SHOOTER: In boys prep hoops, is it North Side and then everybody else?

North Side basketball will be led into the new season by, from left to right, Jalen Causey, Alijah Long, Lucas Kroft, Keion Brooks Jr., Brandan Johnson and Austin Boucher. (Photo by Dan Vance of

Look, Shooter knows how it goes. He’s a homer. I’m not really, so you know, but you are going to call me one. Why? Because that headline says North Side? No. Because the Shooter haters, they all think I’m a homer. A homer for North, a homer for Homestead, a homer for Wayne. Shooter lays praise and you think I’m picking sides.

Just because Shooter is a Boone Bacon fan doesn’t mean that the Auburn/Waterloo area is my preferred vacation destination. Shooter just likes good basketball — and players with great names. So let Shooter tell you what is really going to happen this year:


Austin Boucher. Period. He should have been an Indiana Junior All-Star last year if, ya know, kids were allowed to attend whatever school they wanted.

How Boucher meshes with coach Shabaz Khaliq’s system and this new team still remains to be seen. But what everyone should remember is that the kids is a straight-up player.

He made South Side good in the few times that it was good his freshman and sophomore seasons. Nobody in this area has been as much of a multiple threat offensively as Boucher showcased when we last saw him (54 in sectional loss to Muncie Central on March 4, 2016) and the state should take notice.


The Summit Athletic Conference is a fun place to look at because those same questions above are relevant here. North Side players are good — so good. But how to they mesh for the regular season? How different do they look as they get healthy? There are plenty of other teams looking to take advantage of those unknowns. But can they? Is a change of the guy drawing up the plays enough to see South Side finally live up to their potential? Is Wayne more than hype? So many questions, but Shooter says it’s North Side until it’s not North Side. Ya know, ‘to be the man, you have to beat the man.’ Woooooooo.

The Northeast Eight could also be competitive with Norwell being my team that could surprise. Shooter loves Will Geiger’s game, it’s less traditional Norwell and more like the type of play that consistently keeps New Haven at the top of the heap. And the ACAC? Shooter dosen’t know much, but he knows that Aaron Hahn is a winner and that makes Woodlan a winner.


I’m going to take a not-so-big leap off my lily pad and say the winner in this category is a team that doesn’t win a conference. Sure, it’s because they aren’t in one, but don’t judge me.

The voters in the first AP Poll of the year threw major shade at Blackhawk Christian by putting them eighth in Class 1A. Do you guys even know about this team? The top assists man in Indiana last year with Jalan Mull, a refined and dangerous Frankie Davidson, a dominant Drake Thompson and this guy named Caleb Furst who you should get to know really quickly. And, I mean, the Braves have a lot more. Talk about an overabundance of riches.

Follow Shooter on Twitter at shooter_ns