Just because Bounce has his coverage area down to a science, doesn’t mean he doesn’t deviate from time to time. The four major Northeast Indiana specific conferences and 6 schools as outliers to those conferences make up Outside the Huddle’s 43 school coverage area for basketball (up from the 40 for football season).
But from time to time, Bounce moves outside of that area to some other nearby locales or organizations/teams that I want to pay attention to.
So we don’t include these places in things like our top 10 team countdown or our top 50 player countdown for multiple reasons, including them not being IHSAA sanctioned programs. But there is still time to show respect, so here are five guys you won’t hear about elsewhere in our upcoming previews that you still need to look at.
CALEB WRIGHT, BENTON BUCKS
Over the past couple of seasons, Bounce has been drawn to the homeschool basketball scene by my good friends the Lock family. Now that Jake Lock has graduated, the attention at his former home with the Benton Bucks is centered on Wright, who even outdid Lock last year in scoring while leading the Bucks and being the GLHC Basketball Conference MVP in 2019-20. Like the others on this list, Wright and the Bucks season is already going and met with some successes.
Wright’s season hasn’t started great and it has lead to him being in a boot and missing some key early season games with the Bucks already moving along. Wright got his first real taste of summer ball with Tipping Point during the weird COVID summer and really proved he could handle playing with guys who play in public school. Wright scored 18.4 points and had 5.4 assists per game last season and those are tough numbers to sustain with the insane amount of games Benton played. He scored a season high 40 last year against the Noble-Whitley Warriors and is going to have a stellar year once he is healthy.
MICHAEL ELEY, ELEVATION PREP
Make no mistake, if Eley was still playing outside of the prep school realm, he would be one of our top players in our upcoming 50 player countdown. Eley’s development as a junior was substantial as he shifted from being a three point threat – and he is absolutely that and then some – to playing more above the rim and being a physical presence that was eyeballing taking the big shots.
Elevation Prep is too already into their season and Eley has just been a flat out stud for them. He is a highlight reel waiting to happen and just as expected, his decision to head to Elevation was big in that program’s first year of existence. They have some big contents coming up and have already drawn in nice crowds for their home games and a lot of that can be helped by the hometown boy Eley.
CALEB FERVIDA, BENTON BUCKS
While Wright has been out, the Bucks have found some success, including a big win over Warsaw on Halloween where Fervida made his debut in the starting lineup. In that game, Fervida hit eight three pointers and scored 26 points, proving that the Bucks can lean on him in a secondary role throughout this entire season. He scored 14 points the following game against the Kokomo Eagles. Right now, Fervida is one of the most exciting players in the area of home school basketball. These games are full of a lot of fun of the ball being spread out and new guys stepping out all of the time. Fervida’s run to end October and start November has Bounce excited about his possibilities.
JOSH LAZZARINO, NOBLE-WHITLEY WARRIORS
A member of the GLHC All-Conference first team in 2019-20 and 2nd team All-Defense the past two seasons, he is one of the most clear top notch players on the defensive end in area home school basketball. He scored 25 points in November 3’s season opener for the Warriors on 10 of 16 shooting. A year ago, he was the Warriors’ most consistent threat offensively too, scoring in double figures in 32 of their 34 games while hitting 58 percent of his shots. The 6-foot junior is going to continue to be a thrill to watch for area home school basketball fans.
QUINCY CLARK, ELEVATION PREP
While we all around here know Eley from his seasons at Snider, Clark has brought himself into the forefront during Elevation’s season so far. Clark, like Eley, has a legit vertical that is helping him beat defenders in a variety of really fun ways. The Westerville, Ohio product is a high caliber ball handler who can weave his way through a variety of pressures from the defense but still has the IQ to keep his head up and on a swivel looking between teammates and the rim.
So far, it really does look like Clark can provide a bit of everything and how well he and Eley are playing off each other at this juncture means a lot to this program. So Fort Wayne and Northeast Indiana area fans, come for Eley but enjoy the Clark show too.
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