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SuperSam’s Top 9 260 Basketball Games of the Week (Week of Jan. 27, 2024)

This is the final week of the regular season for girls’ basketball, which means one final week of girls basketball games to watch for this week before sectionals.

Initially, tonight’s Bellmont-Angola girls basketball game was slated to be the other game mentioned for this week, but due to the cancellation of this game right as I was working on this post, there’ll only be 9 games picked and discussed this week, followed by the undercard.

Girls Basketball 


(14-5) Northrop @ 4A #3 (18-2) Columbia City 

Series in the Last 20 Years: Tied 9-9

Adversity continues to hit this Northrop program heading into postseason play as losing a talented player like (IUPUI signee) Destini Craig is a huge blow to Northrop’s chances in the postseason. They have found their way to having a successful season despite the amount of turnover from a year ago and the injuries that have been an obstacle in the Lady Bruins’ way. But can they sustain that success in the playoffs??

A very difficult road trip to Columbia City presents a great challenge. This Eagles’ team is one of the best in the emote state and any player on their starting 5 can beat you on any given night. 

Last season, this game needed a flair for the dramatics as Molly Baker’s game winning basket led the Eagles to a 73-69 win at Northrop. Could we see some of that here? Maybe, but I like the Eagles on their home floor. 

Players to Watch

Northrop: Khala Williams-Thomas Sophomore Guard

Columbia City: Addison Baxter Junior Point Guard 

Columbia City by 7

(9-13) Bishop Dwenger @ (11-7) Leo

Series in the Last 20 Years: 15-7 Dwenger

Now here’s where things get interesting as we start getting into potential sectional preview matchups. This one in particular comes between 2 rivals from 3A Sectional 21 squaring off at the Lions’ Den. 

It’s been an up and down season for the Saints, but they have found themselves in a decent position to playing their best basketball in February through their defense and toughness. Leo has had their share of the same but has won 5 of their last 7 games. Leo has a hard-working group of girls that play cohesive basketball. Not a lot of big names or anything flashy. It’s simply a storied-rich tradition of Leo basketball. 

This matchup will honestly be a blessing no matter who wins this game because of who both teams will face this week. Dwenger drew a 1st-round matchup with Woodlan, while Leo gets a 1st round rematch with Angola. 

This is a tough one to forecast, but Leo is 6-3 at home and 4-0 against their sectional, and I think they have a slight edge on the glass. I say give me the Lions in a classic showdown. 

Players to Watch

Dwenger: Giselle Eke (Saint Francis (PA) Signee)

Leo: Kayla Adams Senior Center

Leo by 1

(14-6) Manchester @ (15-6) Bluffton 

Series in the Last 20 Years: 12-9 Manchester 

This game at the Tigers’ Den will be a preview for next week because the Lady Squires and the Lady Tigers drew each other in the first round of 2A Sectional 37. By the way, these two met last season with Bluffton winning 49-35. 

Manchester under their Head Coach and the Blackhawk Christian grad Allison Kauffman has been hotter than the crimson red on their uniforms. Since starting the season 3-4, Manchester has won 11 of their last 13 games thanks to a stellar junior season from point guard Brookelynn Buzzard (15.5 points and 4.1 assists) and an impressive freshman season from their other guard Emma Walker (10.2 points and 7.3 boards).

Blufffon got off to a 6-0 start but has since been ok at 9-6 in their last 15. Now, the Tigers showed a lot of promise against Eastbrook where for 3 quarters and change, Bluffton was the better team against 2A’s 4th-ranked Panthers. But then, Olivia Howell caught fire scoring 26 points and Eastbrook went on a 18-0 run to win 66-52.

If Doug Curtis’ team is able to get Maryn Schreiber and Isabella Stout going offensively and they can take way less turnovers than they did against Eastbrook (20), Bluffton I think should win this game. But you never know with a team like Manchester that can get hot fast.

In spite of that, I’ll take my chances and take Blufffon to win in the first round of two meetings. 

Players to Watch

Manchester: Gracie Lauer Senior Center

Bluffton: Maryn Schreiber Junior Power Forward 

Bluffton by 10


(14-5, 7-1 SAC) Northrop @ 4A #9 18-4, 7-1 SAC) Homestead 

Series in the Last 20 Years: Tied 9-9 

With Snider seemingly on their way to winning the SAC outright, we have this game to decide who takes 2nd place. Last season, these two met for a SAC title with Northrop hanging on to a 52-49 win. 

Homestead is coming off a dominant win over a depleted Carmel team after a surpassing 69-48 loss to Warsaw and their sharpshooter Brooke Zartman. Unfortunately, this game is not nearly as important this season as opposed to last year’s meeting, but it’s still an important game with both teams set on sectionals. Homestead got a good draw considering they drew the two weakest teams in 4A Sectional 6 with South Side in the first round and New Haven awaiting them in the semifinals. 

The same cannot be said for Northrop. They drew Snider, who destroyed Northrop in the regular season 70-37. With this being at Homestead, I’ll give the edge to Sparty. 

Players to Watch 

Northrop: Lexi Castator Senior Point Guard (Valparaiso Signee)

Homestead: Myah Epps Sophomore Point Guard 

Homestead by 4

Boys Basketball 


(10-5) North Side @ (7-6) Leo

Series in the Last 35 Years: 11-5 North 

Originally, these two teams were supposed to play last night. But Mother Nature had other ideas. So, these two should meet tomorrow night at the Lions’ Den. Both teams are coming off very disappointing losses. 

For North, they lost a big opportunity to stay in contention for a SAC title with the 43-36 loss to a determined Homestead team in Homestead fashion. As for Leo, they (to put it nicely) played poorly against East Noble. No disrespect from East Noble because they were awesome in that game led by Nathan Bowker’s 21 points and draining 4 of the team’s 9 three. 

But Leo was just bad on all counts. Offensively, they were very one-dimensional in that game, too many costly turnovers, and simply a horrendous perimeter shooting performance. 

With that in mind, I see the Legends bouncing back with a win at a tough place in the Lions’ Den.

Players to Watch

North Side: Eric Young Jr. Senior Guard

Leo: Trey Hiteshew Senior Point Guard

We the North by 3


(12-3, 5-0 SAC) Wayne @ 2A #3 (12-1, 4-0 SAC) Bishop Luers 

Series in the Last 35 Years: 29-20

This could very well be for an SAC championship on Friday night at Luers. Last season, Wayne clobbered Luers 70-44, but thanks to an established winning culture and the additions of the Truesdale brothers, Bishop Luers is a force to be reckoned under Seth Coffing. 

Aside from the 54-52 blunder against Northridge in the LaPorte Tournament, Luers has answers to every challenge that tried to stand in their way. Luers has a fun and exciting team that can play to the tempo and style that Wayne likes to play. These teams like to get up and down the floor. 

Wayne has been projected as SAC favorites all season long after winning their first SAC title since 1976. Led by Jevon Lewis, and a double-double season from Junior forward HJ Dillard, the Generals are a force with depth, shooting, and an aggressive mentality. This is a championship caliber basketball team that maybe hasn’t quite peaked yet. 

Either way, I like the Generals in this one. 

Players to Watch:

Wayne: Jevon Lewis Senior Combo Guard

Luers: Dereon Truesdale Junior Guard 

Wayne by 4


(8-6, 3-1 NE8) Norwell @ (8-6, 2-1 NE8) East Noble 

Series in the last 35 years: 21-18 Norwell

Two longtime conference rivals will square off for a 1:30pm tip-off (please note the time) in Kendallville. Both teams are coming off huge conference wins last Saturday to stay in the hunt for a share of a conference title in this wild NE8 rollar coaster ride. 3 NE8 teams sit at 3-1 in conference race, and Norwell is one of them. 

Despite a huge scare from New Haven, Cohen Bailey propelled Norwell to victory lane in dramatic fashion thanks to a 4-point play with 1.9 seconds to take a 50-49 victory out of the jaws of defeat….literally. As for East Noble, they came out of a 2-week layoff by dominating the Leo Lions 69-54. Thanks to the winter storm from a week ago, that rescheduled EN-DeKalb game for February 17th could wind up being a massive game if EN can stay in this conference hunt for that much longer. 

To do that however, they must first get past Norwell, a team that EN has lost to in each of their last 4 meetings, and they have not been close. EN needs to stay hot shooting the basketball and defend the paint well against the NE8’s best big man in Senior Ashton Federspiel who’s averaging 18.5 points per game. EN has had to play the last couple games without Kobe Ritchie for East Noble. 

As for Norwell, the big key without question is valuing possessions, force EN to press, and get all 5 guys on the floor involved offensively. We know defensively this team will compete well. Can they find that consistency on offense? That’s the key. 

Norwell is the 2-time defending NE8 champions and seeking for a 3-peat. But I got a SuperSam Upset Special. 

Players to Watch

Norwell: Cohen Bailey Senior Combo Guard

EN: Ryker Quake Junior Guard 

East Noble by 2

(7-6, 2-2 NE8) Leo @ (12-3, 3-1 NE8) Bellmont 

Series in the Last 35 Years: 6-4 Leo

Another conference rivalry in the NE8 race takes us to the Teepee in Decatur. It’s a rivalry that’s been heating up over the last couple seasons, and last season Bellmont defeated Leo at Leo 80-75 in OT. Bellmont is dangerous, fun, experienced, and tough to play against.

And if you haven’t already seen my expressed disappointment with Leo lately, then you’re not getting anything different here. Urgency has to be at an all time high for Leo because their chances to win any shade of a NE8 title is on life support. Losing 3 conference games does not automatically guarantee that Leo is mathematically out of the race, but the math gets super, super tricky. This is a must-win for Leo. 

And like I said earlier, Leo has got to get the ball moving and attack the glass. They must execute offensively or Bellmont will shred this team. The Braves are too dangerous of a team to have bad offensive possessions led by Jack Scheumann averaging 18 points per game and having 4 other guys averaging at least 8.5 points per game. As for Bellmont, they cannot take Leo lightly either because of how lethal that combination of Jackson McGee and the Hiteshew brothers are. Bellmont must have a solid night shooting the ball and win the rebounding battle. If they can force Leo to adjust defensively and having to play catch up, then Bellmont is doing something right. 

I’m sorry Leo fans, but I’m not thrilled with their latest showing over the last 2 weeks. It hasn’t been good enough for a team that has insane amount of talent. Until I see that, I gotta take Bellmont. 

Players to Watch

Leo: Jackson McGee Senior Guard (Grand Valley State Commit)

Bellmont: Jack Scheumann Senior Point Guard 

Bellmont by 6

(12-3) Wayne @ 2A #7 (12-4) Blackhawk Christian 

Series in the Last 35 Years: 8-7 Blackhawk 

This is an exciting matchup to cap off a week with some big time matchups across the 260. SAC contender Wayne vs defending Class 2A state champions Blackhawk. 

Kellen Pickett is a big time matchup on paper guarding Dillard. And that matchup in itself is an enticing one. This is where it comes down to the rest of the players making big time plays in key moments, winning the 50-50 battles, and winning the rebounding margins. 

This is a game that could easily go either way, and this especially given the fact that Wayne has to worry about Luers first and foremost from the perspective of the SAC race. If Isaac Smith and Aiden Muldoon have strong games in this matchup, I could see Blackhawk getting this win. 

Players to Watch

Wayne: Chase Barnes Junior Guard

Blackhawk: Isaac Smith Senior Small Forward 

Blackhawk by 2 in a SuperSam Upset Special


Girls Basketball 

  1. Thur. Angola (12-8) @ Warsaw (12-7): Warsaw by 10
  2. Thur. Bethany Christian (15-5) @ Fairfield (19-3): Fairfield by 8
  3. Thur. Whitko (15-3) @ Wawasee (13-7): Whitko by 3
  4. Fri. DeKalb (13-7, 2-4 NE8) @ Huntington North (10-10, 2-4 NE8): DeKalb by 1
  5. Fri. East Noble (12-7, 3-3 NE8) @ Norwell (17-4, 5-1 NE8): Norwell by 17

Boys Basketball

  1. Tues. Concordia (6-7) @ Central Noble (11-4): Concordia by 4
  2. Fri. North Side (10-5, 2-2 SAC) @ Concordia (6-7, 1-3 SAC): We the North by 7
  3. Fri. Snider (9-7, 3-3 SAC) @ Carroll (6-9, 2-2 SAC): Carroll by 6
  4. Fri. South Side (4-9, 1-4 SAC) @ Bishop Dwenger (5-7, 1-4 SAC): Dwenger by 3
  5. Sat. Angola (6-9, 4-2 NECC) @ Fairfield (11-3, 4-0 NECC): Fairfield by 12

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