It is easy sometimes to jump to wild conclusions about teams based on their records.
As the girls seasons is virtually over at this point and the boys season has turned the corner to the second half after some conference tournaments, most people’s minds are made up about teams this season and, lets be honest, maybe about programs and players going forward.
But records don’t always tell a true story.
So today, Bounce is looking at five area teams who’s records aren’t the whole book or even the big picture for programs.
SNIDER BOYS (1-12)
If you look at that record, you are like wow Snider is in a true rebuild after so many great graduating classes have come and gone for head coach Jeremy Rauch lately. Fair assessment on the surface.
But go look at the final scores in those games.
The future could be bright for a Snider team that got a slow start with some players coming over from a highly successful football season. In fact, most of their key contributors from Jordan Lee to Lincoln Firks and beyond spent critical time on the Panther football field this past fall.
Snider’s most recent setback came against Carmel in what was really their only lopsided loss, save for a 55-38 loss to Center Grove in December. The Panthers have four losses within five points and played quality basketball in SAC losses to Wayne (five points), North Side (seven points) and Homestead (10 points).
Snider’s record may indicated a down year, but there is a lot to like about the grit of this year’s Panthers.
BISHOP LUERS GIRLS (7-11)
This was a program that everyone had eyes on early because of the addition of Annika Davis, who had to play JV as a transfer last season. But as we roll into the second half of January, they are not part of the race at the top of the SAC.
Still, Luers has played some really quality basketball despite a below .500 record. They started 3-1 with that one loss being by seven points to a Central Noble team that went undefeated for a really long time into January.
They have now won three of their last four and their one loss was a really good fight in a 59-52 loss to one of the best teams in the SAC in Carroll. While Luers isn’t in the space to compete for a SAC title this season, they are looking like they could build momentum for a postseason run. They will close out January and the regular season with four very winnable games.
HERITAGE BOYS (7-5)
The Patriots can play a lot of different styles and they’ve been able to showcase that including this past week when Jay County helped drag them into the weeds of a slow and methodical game with long possessions and a lot of defense.
Their wins over Bellmont and Jay County remain their best, but lets not forget they took eventual ACAC tournament champion Adams Central to the end last Friday, falling 43-36. Luke Saylor has been playing great basketball as he has made himself Heritage’s best scorer ever and Kobe Meyer seems to be getting better all of the time, a trait that made him one of the ACAC’s best breakout football players this past fall.
Also, the Patriots may be just above .500 but they are also the only conference unbeaten left in the ACAC, sitting at 2-0 with four games remaining. Yes, those four games include rematches with Jay County and Adams Central, as well as a battle with Woodlan but it is still a great place for coach Adam Gray’s team to be right now in control of their own regular season fate.
LAKELAND GIRLS (10-9)
Lakeland surprised many with a three game losing streak to start the season, but they bounced back with three straight wins after that. Later on, they followed up a four game losing streak with five straight wins that was ended last week in the NECC Tournament with a hard fought overtime loss to Eastside.
There are a lot of powerful players in the lineup for the Lakers and Alivia Rasler was one of the best single game standouts in the NECC Tournament last week.
At this time of the season, that is an important place to be. Lakeland is capable of making postseason waves, so that win streak and the fun overtime contest opposite the Blazers puts Lakeland in a nice spot as the postseason looms on the girls side.
Lakeland has just three games remaining, all in the conference and they could win them all. If they can top Churubusco and Fremont, then a regular season finale against Garrett could be a really nice spot to build confidence going into Sectional play. And with the firepower that Lakeland has that has given them nice win streaks, don’t count out a postseason run being possible.
NEW HAVEN BOYS (7-8)
What a weird year it has been for the Bulldogs, who came in with a lot of excitement and have lived up to the hype a lot despite a below .500 record to date.
The key for the Bulldogs down the stretch of the season will remain sustainability. Last Friday, they got a big win in crazy circumstances and in a crazy environment against rival Leo. It built up a lot of excitement for the Bulldogs and rightfully so. Darrion Brooks has lived up to every expectation and Korbyn Hammel has emerged as arguably the best Class of 2026 player in Northeast Indiana.
The Bulldogs are playing so even that the point differential between them and their 15 opponents so far is just -0.2 points per game. The went toe to toe with Woodlan opening night to lose by two against a Warriors team who has been really good; the Bulldogs also own just a two point loss to Blackhawk Christian, the area’s best team.
At their peak, New Haven can make some waves still this season. They sit 3-0 in the conference and already hold a tournament/non-conference win over Huntington North, one of the NE8 games remaining on their schedule. January 21 (vs. Norwell) and January 28 (vs. Columbia City) are huge games coming up. The Bulldogs will get to host both teams and with the layoffs between games it gives them chances to really prepare for the two top teams in the NE8.
New Haven has a “losing record” as of press time but within two weeks could be in the driver’s seat to win the NE8.
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