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NE8 Girls’ Basketball Power Poll and Picks (Week 10)

Photo Courtesy of Huntington North Athletics

  1. Columbia City 14-2 (3-0)
  2. Norwell 13-2 (2-1)
  3. Huntington North11-2 (2-1)
  4. Bellmont 13-1 (3-0)
  5. Leo 7-7 (1-2)
  6. DeKalb 8-8 (0-3)
  7. East Noble 3-11 (1-2)
  8. New Haven 2-12 (0-3)

After taking a few weeks off for the Holliday’s, I am back to talk about NECC and NE8 hoops. Let’s kick off 2023 with a look at the ever-so-interesting NE8 girls basketball race as things will start to greatly pick up over the next two weeks.

Since we have a busy two weeks in store, let’s not waste anytime and dive into this week…..SuperSam Style!

SuperSam’s 5 NE8 Girls’ Basketball Picks of the Week


8-6 Carroll @ 13-2 Norwell

It’s been a very interesting season for Carroll where they had a fantastic 6-0 start to the season, only to enter 2023 with losses in 6 of their last 8 games. All things considered, Carroll has played the best of the best in the state: Northrop, Homestead, Northridge, Warsaw, Hamilton Southeastern, and Fishers.

As long as they still have a strong nucleus that includes Kayla Gibbs and Taylor Fordyce, and they are still playing good team basketball, it’s still Carroll. That being said, The Castle is no easy place to win games as Norwell has only lost once on home court (Columbia City). Kennedy Fuelling and Makenzie Fuess are one of the best backcourt duos in the area, and that 1-3-1 zone is very difficult to generate any consistent offense when at its best.

This could be a fun game in theory, but this feels like a must-win game for Carroll from a confidence standpoint, and I see the seniors on Carroll leading the way to a promising outcome.

Players to Watch

Carroll: Taylor Fordyce Senior Combo Guard

Norwell: Kennedy Fuelling Junior Combo Guard

Carroll by 4

11-2 Huntington North @ 10-2 Eastbrook

This is Matt Hinds’ team heading down to Grant County to face Hinds’ old team in 2A power Eastbrook. Personally, I don’t know too much about Eastbrook other than the fact Sophia Morrison and Olivia Howell combine for 28.5 points and 5.6 assists per game. Eastbrook, as a team, is an offensive juggernaut, but their schedule isn’t necessarily the most battle-tested at times.

While the Vikings had some early-season hiccups and thrilling wins, I feel like they are surprisingly getting better as the season progresses, and now we are seeing a more well-rounded team at the most opportune time. Yes, Taylor Double is still Taylor Double, but now we are seeing Marissa Trout and Grace Fields starting to excel to their roles, which makes everyone else improve.

Expect Huntington North to round into postseason form tonight.

Players to Watch

HN: Marissa Trout Sophomore Combo Guard

Eastbrook: Sophia Morrison Junior Combo Guard

Huntington North by 7


3-11 East Noble @ 5-9 Angola

Tomorrow, EN will have a chance to rebound from their toughest stretch of the season where the Lady Knights have lost six in a row and now have to go to Angola. EN is looking to avoid losing seven straight for the first in almost exactly 2 years.

Despite the growing pains, perhaps EN is starting to find some confidence? Their last two games at Goshen saw them going to OT with a half decent Goshen team and only losing by 17 to 10-5 Mishawaka. However, EN will need strong contribution from Bailea Bortner and Bree Walmsley to score on Angola’s 1-2-2 trap and get some timely stops on defense as a team.

Angola has really suffered from a brutal schedule and just bad shooting numbers lately, but Angola is definitely better than what their record shows. Yes, it is a down year for Angola, but there are some capable players on this team with Kylie Caswell, Leah Snyder, and Macy Oberlin. Plus, Lexi Stillman is back in the rotation from an injury.

Players to Watch

EN: Bailea Bortner Junior Combo Guard

Angola: Leah Snyder Junior Forward

Angola by 6


2-12 New Haven @ 8-8 DeKalb

Before I get to the NE8 Game of the Week, let’s talk about this game since we don’t talk enough about DeKalb. The Barons definitely have to be a little disappointed that things haven’t quite gone as well as they expected, but after losing 5 of 6 between mid-November and early December…The Barons enter 2023 with wins in 4 of their last 7 games.

While New Haven has some future potential led by Janiya Johnson, DeKalb is the more well-rounded team and I expect them to finally get a conference win. Lillie Cone is coming off a huge milestone by becoming the program’s new career 3-point scoring queen.

Players to Watch

New Haven: Janiya Johnson Junior Combo Guard

DeKalb: Lillie Cone Senior Shooting Guard (PFW Golf Commit)

DeKalb by 18

13-1 Bellmont @ 14-2 Columbia City

To the surprise of no one, this is the BIG GAME of the week where Bellmont looks to give the Lady Eagles their first conference loss of the season. Columbia City is coming off an encouraging run at the Warsaw Lady Tiger Classic where they won 2 of their 3 games there with dominant wins over Winchester and Chesterton. Yet, their lone loss was their most impressive showing where they went toe-to-toe with defending state champion and 17-0 South Bend Washington in a 67-50 loss. Almost nobody competes for 4 quarters with that team unless you’re highly ranked nationally.

Columbia City is as good as advertised with impressive wins over very good teams, an enticing schedule, and an amazingly talented team with ZERO seniors. Addison Baxter, Kyndra Sheets, the Tonkel sisters, Molly Baker, and Faith Frey. If you’ve watched one of their games, you know the drill. They are fast, talented, and cohesively work so well together. They have no quit.

But do NOT overlook Bellmont who can compete with any team they are capable of playing against with a hard-nosed press and extremely selfless athletes. Bellmont is committed to this type of basketball, and it has paid dividends. We are at the point where the dark days of Bellmont girls’ basketball in the late 2000s and early 2010s are an afterthought, which makes the NE8 infinitely better.

I won’t give away too many of my thoughts, because I will save the rest for later. That being said this is going to be an absolute war at C. City.

Players to Watch

Bellmont: Hailey Cole Junior Combo Forward

CC: Kyndra Sheets Junior Combo Forward

Columbia City by 5

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