian. So…

RECORD VS. OTH TOP 10: 4-3

5. SNIDER (16-6, 7-2 SAC)

WHY #5?

The Panthers have lost three of four, not exactly the run you want to be on with sectionals looming next week. It is not a must win by any means, but a victory over Marion at Bill Green Athletic Arena on Friday would really be a shot in the arm.

WHY NOT HIGHER?

Snider lost to three of the teams above them in this poll and did not play Norwell.

RECORD VS. OTH TOP 10: 6-3

6. NEW HAVEN (15-5, 6-1 NE8)

WHY #6?

A pair of games against SAC opponents this week will be a good primer for the Bulldogs with sectionals getting underway next week. New Haven is one of the more underappreciated teams in the area, putting up 15 dubs thus far. It will have a chance to catch some folks by surprise in Sectional 6.

WHY NOT HIGHER?

The schedule hasn’t exactly been difficult for the better part of February. New Haven is still searching for that big-time victory in the second half of the season. It may very well come next week.

RECORD VS. OTH TOP 10: 1-4

7. WESTVIEW (19-3, 9-1 NECC)

WHY #7?

Let’s start with Charlie Yoder. The senior is now at 2,044 career points, making him fifth all-time in area scoring and 44th all-time in the entire state of Indiana. He now has more points than Bryson Scott in his prep career.

Yet how many people within Fort Wayne have ever seen Yoder play? I’ll wait…

Do yourself a favor, broaden your horizons and get out to the Westview Sectional next week. Between Yoder and a field that may be the most competitive around, you’re in for a treat.

WHY NOT HIGHER?

Westview has not played a single team from Allen County this year. Difficult to compare and contrast.

RECORD VS. OTH TOP 10: 0-1

8. NORTHROP (11-11, 5-4 SAC)

WHY #8?

We tend to forget that the Bruins were without Qualen Pettus over the first seven games, a stretch that saw the team go 1-6.

So by using rudimentary math, we can discern that Northrop at full strength is 10-5, including a win over Homestead on the final day of January.

Look past this team in the postseason at your own risk.

WHY NOT HIGHER?

The Bruins lost to Carroll twice WITH Pettus by a total of 37 points.

RECORD VS. OTH TOP 10: 1-5

9. HOMESTEAD (13-8, 6-3 SAC)

WHY #9?

Even with Zak Krueger back on the floor for the Spartans, something just seems off. In last Friday’s loss to Carroll, Homestead did not display the offense that Bounce has become so familiar with – making the extra pass for an easy bucket or swinging the ball around the perimeter to find open shots.

Hopefully the Spartans can get back on track, but this does not feel like a team peaking at the right time.

WHY NOT HIGHER?

See above.

RECORD VS. OTH TOP 10: 4-4

10. CHURUBUSCO (13-6, 9-1 NECC)

WHY #10?

The Eagles are in a great spot to earn at least a share of the NECC crown when they travel to Eastside later this week. Overall, Coach Chris Paul’s team has won six straight and eight of nine.

WHY NOT HIGHER?

Perhaps they should be? If Churubusco had not blown a late lead against Snider, the Eagles would be significantly higher in Bounce’s mind.

RECORD VS. OTH TOP 10: 1-1

Other teams in the conversation (in no particular order): Prairie Heights (16-5), Central Noble (18-4), Leo (14-7), East Noble (11-9).

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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