The regular season is officially over for boys basketball and we will get to the post season and Sectional preview soon enough.
But first, we have to put a bow on the regular season and we do that with the final boys hoops power poll of the regular season. Who are the top 10 heading into the postseason?
Wayne Generals (17-4, 8-1 SAC)
The Generals are the no brainer answer here. They faced every tough challenge down the stretch and came out on top. They are the champions of the toughest conference in Northeast Indiana and their depth has been something special to watch. It has been since January 10 since Wayne last lost and they are certainly the most powerful area team heading into the postseason.
Concordia Lutheran Cadets (16-6, 7-2 SAC)
Few have the Cadets at #2, but here is why I do: their last four games are three wins against other top 10 teams and that loss wasn’t exactly a blowout. The Cadets were, multiple times, inches from winning the SAC title themselves. They went on to beat Norwell, Homestead and Columbia City. Concordia is almost as good as it gets in this area.
Norwell Knights (20-3, 7-0 NE8)
Despite their loss to Concordia, the Knights got their swagger back Friday night in The Castle as they beat former rival Homestead and Luke McBride broke one the area’s perceived most unbreakable records as the program’s all-time leading scorer. Before their loss to Concordia, Norwell had not lost since December 27 and they are one of just three area teams to hit 20 wins in the regular season.
Blackhawk Christian Braves (20-3)
There are some who have seemingly forgotten the Braves from their minds with some losses, but they have won five straight since and head to the postseason as a heavy contender again in Class 2A. They are one of just three area teams to hit 20 wins and they have been able to see significant development with their entire lineup.
Homestead Spartans (17-7, 7-2 SAC)
Although the Spartans have lost four of their last seven, those aren’t bad losses with the worse of them coming to 16 win Concordia. Sparty has some things to figure out going into the postseason, but do so with several significant weapons and everyone knows that. It is hard to stop one Spartan, how do you stop four? It isn’t an easy task.
West Noble Chargers (20-3, 9-1 NECC)
Yeah, a surprise loss to a mid level NECC team hurts the Charger argument. But again, they’ve won 20 games and that isn’t anything easy to do. Two of their three losses were to juggernauts so nobody should really count those against the Chargers.
Warsaw Tigers (14-9, 5-2 NLC)
The Tigers are playing a high level of competition consistently and coming out of it successfully. Like some above them in this power ranking, Warsaw really seems to have grown the depth of their lineup very well and those players have made them significantly more balanced than the one headed monster we saw Warsaw as when the season started.
Adams Central Flying Jets (18-5, 5-1 ACAC)
While the ACAC isn’t the toughest of conferences this season, it is how Adams Central has handled themselves even without a complete lineup. They’ve had to play without Ethan Poling, they’ve had to play without Isaac Schultz, yet they have the most wins for the program since 2012 and are 17-1 in 2023.
Carroll Chargers (12-10, 6-3 SAC)
Carroll has lost four straight but their super sophomores and juniors have made them one of the SAC and area’s deeper threats too. Those losses include one to Homestead where they dominated a lot of the game. Sure, it’s a loss, but something impressive about holding down the Spartans as well as they did for as long as they did. They also hold a recent win over #10 here.
North Side Legends (13-9, 6-3 SAC)
Just 3-5 in their last eight, some may say North Side is trending backward, but they are also healthy now in ways they weren’t at other times. Jaxson Fugate has shown he can be a difference maker and help push the Legends to another gear. Close game success is important and the Legends are learning that, 2-2 in their last four with a +1 point difference.
Just outside Top 10 (no particular order)
Central Noble (17-6, 7-3 NECC)
Lakeland (16-7, 7-3 NECC)
Columbia City (13-10, 6-1 NE8)
Woodlan (18-5, 4-2 ACAC)
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