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NE8 Boys Basketball Power Poll and Picks (Week 10)

Photo Courtesy of Columbia City Athletics

Norwell 14-2 (4-0)

Columbia City 10-7 (4-0)

Leo 7-8 (2-2)

New Haven 7-9 (3-1)

Huntington North 6-9 (2-2)

Bellmont 7-8 (0-4)

DeKalb 3-11 (1-3)

East Noble 2-12 (0-4)


Lakeland 61 @ Columbia City 55

In a game that featured Andrew Hedrick becoming the 8th boys basketball player in program history to reach 1,000 points, the Lakers came away with a huge road win for Coach Keil’s club. 

For the Eagles in that game, Hedrick led all scorers with 26 points putting his career total to 1,022 career points. 

Initial Spread: Columbia City by 1


2-12 East Noble @ 14-2 Norwell

East Noble’s last 4 games have been decided by 5 points or less. In fact, the last three games have been decided in the final seconds of regulation or overtime, including Leo’s 65-64 road win off of Nolan Hiteshew’s 2 free throws. 

Consistency has been a massive issue for the young EN Knights, and they have their work cut out for them against a very talented Norwell squad. Obviously, with Norwell, this is a very diverse offense that can drain a lot of threes and pound the glass inside. Defensively, this team is strong and athletically tough to find any room on offense. 

If EN is unable to get other players to generate some offense and defend their shooting, it’ll be a long game in Ossian. Luke McBride is now 2nd in program scoring at 1,695 career points.

Players to Watch 

EN: Owen Ritchie Senior Combo Guard

Norwell: Jake Parker Senior Combo Forward 

Norwell by 22

3-11 DeKalb @ 6-9 Huntington North

In spite of losing records, these two teams are finding their winning groove as of late. The Vikings have won 3 of their last 4 including a 49-47 dramatic win at Bellmont. The Vikings’ 44.5 points against leads the NE8. 

DeKalb after starting the season 0-10 has won 3 of their last 4 games with an impressive win over Prairie Heights Tuesday. They held Chase Bachelor and Isaiah Malone (who combine for 37 points per game) to just 24 combined points and forced the Panthers to 21 turnovers. Alex Leslie who had 26 points at Angola added another 16 vs ‘We the Prairie’. 

The question now becomes will the Barons defense frustrate the young Huntington North program, and can they maintain their hot streak from the perimeter where it has been Marty Ball’s biggest strength. 

Players to Watch

DeKalb: Caden Pettis Junior Combo Guard

HN: Aric Hosler Senior Combo Guard 

DeKalb by 2

10-7 Columbia City @ 7-9 New Haven

These are two teams with a lot of star talent but sometimes can be a little streaky on the court. Columbia City, a team that prides themselves on defense, has treaded some water since their 5-1 start. 

Since the start, the Eagles are 5-6 and have allowed 60 or more points in 2 of their last 3. For New Haven, this team’s streaks trend faster than the stock market these days. 

New Haven started the season 3-6 before winning 3 straight and now have lost 3 of their last 4. New Haven, a team that traditionally scores a lot of points with a SAC like pace, has only scored 60 or more points twice since the new year. 

This Bulldogs team only shoots 30% from deep, and Darrion Brooks is the only Bulldog averaging double figures. Brooks is averaging 19.5 points and nearly 10 boards a game. Korbyn Hammel is second in scoring at 9.3. 

For Columbia City, Andrew Hedrick leads the team in scoring averaging 21.4 points per game, which only trails Norwell’s Luke McBride’s 23.5 points. If they can get some needed scoring from Stratton Fuller, Kam Hoag, and even Rhet Wilson, they’ll have a chance against the talented New Haven program. New Haven crashes the boards well at 28.4 boards. 

Players to Watch

CC: Andrew Hedrick Senior Combo Guard (Bethel Commit)

NH: Jeremiah Cottrell Senior Combo Guard 

Columbia City by 4

7-8 Bellmont @ 7-8 Leo

When it comes to streaks, these two teams are pretty close to being known as the streakiest teams in the conference. After winning 4 of their last 5 games of 2022, Bellmont has yet to win a game in the new year (0-3). 

For the Braves, only the Vikings have the better defense as Bellmont holds opponents to 47.8 points per game. However, Bellmont is 6-2 when they score 50 or more points. 

For Leo, the craziness of this retooling season for the Lions continued last week with close wins over Snider and East Noble. Over the last handful of games, Nolan Hiteshew is averaging roughly over 15 points per game. Adding that to the talented abilities of Jackson McGee and Trey Hiteshew gives the Lions three reliable offensive playmakers, which takes a ton of pressure off their young defense. 

However, with Bellmont’s structured zone defense, discipline is key as the Braves want this game to be ugly and potent with turnovers. 

Players to Watch 

Bellmont: Jack Scheumann Junior Combo Guard

Leo: Trey Hiteshew Junior Combo Guard 

Leo by 3

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