The more things change, the more they stay the same.
We enter a new year with a lot of optimism, but not much change in Bounce’s Power Poll.
Maybe, it is because Bounce knows what he is talking about?
You see, not much movement in the rankings means that Bounce is just proving how smart he is.
Boy, you all are lucky to have an expert frog like me.
No. 1 – BLACKHAWK CHRISTIAN
Records: 8-0 overall; 1-0 vs. current Top 10
Previous Rank: 1
The Braves ended 2020 with a pair of overtime victories in the Hall of Fame Tournament down at New Castle. Both were impressive performances out of Coach Marc Davidson’s team, which is more than just Caleb Furst and Zane Burke. Marcus Davidson and Jacob Boyer are each averaging double digits in points as well, and sophomore Gage Sefton has been solid in his first year of extended action.
Blackhawk Christian begins a stretch of four straight against SAC foes on Thursday at Wayne. The big one? Next Tuesday at Homestead.
Best win: Silver Creek
No. 2 – HOMESTEAD
Records: 11-0 overall; 2-0 SAC; 2-0 vs. current Top 10
Previous Rank: 2
It was a fruitful holiday both collectively for Homestead and individually for Fletcher Loyer.
First, the Spartans beat five teams – all 3A or 4A – in a span of 14 days. That included a win at Marion, where Loyer dropped a program-record 50 points, which also was the most points ever scored by an opposing player in Marion’s Bill Green Athletic Arena history.
An SAC game against South Side looms on Friday before a visit from fellow undefeated Blackawk Christian next Tuesday.
Best win: Cathedral
No. 3 – CARROLL
Records: 6-1 overall; 2-0 SAC; 0-0 vs. current Top 10
Previous Rank: 3
Yes, Carroll did suffer its first loss in the OPS Holiday Hoops event to South Bend Adams, but the Eagles are undefeated and the Chargers impressed in the three-point defeat.
This team still remains the biggest threat to Homestead in the SAC, although it will not be until February before the rivals clash. Coach Marty Beasley’s team hosts Columbia City this weekend, but has a three-game week next week that includes a back-to-back at Bishop Luers and at New Haven that will be challenging.
Best win: Penn
No. 4 – LEO
Records: 7-0 overall; 0-0 NE8; 1-0 vs. current Top 10
Previous Rank: 4
The NE8 season for the Lions finally kicks off on Saturday against Norwell, as the league looks as if it is Leo’s to lose at this point.
Why? Well, Leo has been dominant, with three straight victories by 14 points or more to end 2020.
The Norwell game begins a three-game stretch against league foes that includes New Haven and East Noble, all games in which Leo lost last year.
Best win: Shenandoah
No. 5 – SNIDER
Records: 5-2 overall; 2-0 SAC; 0-1 vs. current Top 10
Previous Rank: 5
The Panthers spent their holiday relaxing for the most part, outside of a one-point victory at Elkhart. It was a solid win on the road to prepare Coach Jeremy Rauch’s team for the meat of the SAC schedule upcoming.
Snider has road tests at New Haven and Northrop this week, with Homestead on tap a week from Friday.
Best win: Ekhart
No. 6 – WESTVIEW
Records: 6-1 overall; 4-0 NECC; 2-0 vs. current Top 10
Previous Rank: 6
The Warriors find themselves in the midst of five consecutive road games, with wins in the first two and the final one kicking off the NECC Tournament at Hamilton.
Overall, this team has looked the part of one of the leading contenders in the conference, having already knocked off Churubusco and Central Noble in league play.
But the race is far from decided, with five teams still with just one loss overall.
Best win: Central Noble
No. 7 – CENTRAL NOBLE
Records: 6-1 overall; 3-1 NECC; 0-1 vs. current Top 10
Previous Rank: 7
The Cougars have not played since Dec. 22, although that will change this week with three games in four days.
While a lot of talk goes towards the offensive talent headlined by Connor Essegian, Central Noble is allowing just over 45 points per game, second only to Eastside in the NECC.
Best win: DeKalb
No. 8 – CHURUBUSCO
Records: 5-1 overall; 2-1 NECC; 0-1 vs. current Top 10
Previous Rank: 8
The Eagles continue to creep back up Bounce’s Power Poll, moving up one spot in each of the last two.
While Churubusco has a pair of games this week, neither hold much intrigue. What will be exciting is the NECC Tournament next week, where the Eagles will try and make a statement to offset a 15-point loss to Westview in their season opener.
To say this team has a bit of a chip on its shoulder would be an understatement.
Best win: South Side
No. 9 – BISHOP LUERS
Records: 2-3 overall; 0-1 SAC; 0-2 vs. current Top 10
Previous Rank: 6
The Knights have just been unlucky thus far in having issues getting games in and now out for a few weeks due to Covid.
When on the court, Bishop Luers has taken its lumps, but admittedly has played some big-hitters in Leo, Homestead and Cathedral. And as of now, when the Knights are able to play again, they will face a back-to-back against Carroll and Blackhawk Christian.
Basically, Bounce still believes this squad is top 10 material despite a casual look at the resume.
Best win: Canterbury
No. 10 – NEW HAVEN
Records: 4-3 overall; 0-0 NE8; 0-2 vs. current Top 10
Previous Rank: Not ranked
Welcome back to the top 10 Bulldogs! This ranking is more on potential, because Bounce still sees the pieces in place to be a contender in the NE8. Due to cancellations, New Haven has still not played a league game, which makes this weekend’s contest against DeKalb so big, at least to get a feel for where New Haven is at.
It is still a wait-and-see approach on how good (or not good) this team will be.
Best win: Wayne
IN THE ARGUMENT (in no particular order)
Huntington North 3-1
South Side 3-4
North Side 3-5
Bishop Dwenger 3-3
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