Bounce’s Picks for the week of November 23

Hey, let’s play some boys basketball too shall we? The girls will have to share this week as the boys take the court. Through most of the season, we will end up breaking down 5 girls games and 5 boys games weekly, but for this week only we will take on 11 total games since the boys are opening up play and we will not have a game of the weekend.

My completely imaginary traveling trophy for the girls went nowhere last week since the Homestead girls did not play in the area. My boys trophy, for those paying attention, carries over from last season’s final destination Blackhawk Christian, who will not play this week.

LAST WEEK: 5-1 (three postponements)

2020-21 RECORD: 17-6

2019-20 RECORD: 139-48 (.743)


Northrop at DeKalb, Wednesday

A traditional Thanksgiving Eve matchup, there are always some fun levels of intensity here no matter who the better team is. The Bruins will need to throw a lot at Connor Penrod and it will be interesting to see how he answers a year more mature. This is week full of fun games and this one really could make its case as the game of the entire week on either the boys or girls end. Tough decision to make. Bounce picks Northrop

Norwell at Carroll, Wednesday

A big challenge out of the gate is exactly what a pretty new looking Norwell team needs; trial by fire. But this is a big fire and Carroll is going to have the ability to push the Knights into some deep waters. They won’t drown, but Carroll is too big and experienced right now for this game to repeat last season. Bounce picks Carroll

Whitko at Columbia City, Wednesday

Strap in for the first boys hoops game in a new gymnasium. This is where Bounce will be on Thanksgiving Eve as these two rivals go at it for the first time with longtime great Columbia City coach Chris Benedict now helming the Whitko program. If Greg Bolt is healthy and ready to go, this could be a completely different game because Whitko doesn’t have someone to match up evenly with him inside. For now we go with the gut and who we know will be in the lineup. Bounce picks Whitko

Canterbury at Central Noble, Saturday

This is how we are kicking off the first weekend of boys season with three of the best players this area has to offer in Connor Essegian, Will Shank and Sawyer Yoder. And I’m here for Essegian versus Shank who are both just naturally talented scorers. I also like the Chris Diwis/Logan Gard interior matchup but that gets close to ending where Canterbury’s experience can rival Central Noble. There a lot of fun player matchups here but overall, not an easy stop out of the blocks for the Cavs. Bounce picks Central Noble

North Side at Marion, Saturday

If North Side wants to prove themselves, they get a heck of a chance right out of the gate. Jalen Blackmon is going to get his but does North Side have the deeper group overall? Winning at Marion is never easy but this is a weird year where home court isn’t going to matter as much in many cases. I’d really like to see the Legends gamble out of the gate and give Brauntae Johnson a run defending Blackmon. North Side gives a fight, heck they may even win this thing, but I’m. It quite ready to call it yet…Bounce picks Marion

Leo at South Side, Saturday

Ah, quarantine. It makes us wonder could be. We do know that Leo won’t have the full arsenal of weapons but we also don’t know who they will or will not have. This game could come down to who can shoot the ball better as South Side doesn’t want to get into a war at the rim. Leo defends tough, can they counter South’s speed and pacing? South is physical, can they defend Leo’s high IQ? Bounce picks Leo


Angola at Garrett, Tuesday

Who wants to take an early lead in the NECC? I think we had a feeling that the league could come down to these two teams and whoever wins here has a distinct advantage going forward. I was wrong about Angola last week, they absolutely throttled through Eastside with their defense and three point shooting overpowering the Blazers. They will hit those shots here too, but can their defense actually stop every one of Garrett’s weapons? Nataley Armstrong has made herself one of the best passers in the state early and there is an assumption, and a fair one, that Bailey Kelham is salivating at the matchup with Hanna Knoll. How couldn’t you love this game? Bounce picks Garrett

Concordia Lutheran at Norwell, Tuesday

How good are the younger Norwell post players? Time to find out right? Still, Grace Bradtmueller and Maiah Shelton are going to be the best bets to counteract Chanteese Craig down low. Can Norwell draw her out to play defense away from the rim where she just blocks shots? This is a fantastic early season meeting that could go a long way in propelling either team through the rest of 2020. And while home court isn’t the same with sparce or empty crowds, heading to The Castle is still so tough. Bounce picks Norwell

Bluffton at South Adams, Friday

No matter where either of these teams are in the ACAC pecking order, this is always a really fun game and has become a bit of a rivalry in the process. Macy Pries is doing much like her sister did last year and just really asserting herself early for the Starfires alongside Kristen Wynn. Yet here is Bluffton, with this historic start just charging forward. Zoe Barger could be the difference here as she has started rolling along and is a matchup problem across this conference. Bounce picks Bluffton

Woodlan at Jay County, Friday

Speaking of top ACAC battles, here are two teams at the forefront of the conference and we could be seeing a major step towards a regular season conference title right here. The winner is certainly in that driver’s seat. Woodlan has come out strong with Evah Smith really asserting herself into games and averaging a double double. Jay County can match height, can they match interior enthusiasm? Really, this one comes down to how Woodlan can slow Renna Schwieterman; they did so last season but it’s been a long time since they last met. Bounce picks Jay County

Warsaw at Fishers, Saturday

This is a big challenge for a Warsaw team that has been rolling. Their wins have been good, but Fishers may be a higher quality opponent than they have faced so far. And that trip, it’s not a quick one. Katie Burton of Fishers is a monster to try and contain. Either way, Warsaw is going to find out a lot about themselves during this trip. Bounce picks Fishers

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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