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High Schools

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Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette
Meredith Shipman was Snider’s top scorer with 18 in Tuesday’s win over Homestead.

Panthers strike late to defeat Spartans

Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette
Homestead’s Savannah Buck goes down hard under Snider’s Bryanna Moore in the second quarter.

– It was all about timing for the Snider girls basketball team, which waited for its chance to strike in getting a rare win at Homestead.

The Panthers won for the first time on the Spartans’ court since 2002, thanks to their pressure defense that led to a 55-47 comeback victory.

Homestead, which seemed to wear down late, committed six turnovers in the fourth as Snider held a 19-3 turnover advantage.

“Our pressure helps a lot of getting up on their guards and not letting them get into an offense,” first-year Snider coach Kelley Meiklejohn said.

Snider (16-3) trailed Homestead (18-3) 37-30 early in the fourth, but the Panthers went on an 11-0 run to grab a 41-37 lead and never let go. Snider’s lead ballooned to 50-42 as it outscored Homestead 20-5 at one point.

“We made some poor decisions when we were up 37-30,” said Homestead coach Rod Parker, whose team was outscored 25-12 in the fourth. “We didn’t do a good job of taking care of the ball right there, and that 6-0 run was the critical turning point of the game. We gave them six points uncontested and let them right back into the game, probably in a 60-second stretch, and that really hurt us. We got punched in the face a little bit at the end and back on our heels, so hopefully we can learn from that.”

Senior Bryanna Moore scored nine of her 11 points in the fourth. The Panthers never led until Moore’s layup with six minutes left make it 38-37.

“We wanted to bring it together and take it home,” Moore said. “We always have slow starts, so we always have to pick it up.

“Our press and our defense are what get us to win the games. We knew we had to stop them and stop Sydney (Buck) from getting open and shooting threes. Sydney and Josie (Fisher) handle the ball the most, so we had to pressure them.”

The Spartans led 12-8, 24-19 and 35-30 after the first three quarters, with their biggest lead of nine points coming at 17-8 early in the second quarter.

“My girls have a lot of heart, and it showed tonight,” Meiklejohn said. “I am proud of the way they countered. (The Spartans) didn’t get on those runs because we didn’t want them to, and we stopped them. That’s how we played all the game.”

Meredith Shipman led the Panthers with 18 points, and Deja Wimby added 10. For Homestead, Sydney Buck led the way with 21 points.

Both teams finish the regular season Friday, with sectionals coming next week.

“It gives us a little confidence going into the postseason and shows that we are talented, and we do have what it takes to make a postseason run,” Meiklejohn said.

gjones@jg.net

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