Sometimes I get these “what if?” theories in my head. Things that I would love to know the answer to, even if we will never know. That leads me to […]
Sometimes I get these “what if?” theories in my head. Things that I would love to know the answer to, even if we will never know.
That leads me to today’s column and booking a, sadly, fictional five game day. We can call it a hypothetical Outside the Huddle Classic. I personally love single day shootouts. The big one of the state in Southport does a lot of fun things every year. Basketball Day Indiana in Kokomo certainly tried to rival it this year with its slate. And in the region, I always enjoy following our local teams down to Marion for their annual single day Classic.
I’ve long thought we need something like that around here. So it led me to think about and write about these five games. Games that didn’t happen this season on the boys side and, based on class, won’t happen in the postseason. And you’ll quickly see what I figured out in picking these games: I just want to see the power of this amazing NECC against some of the best outside that conference.
NORWELL vs. WESTVIEW
Are there two bigger workhorses than Will Geiger and Charlie Yoder. Watching two of the area’s very, very best players go tic for tac would be well worth the price of admission alone. You could play this game on either’s home court and the arena would be booming, packed from floor to ceiling with rowdy fans. On top of that, imagine the gutty work that would be needed from guys that aren’t Yoder and Geiger. Their superstar power is bright, but let us not forget these two teams go into Sectional play a combined 40-5. When you look how the likes of Connor Torson and Drew Litwiller, among so many others, have stood up and stood out this year, this would be a ton of fun. Bounce’s advantage: Norwell
BLACKHAWK CHRISTIAN vs. CARROLL
Why do I want to see this? Because we don’t get to ever. The Braves battle every other team in the SAC, often with a very high success rate. But for whatever reason, Carroll doesn’t end up on that schedule. Initial thought is that Blackhawk Christian, again a state title contender. Keep in mind too this season that the Chargers beat the only team in the area (Homestead) that has beaten Blackhawk Christian so don’t count out the work rate of the Chargers at all. When you factor in the amount of shooters in this game and you could easily have a dogfight. Bounce’s advantage: Blackhawk Christian
CHURUBUSCO vs. HOMESTEAD
The Spartans, even for what some would consider a down year, have beaten Blackhawk Christian, the SAC champions twice and now, the NE8 champions too; they handed Blackhawk and Norwell their only area losses this regular season. To be fair, I want to see this game at full strength, something that neither team had all season long. So I am talking peak current Churubusco, with Landen Jordan, and a healthy Homestead lineup, with Zak Krueger. The guard play in this would be phenomenal. Imagine that healthy Krueger scrapping with Jackson Paul or the defensive flexing of Luke McClure versus Jake Archbold. The Spartans proved against Norwell that they can get physical and collapse on big interior threats so watching them throw that at Jordan and Hunter Perlich and seeing who comes out on top would be awesome. Bounce’s advantage: Churubusco
SNIDER vs. PRAIRIE HEIGHTS
The Panther battle would be a lot of fun and if you didn’t see Snider play Churubusco, then you don’t even understand how good this could be. Snider doesn’t have a traditional post, but they’ve been able to throw a good rotation of matchups at opposing big men, so rotating Isaac Farnsworth and Dillon Duff onto Elijah Malone would give the recent Grace College commit something different to work against. Like most of these fantasy games in my head, this is very matchup based and I am thinking of Michael Eley versus Brandon Christlieb and the absolute chess match that would Jon Barnes and Mike Perkins, two of the most high high basketball IQ guys in this area. Can I just say advantage Panthers, or is that a cop out? Bounce’s advantage: Snider
CENTRAL NOBLE vs. LEO
We can play this game or just have a three point contest. Either way, let’s have some fun. This game, matchup for matchup, could be the most even individually. Give me Myles Smith v. Chase Bates, Ryan Schroeder v. Andrew Tkacz, Sawyer Yoder v. DJ Allen, Logan Gard v. Zack Troyer and please, please give me Blake Davison v. Connor Essegian. If you know these two teams, I shouldn’t have to say anything else at all. This game could just be explosive with tons of grit, excellent shooting and plenty of guys that can just plain finish when they need to. That Davison/Essegian matchup at the top of it features two of the area’s smoothest finishers and guys who do it straight laced and straight faced. Bounce’s advantage: Central Noble
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