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Local Hoops Guru

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  1. Three teams do seem to be running away from the rest: Linton is beating teams that are quite good and showing they're not just Joey and the Supporting Harts. They seem primed to make a good run come March. North Daviess is looking strong as well, riding a killer defense and a junior class ready to rise to the top. Bloomfield has yet to get into the meat of their schedule through no fault of their own, the first half of their schedule appears to have been used to get Baylin Graf's supporting cast comfortable enough to create opportunities for them when teams key on him. As for the rest: North Central is a very scary team and thankfully for them, the Clark boy's injury against North Daviess wasn't significant enough to keep him from missing action. Can they run with Bloomfield and win the sectional while stunning the Cardinals two years in a row? March will tell. Shakamak seems to be struggling with health. No way are they 45 points worse than Linton, but until they're fully healthy, we'll not know how good they really can be. Clay City has been the surprise of the conference to me. They seem to be a lot more physical than in years past and aren't afraid to go nose to nose with anyone. Right now, they're a dark horse in sect. 57. Eastern Greene is finally starting to get its pieces in order and though this year seems to be a work in progress, they do aim to be much more competitive than they were to start. WRV just struggles to score to beat teams at or above their caliber. They can hang with teams at their level, beat teams below their level, but teams above it they're just overwhelmed by. It may take some time to buy into the Michael Hopkins way of seeing things. My rankings: 1. Linton 2. North Daviess 3. Bloomfield 4. North Central T5. Clay City, Shakamak 7. Eastern Greene 8. WRV
  2. SWIAC looks to be a three horse race at the top between Linton, North Daviess, and Bloomfield. All 3 are highly ranked and deservedly so. The Miners are proving to be more than just pieces for Joey Hart, and if they can get Drew Smith back in form, there could be a lengthy run in store come March. North Daviess prides itself on defense and right now they are playing stellar defense. Of course, for them to make a run they'll have to get out of the gauntlet that is sectional 63. Bloomfield looks to be improved this year, on both sides of the ball. We knew they could score but they've become a good defensive team to start the year. Should be a sellout wherever these three teams play all year long. North Central has impressed me this year. Even without Tyler Vaughn, the T-Birds could be poised to take the next step. After all, they did defeat Bloomfield in last year's sectional and if their talent level and conditioning level even up, they could be a real threat to any of the above teams. Shakamak is hard to figure out. Like was said above, they went from getting run off their court to losing at the buzzer in one night. Coy Gilbert is a very good player and can heat up at any time, if his supporting cast comes along, watch out Bloomfield and North Central in sectional 57. WRV has trouble putting the ball in the basket, but their defense seems to have improved which might help them against teams of their caliber. Max Hostetter is a nice point guard but needs pieces around him. Clay City is a very young team but not one to overlook, Coach Ames values shot making and in a couple years with that decent freshman class, they could give the teams above maybe a challenge. Eastern is just hurting right now. Injuries and youth have left Coach Hudson looking for answers that just won't come yet. Like Clay City, they have a decent freshman class that is gaining experience now. They may take their lumps now but hopefully things turn around there. My SWIAC power rankings: 1. Linton 2. Bloomfield 3. North Daviess 4. North Central 5. Shakamak 6. Clay City 7. WRV 8. Eastern Greene
  3. A couple of days into the 2021-22 boys basketball season and I wonder how the SWIAC is shaping up. First games are less than two weeks away and I'm sitting here wondering what the seasons will be like for the eight conference teams. I'm sure at least five of them figure to be competing for a sectional championship next March or be considered a favorite in those fields. Of those five, I'm thinking three of them look to advance beyond regional play. Should be a competitive year in the local area.
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