ANDREW LEEPER, HOMESTEAD
vs. North Side on Friday, at Lawrence North on Saturday
As the target grows on the back of Homestead – and oh is it large – then the need for depth continues to grow too. So far, so good for the Spartans and that depth be it down the bench or in the starting lineup. Leeper (pictured) is a huge part in what can push Homestead to the next level. He keeps getting better and stronger. This weekend will be a big test for him and his teammates for multiple reasons. One of Leeper’s biggest coming out parties last season was against North Side so he’s primed to repeat that. And Saturday’s challenge is clear. Leeper has to be a major contributor on Saturday to keep Homestead unbeaten and arguably the best team in the state.
TAYLOR FORDYCE, CARROLL
vs. South Side on Friday, at Angola on Saturday
There are two really tough parts of a season: trying to clinch a conference title and trying to secure maximum momentum going into the postseason. Carroll has to inch closer to both of them against very stiff competition. Fordyce has had a breakthrough season, consistently at the top of a heavy Charger lineup that all contribute. Neither of this weekend’s games are anywhere close to a given so Carroll will be built up by the expanded ability and confidence in Fordyce’s game from what has transpired already this season.
JOE REIDY, WOODLAN
at Heritage on Friday
The Warriors stay in the ACAC argument if they can beat the Patriots. But the real focus here is that Reidy has consistently separated himself from almost everyone he has played against and it probably isn’t getting enough attention. As Woodlan rebuilds, Reidy is fresh off passing 1,000 career points faster than any Warrior ever and is averaging 23.5 points and 13.6 rebounds, which are among the area’s best numbers in both categories. Stopping Reidy is a priority for every opponent and it is very rarely, if ever, accomplished.
LONDYNN BETTS, CONCORDIA LUTHERAN
vs. Snider on Friday, at Huntington North on Saturday
Both of the opponents of the Cadets this weekend dictate that Concordia is going to have to dig deep in order to set pace. When either Snider (run, run, run) or Huntington North (methodical) get comfortable in their own pacing, it is hard to drag them back out of it. Betts is critical in this because she does have the ability to do both of these things. Concordia hasn’t and doesn’t need her to light up the scoreboard, but she can alter tempo. If the Vikings slow it down, her pressure can pick it up. If Snider gets buzzing by, she can take her time.
BRAUNTAE JOHNSON, NORTH SIDE
at Homestead on Friday, at South Bend Washington on Saturday
Everyone, by now, knows who Tae Tae is. He’s a hard worker with talent to match and he is probably the. best freshman boys basketball player in the area. Saturday’s game will be a nice one for him to jump off the bus for but Friday is the grand showcase. The Legends have had a better year and Johnson has been a big part of it, but traveling to Homestead is on a while different level than most outings. For North Side to be competitive, a bigger stage breakout performance from Johnson could be the ticket.