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Prep hoops notebook: Everybody eats for North Side; Bishop Luers grows closer (with power polls)

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For complete coverage of high school basketball, follow Justin Kenny on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/jkenny_ns and the rest of The News-Sentinel crew at www.Twitter.com/prephoops_ns

The week in review with the debut of Power Polls

Monday, January 13, 2014 - 11:12 pm

Every team has a slogan of some sort that they adopt at a point in the season.

For North Side, it is just three letters – EGE.

Everybody's Gonna Eat.

“It is our mantra,” North Side coach Shabaz Khaliq said. “If you focus on one guy, another guy is going to carry (us).

“I am glad they relish it, it is something that defines them.”

Class 4A No. 9 North Side (12-1) has had six different players lead it in scoring this year, including senior Myluv Sutton who came off the bench last Friday against Wayne to score 18 points, including 16 in the first half.

“We realize that we haven't seen too many teams that have had success with just one man carrying the bulk of the load,” Khaliq said. “They understand that if they make that extra pass, another person will score.”

Growing (through) pains

It was an ugly 41-point loss for the Knights to North Side in the SAC Tournament, one that meant a lot to the players but not as much to the coaching staff.

“Our friendship brought us together more like brothers than we ever were,” said freshman J.J. Foster about the blowout defeat.

For Coach J.J. Foster, he put that game in perspective as head of the team.

“What happened in that game was you got a team of seniors playing against a team of young and inexperienced guys,” Foster said. “And that's how they treated us.”

Bishop Luers (6-2) has used its losses and even the half-dozen victories as a learning experience for a team that does not start as much youth as people think. While there are several freshmen on the varsity roster, J.J. Foster is the lone freshman starter.

The majority of the starting lineup is of players who are older but lacking significant varsity playing time, such as junior Tyrell Johnson and senior Austyn Rybicki.

“We use every game to try and grow and that's what you're seeing right now,” Coach Foster said.

Beating the bigs

The one-point victory over Concordia Lutheran on Saturday was the first game in two weeks for the Braves, yet the momentum picked up on the second day of the Carroll Shootout surely carried over during the long break.

After wins against New Castle and East Noble at Carroll, Blackhawk Christian (6-5) made it three straight with the win over the Cadets.

“We are starting to play a little bit better,” Davidson said. “We still have a ways to go, especially defensively.”

Three of Blackhawk Christian's five defeats have come to state-ranked teams – North Side, New Haven and Hamilton Southeastern, which has helped the Braves prepare for squads more its size in the playoffs.

And yet, Davidson's team is still averaging just eight turnovers a game while out-rebounding opponents by about six rebounds per contest.

“I was telling the team we are taking care of the ball,” Davidson said. “I'd love to see that continue.”

Quick hits

* The Carroll boys' team has played the toughest schedule in the area in terms of opponents' record, with a record of 68-35 (66 percent winning percentage).

* Woodlan's victory at Bluffton on Saturday was the first for the Warriors since 1996.

* The Homestead girls' basketball team owns the sixth-best average margin of victory in the state at 28.77.

Power Poll

With prep basketball right in the midst of its season, it is time for me to debut my weekly Power Polls. Keep in mind that this poll is not based on what a team has done the entire season up to now, but rather how I believe the teams rank in terms of their play right now.

Debate amongst yourselves and Tweet me with your anger as you see fit.

Boys Area Top 10

1. North Side

2. New Haven

3. Homestead

4. Snider

5. Norwell

6. Carroll

7. Bishop Luers

8. Bishop Dwenger

9. Wayne

10. Blackhawk Christian

Girls Area Top 10

1. Homestead

2. Concordia Lutheran

3. South Side

4. Bishop Luers

5. Garrett

6. Canterbury

7. Leo

8. Norwell

9. DeKalb

10. East Noble