Bounce’s Boys Hoops Power Poll for January 25

Blackhawk Christian coach Matt Roth patrols the sidelines during January 10’s game against Homestead. (Photo by Leverage Photography)

No. 1 – Blackhawk Christian Braves (15-2)

Yes I know, the Braves lost on Tuesday night to Bishop Dwenger. But does that take them out of being the best team? Before that, since Blackhawk Christian’s previous lone loss of the season, they had won seven straight and none of them have been in single digits. In fact, two of those wins are against top 5 teams on this list and a third against the 7th ranked team.

Blackhawk Christian is fantastic and they have so many weapons who are all pace setters in their own right. Leading that is Gage Sefton, who just recently surpassed 1,000 career points.

Why not higher?

There can’t be a higher number one.

No. 2 – Norwell Knights (14-2, 4-0 NE8)

Beating Wayne by almost 20 points is by far the most impressive thing they have done, but they are also winning by almost 20 points on average so it should be expected. If you believe Twitter turf wars, then Norwell has silence a lot of haters this season. They have some good games ahead of them, but they could easily cruise into the postseason virtually unscathed.

Why not higher?

Blackhawk Christian is just too good, and that is the honest answer.

No. 3 – Homestead Spartans (14-4, 5-0 SAC)

Yeah, you’d prefer not to lose to a mid level Marion team, but outside of that, Homestead has looked really good lately in and around the area. The return of Tucker Day has added a boost and some more consistency to the lineup.

At the end of the day, they are the last unbeaten team in the area’s top conference. That means they are dangerous to everyone else around them.

Why not higher?

The loss to Blackhawk will loom, as will losses in 3 of their last 6.

No. 4 – West Noble Chargers (13-1, 6-0 NECC)

Outside of Prairie Heights and the Chargers’ only loss, they’ve plowed through everyone. In comparison to everyone in their conference, the Chargers have been world beaters and it doesn’t look like something that will slow anytime in the regular season.

The NECC Tournament champions have the conference’s top player in Austin Cripe, who has secured three triple doubles this season, but the emergence of Bradyn Barth and his rebounding prowess has been a big part of the West Noble wow factor lately, including in last Friday’s win over Fremont.

Why not higher?

Its been a bit of a mid schedule for these guys compared to those above them. February 7 opposite NorthWood should shed some more light.

No. 5 – North Side Legends (11-5, 4-1 SAC)

Brauntae Johnson just posted a triple double in a pretty convincing win over Leo. So put your footballs away, because Tae Tae has been blowing away the area in the absence of some of North Side’s standouts. Big brother Brashawn Bassett has also settled into a role as one of the best shooters in the area in games lately.

Why not higher?

They are winning but it isn’t with ease. They needed career day from Johnson to beat Northrop, just edged Canterbury and lost to Homestead the last two weeks.

No. 6 – Wayne Generals (11-4, 4-1 SAC)        

A win over Bridgeport (Michigan) over the weekend was huge for this group who have righted the ship after 3 straight losses with 3 straight wins. It means that Saturday’s game with Blackhawk Christian is far more interesting and could be a marquee game for this General team that is hard to defend at every position.

I mean, from top to bottom of the top 8, is there a better team of players than Wayne has?

Why not higher?

The loss to North Side exposed some weaknesses in the first of three straight losses. Sure that was a while ago, but they haven’t done anything to leapfrog the Legends since.

No. 7 – Concordia Lutheran Cadets (9-4, 4-1 SAC)

Peak Concordia can beat (almost) anyone on this list. And peak Concordia roles on the hands of Ajani Washington and, until lately, Cole Hayworth. In Hayworth’s absence, it has been senior David Speckhard who has helped answer the call and given the Cadets another consistent offensive weapon. Tuesday’s win over Central Noble was the icing on the cake in pushing them forward lately because the Cougars had been playing very well.

Why not higher?

Consistency. Their longest win streak is 4 and in that they edged out Carroll with no time left and went to overtime with a feisty Dwenger team that shouldn’t be on Concordia’s level.

No. 8 – Warsaw Tigers (9-6, 3-1 NLC)

Warsaw has righted their own ship with three straight wins. The Tigers saw Jaxon Gould surpass 1,000 career points over the weekend and he has been as solid as needed for Warsaw to stay in the hunt for a NLC title.

Why not higher?

Before their recent winning streak, the Tigers had lost 4 of 5.

No. 9 – Adams Central Flying Jets (10-4, 3-1 ACAC)

Talk about a crapshoot at the back end of the top 10. But let’s prop up the ACAC Tournament champs here. They have now won 9 straight games and are as hot against their schedule as anyone in the area. They go head on into Friday’s game with ACAC title implications being pretty major so having momentum on their side is huge.

Why not higher?

The ACAC isn’t a blockbuster conference so what would the Jets do against bigger, deeper or better teams? Games against Leo and West Noble will be a measuring stick.

No. 10 – Bishop Dwenger Saints (4-10, 1-4 SAC)

You are darn right I am going to reach with this pick. They just upset the top ranked team in the area and a Class 2A state title contender on Tuesday night. It was a major wake up call that Dwenger could make waves. This is not about who is the best but who has the most power at any given time and who has more power than a team who can knock off

Blackhawk Christian? Which is something that five other SAC schools, including Homestead and North Side failed to do.

Then look down the Saints’ season. The win against New Haven was a solid one, even if it wasn’t spectacular. They’ve lost to Carroll by 2, Concordia by 3 and Homestead by 2. They are in with the best of the best in the area. Dwenger also has the 34th toughest schedule in the state, which is the hardest of any SAC program.

So I am giving credit to the Saints. And I am giving credit to Sam Campbell (17 points), Preston Ross (14) and Caleb Lehrman (14) for their win Tuesday night. Call it recent game bias, I don’t care. Bishop Dwenger, winners of 3 of their last 4, could be on to something.

Why not higher?

I mean they are 4-10.

These opinions represent those of Bounce and Outside the Huddle. No opinions expressed on Outside the Huddle represent those of any of our advertisers. Follow Bounce on Twitter at Bounce_OTH

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