FORT WAYNE – At home, Snider is a different team. The Panthers finished 9-0 at home this season with a 68-63 win Friday over Homestead.
Snider (14-6), which finishes the regular season next Friday at Marion, is 4-5 on the road and 1-1 on neutral courts.
It was a goal for our senior year, Snider’s Trey’von Covington said. We came out aggressive and accomplished the goal.
Back-to-back double-digit road losses at Blackhawk Christian (81-64) and Carroll (71-60) had the Panthers a little concerned.
We had to win at home, and we wanted to be on a winning streak, Covington said. We came back together tonight.
It looked like another tough night for the Panthers when a fourth-quarter double-digit lead dwindled to four.
We got a little ahead of ourselves, Snider coach John Todor said. We got away from the basics. Blackhawk just shot the lights out against us, and we went to Carroll and didn’t seem to be interested. We just went through the motions there, and we learned our lesson. It was a tough test for us tonight, and we were lucky to get the win against a great Homestead team.
Snider led 61-46 midway through the fourth before Homestead went on a 13-2 run to cut the margin to 63-59 with a minute remaining.
Making free throws at the end was big for us, Snider’s Devlyn Williams said of the 8-of-9 shooting from the line in the fourth.
The Panthers were led by Williams’ 19 points, 15 coming in the second half.
At halftime, Coach said, You have to finish off the next 16 minutes and go hard,’ Williams said. It gave me energy to come out and finish it off.
For Snider, Covington added 15 points, 13 in the first half, and Leander Williams chipped in 11 points.
Homestead (14-6) got 24 points and 13 rebounds from Caleb Swanigan, who sat out a majority of the second quarter with two fouls. Michigan State coach Tom Izzo was there scouting the sophomore.
We did our job tonight, Covington said of facing Swanigan. He is a great player, and they are a great team, but we came out and played better tonight.
Joe Ault had 17 points, all in the second half, and Dana Batt added 10 points for the Spartans.
Snider, with 6-foot-9 Malik Williams, the brother of the 6-6 Devlyn Williams, 6-7 Logan Godfrey and 6-5 Connor Haxton, might be one of the few teams in northeast Indiana that can match up with Homestead size-wise.
We thought we had the bigs to play with them, Todor said of the 6-8 tandem of Swanigan and Batt. We just told our kids we had to fight and scrap and use every bit of energy we had.