Bounce’s Picks for the week of January 3-8

Welcome to 2022. There are some big things coming up this month as girls basketball goes through the second half and we get the ACAC and NECC Tournaments. But this week, it is just preparation for those events. Get better time.

Each week, Bounce will pick 15 or more games in the area that draw his interest.

*Unlike Blitz, we aren’t picking spreads here…just winners


2021-22 RECORD: 82-32


Bluffton at Northfield, Tuesday

The Tigers would like to get an even footing before the ACAC tournament where they will have just as good of a chance as anyone not named Jay County. This is a good get right game for them and a road win would be great. Bounce picks Bluffton

Fairfield at Garrett, Tuesday

A big one here that could likely determine a NECC regular season champion while also being a preview for a tournament game in a couple of weeks. Taylor Gerke’s status could matter some but probably not enough at home. There are times I lean on home court advantage and I’m going to here. Fairfield is very good, zero disrespect to them. But just not Tuesday night. Bounce picks Garrett

Northrop at Heritage, Tuesday

When we talk about ACAC Tournament momentum, this is important for Heritage, win or lose. A good showing goes a long way in toughening up for that bracket. But Northrop has ridiculous athleticism and talent. It could end up closer than expected but this is all Bruin come the end. Bounce picks Northrop

Norwell at Carroll, Tuesday

Somehow Carroll still seems pretty underrated because they are a really talented team. This may not be the marquee matchup of last year but it’s still a huge one with two of the areas best programs and coaches. Norwell is rolling, their scoring depth is always improving but so is Carroll’s. This could steal the game of the week throne. Bounce picks Norwell

Bellmont at South Adams, Wednesday

Adams County sometimes produces the best County rivalry games. This could be another good one as the Starfires want that elusive ACAC Tournament momentum. But Bellmont has flexed their depth often with Sydney Keane being the latest star to shine. Bounce picks Bellmont

Snider at Wayne, Wednesday

Wayne is solidly over .500 and joins Snider as one of the most intriguing young teams in the area. But the layoff that the Generals have had makes us question what team we will see this week. Meanwhile Snider has been better than just good. This is going to be a fun matchup for years to come with great young coaches leading the way. Bounce picks Snider

Woodlan at Blackhawk Christian, Thursday

The Warriors, at their best, are very aggressive and that is something the Braves will need to counteract. Sleeper game right here. Bounce picks Blackhawk Christian

Northrop at Snider, Friday

We’ve talked about these two teams already this week but this is a much bigger challenge for both teams than those games. Both are still very much in the SAC title race but a loss here could cripple those hopes. Chances are these two teams are going to throw everything at each other here. Bounce picks Snider

Lawrence North at Homestead, Saturday

This is always a dogfight but this isn’t the normal Lawrence North team we’ve come to expect. The Spartans shouldn’t take them lightly by any means but don’t expect this to be as tight as previous years. Bounce picks Homestead

Northridge at Warsaw, Saturday

Another top tier game in a wild week of top tier teams. If Abby Sanner is on, I am not sure how many teams can really beat Warsaw. Is Northridge one of them? Could it be that she’s not on come Saturday? Toss up game. Bounce picks Northridge


East Noble at Westview, Tuesday

Can the Knights string together two wins for the first time all season? Their up and down season has been a solid one but has the potential to be better. Nobody on Westview can match up inside with Chris Hood, but the Warriors do have the best scorer in the game in Mason Yoder. Winning at Westview is hard and I’ve heard the Whistler to prove it. Bounce picks Westview

Bishop Luers at Marion, Tuesday

This is one of the hardest gyms to beat the home team in. Neither team will have seen the court in over two weeks by this point. Less rusty and most aggressive wins. Bounce picks Bishop Luers

New Haven at Snider, Tuesday

Could have seen this matchup last week at the Huntington North tournament but instead the Panthers rolled while New Haven struggled until their last game. While Darrion Brooks really is looking like he is coming into his own, the Panthers have more big time scorers. And Aidan Lambert could be due for a 40 point game. Bounce picks Snider

North Side at Huntington North, Wednesday

Talk about a clash of styles. What did the Vikings learn against Snider last week? If they picked up ways to slow things down, then this could be a very interesting game because Zach Hubartt is one of the areas most underrated players. North is coming off winning a tournament themselves though and are one of the hottest teams in the area. Bounce picks North Side

Carroll at Bishop Dwenger, Friday

An underrated game on the schedule. We still don’t really know how good the Saints could be, but last weeks win over Warsaw was a bit of an eye opener. Bounce picks Bishop Dwenger

Northrop at Snider, Friday

The first major SAC boys game on the schedule this year. Bounce has an inkling that a second loss in the conference will take you out of things this year and both of these teams are in that dilemma entering Friday. Both are coming into this week off losses; Snider needs to be better at closing out games and the Bruins just lost to a mediocre Richmond. Good game here, maybe a great one. Bounce picks Northrop

Bellmont at Columbia City, Saturday

Hey so Columbia City has the best overall record right now of all NE8 teams but Bellmont has the skill and depth to play spoiler. This is a week we will learn a lot about the conference race at the top (see Saturday) and the winner of this could be a NE8 spoiler. But as I said earlier in this column with the girls, sometimes home court really matters. Bounce picks Columbia City

Jay County at Adams Central, Saturday

On the girls side, it is about building to the ACAC Tournament. On the boys side, the regular season title is still very much up in the air with both of these teams in the thick of it at 1-0. Right now Jay County is the strongest team. Bounce picks Jay County

Leo at Norwell, Saturday

Here we go. You want a slugfest? You want the best game in the area this week. Here you go. Norwell is strong and young, Leo is strong and older. The reality is we expect the conference to come down to these two teams but is Norwell taking over this year instead of next? Norwell won 8 straight before coming closer to beating Chesterton than Homestead did. Leo hasn’t played in over two weeks although they will get one game in before this earlier in the week. Does any of that matter? Meh, who knows. Welcome to The Castle. Bounce picks Norwell

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