Bounce has been shifting his top 10 on the boys’ side nearly daily over the past few weeks, including on Monday night with a big defeat by one of his top three.
Here is his updated top 10, with plenty more shuffling coming.
No. 1 – HOMESTEAD
Records: 16-0 overall; 5-0 SAC; 4-0 vs. current Top 10
Previous Rank: 1
The Spartans ascendance to the No. 1 spot in Class 4A came in exciting fashion with a 55-50 overtime victory at Lawrence North last Saturday.
Homestead has now beaten three of the top five teams in the most recent IBCA poll that includes all four classes in the state – the wins coming against Lawrence North, Cathedral and Blackhawk Christian.
This team is a state title contender and perhaps even the Class 4A favorite at this point.
Coach Chris Johnson’s team will head to Northrop on Friday before hosting Class 3A No. 11 Peru on Saturday.
Best win: Lawrence North
No. 2 – BLACKHAWK CHRISTIAN
Records: 13-1 overall; 2-1 vs. current Top 10
Previous Rank: 2
Despite its first loss of the season earlier this month to Homestead, Blackhawk Christian has remained firm as the No. 1 team in Class 2A in the AP Poll. That is where the Braves belong. No team in the class can match up with the talent that Blackhawk Christian is able to put on the floor.
The remainder of January looks manageable, but some big February matchups will better prepare the Braves for a potential run to the state title game.
Best win: Silver Creek
No. 3 – CARROLL
Records: 10-2 overall; 5-0 SAC; 0-1 vs. current Top 10
Previous Rank: 5
This is where it gets a tad hairy this week. Yes, the Chargers did lose to New Haven not so long ago, but in terms of consistency, Bounce feels like Coach Marty Beasley’s team has more of it than the Bulldogs at this point in the season.
That said, Carroll has a tough weekend looming – road games at Snider and 10-win Yorktown.
So let’s see if Carroll earns this ranking.
Best win: Brownsburg
No. 4 – LEO
Records: 11-1 overall; 3-0 NE8; 2-1 vs. current Top 10
Previous Rank: 3
Following its first loss of the season on Monday to North Side, Bounce was quick to drop Leo significantly in his top 10. But after thinking about it, it is difficult to drop them far. The Legends cannot be ahead of Leo if you judge both programs on their entire body of work. The head-to-head matchup is huge, but the Lions still have the better resume.
The most worrisome thing out of Monday’s game for Leo is it let a 16-point lead slip away to a youthful team that, while talented, shouldn’t have been able to do what they did against a veteran squad.
Coach Cary Cogdell’s team doesn’t get much time to re-examine Monday, as it travels to Huntington North on Wednesday in what may be a deciding game in the NE8.
Best win: Shenandoah
No. 5 – NEW HAVEN
Records: 8-4 overall; 2-1 NE8; 2-3 vs. current Top 10
Previous Rank: 4
Bounce dropped New Haven a spot this week not for anything the Bulldogs did, but rather what North Side did to Leo.
Coach Bruce Stephens’ team may have four losses, but three of those are to teams above them in this poll, including a 16-point defeat at the hands of Leo a few weeks ago.
Consider New Haven as one of those teams that we still have a lot of questions about in terms of just how good it can be.
Best win: Carroll
No. 6 – CENTRAL NOBLE
Records: 14-1 overall; 5-1 NECC; 2-1 vs. current Top 10
Previous Rank: 7
The Cougars continue to roll through their schedule, winners now of 12 straight since losing to Westview in December. The most recent victory came in convincing fashion, a 22-point thrashing of an Eastside team that some thought could put a scare into Central Noble.
A showdown with Churubusco looms on Friday, the same ‘Busco team that Central Noble knocked off in the NECC Tournament earlier this month.
Best win: Churubusco
No. 7 – CHURUBUSCO
Records: 9-2 overall; 4-1 NECC; 0-1 vs. current Top 10
Previous Rank: 7
Consider this week the biggest of the year thus far for the Eagles. Coach Chris Paul’s team hosts Snider on Tuesday night in one of the few SAC vs. NECC games this season. Then on Friday, the squad heads to Central Noble in an attempt to avenge a defeat that ended the NECC Tournament prematurely.
Senior Luke McClure is an oft-forgotten player for ‘Busco, but the senior is averaging 15.8 points and 5.1 assists per game.
Best win: South Side
No. 8 – SNIDER
Records: 6-5 overall; 3-2 SAC; 1-3 vs. current Top 10
Previous Rank: 6
The Panthers have lost three of four and four of six overall dating back to before Christmas. The big loss that caught some people off guard was last Friday, a defeat to Concordia Lutheran on the road.
It could be just a mid-season slide for the Panthers, or it could be signs of something greater. With games against Churubusco, DeKalb and Carroll over the span of four days this week, Coach Jeremy Rauch doesn’t have much time to delve on the past.
Best win: Elkhart
No. 9 – WESTVIEW
Records: 10-3 overall; 7-0 NECC; 2-1 vs. current Top 10
Previous Rank: Not ranked
After a few weeks of being out of the top 10, the Warriors return to Bounce’s poll. Apart from a five-point loss to Central Noble in the NECC Tournament, Westview has won four of its last five and sits atop the NECC regular-season standings.
But for how long? Eastside looms this week, and a sneaky-difficult game at West Noble is on tap for next week. They have all of these challenges while also looking for a new leading scorer.
Best win: Churubusco
No. 10 – NORTH SIDE
Records: 6-8 overall; 2-3 SAC; 1-3 vs. current Top 10
Previous Rank: Not ranked
The Legends may be the most topsy-turvy team around this year. One week, they are losing to Huntington North and Northrop, then soon after they are knocking off previously-undefeated Leo after trailing by as many as 16 points.
It is the life of a very talented but very young squad, with the peaks and valleys expected as many find their footing at the varsity level. Make no mistake, North is capable of knocking off any team outside of the top two in the area, but also can drop a game to pretty much any team in the SAC or NE8 at any given time.
Best win: Leo
IN THE ARGUMENT (in no particular order)
Bishop Dwenger 6-4
Huntington North 6-2
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