We kick into gear with the first boys basketball power poll of the regular season. After our preseason top 10, we let things percolate on the boys side for a couple of weeks.
Each Tuesday, you will get a new power poll! Who moved up? Who dropped? What surprises are there this week?
No. 1 – Homestead Spartans
Records: 3-1, 0-0. SAC
Previous rank: 1
Why #1?: Homestead stays in place because they are still unbeaten in the state and that matters. Their opening night win over Huntington North was important because it showed that they could alter paces and force teams out of their comfort zone. The win over Carmel was huge and the Spartans got a big push from their defense to really force Carmel into squandering opportunities.
The Spartans have proven that they are still just as good as expected and we’ve already seen some fresher faces, like Grady Swing, be very important.
Why not higher?: It doesn’t get better.
Best win: Carmel
No. 2 – Snider Panthers
Records: 1-0, 0-0 SAC
Previous rank: 2
Why #2?: If Snider’s win over East Noble wasn’t a show of power, I don’t know what is. The Panthers prowled all over the court and were decisive in how they handled themselves for much of the game. For a team that has questionable depth, they. looked really good in our one view of them.
Why not higher?: Small sample size.
Best win: East Noble
No. 3 – Central Noble Cougars
Records: 3-0, 2-0 NECC
Previous rank: 3
Why #3?: An expected start has the Cougars very much in the NECC drivers sear early. Connor Essegian is now the school’s all-time leading scorer and he his pushing a crazy scoring pace as he looks to break more records before the year is out.
Why not higher?: Haven’t proven enough to leapfrog the teams ahead of them. Need a big win for that.
Best win: Angola
No. 4 – Leo Lions
Records: 4-0, 0-0 NE8
Previous rank: 4
Why #4?: The Lions are now state ranked according to the latest coaches poll and it is a tribute to how hard this team is playing. They’ve already experienced some adversity and come out stronger on the other side, which is impressive in the still young season.
Why not higher?: See above. Too early to be leapfrogging teams above them that have done no wrong and therefore not lost any of their preseason power.
Best win: South Side
No. 5 – Blackhawk Christian Braves
Previous rank: 5
Why #5?: This team is missing such little of a beat after graduating two of the its best players in program history. Josh Furst has been dominant inside and Gage Sefton is proving, as expected, that he can do a little bit of everything and do it very well.
Why not higher?: At this point, although the Braves looked good in their two wins, they are against teams with a combined record of 0-7. So they don’t really have a “good win” right now.
Best win: North Side
No. 6 – Northrop Bruins
Records: 2-1, 0-0 SAC
Previous rank: NR
Why #6?: Bounce will admit, the Bruins probably deserved to be ranked preseason. This is a makeup call and the Bruins look like they could be the best of the rest behind the top 5 right now. Jalen Jackson is a bonafide stud, but as guys around him develop skill and expectation wise, the Bruins could just get better all season long.
Why not higher?: We are still waiting to see if wins over New Haven and DeKalb are any good at all. Right now they are a combined 1-5 so it doesn’t give much strength to Northrop’s schedule.
Best win: New Haven
No. 7 – Norwell Knights
Records: 1-1, 0-0 NE8
Previous rank: 7
Why #7?: The Knights will sit here in part because we don’t know much about teams 6-25 in this area. We don’t know much more about Norwell than we did in the preseason but those were still good things. They can shoot well and pressure the ball. But we also know when things don’t go well, like against Mississinewa, they could struggle.
Why not higher?: Too small of a sample size. We don’t really know how good Norwell is at this point.
Best win: Oak Hill
No. 8 – Fremont Eagles
Records: 2-0, 1-0 NECC
Previous rank: 9
Why #8?: The Eagles have already shown that they can score in bunches if they play fast and loose. They are a team who is earning more and more respect and rightfully so. Their balanced effort on opening night against Lakewood Park shows a real strength in scoring and team first play. Keep an eye on them to rise with a few good wins.
Why not higher?: We want to see Fremont against better teams than they’ve played so far.
Best win: Lakeland
No. 9 – Jay County Patriots
Records: 4-0, 1-0 ACAC
Previous rank: NR
Why #9?: We have already seen the Patriots rush through one of the other best teams in the ACAC. Being able to be so defensively dominant against Woodlan is an eye opener. There are a lot of guys on this team that can do, headed by Ethan Dirksen. This is an experienced group that remains perfect as of now.
Why not higher?: Lets see after this week with Delta and New Castle on the agenda.
Best win: Fort Recovery (OH) or Woodlan
No. 10 – Warsaw Tigers
Records: 2-1, 0-0 NLC
Previous rank: NR
Why #10?: Two quality wins puts them in the 10 spot now. The one over Huntington North is especially telling because Warsaw, who plays much heavier than Huntington usually allows teams to, was able to overcome the Vikings’ defense and low scoring push. Warsaw has had to play a lot of different tempos so far this season and have shown success at doing so.
Why not higher?: The loss is a glaring one that shows us the gap between 1 and 10 in the area.
Best win: Huntington North
In the Conversation
Columbia City, 2-1
Huntington North, 1-2
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