The gym wasn't full when the Snider and Concordia Lutheran girls teams tipped off. It didn't have the anticipation of a highly touted game where it's standing room only and every fan is focused on the contest.
That doesn't mean there wasn't a lot for the players to focus through, though. Concordia Lutheran hosted a breast cancer awareness night, so its team was decked out in special pink uniforms and the game was played with a pink basketball.
Even with the special look and event for Concordia Lutheran (11-6, 3-2 SAC), it was Snider (13-3, 4-1) who came out ahead with a 62-52 victory Friday night.
“At first (the pink) was a little distracting, but at the end of the day you just have to put that aside and play basketball,” Snider head coach Kelley Meiklejohn said. “You know, they're excited because we supported the cause with the socks and headbands, but like I said, that shouldn't effect us when it comes to playing basketball. We have got to be focused.”
Snider secured the victory by withstanding a Concordia Lutheran rally in the third quarter. The Panthers built a 13-point halftime lead and then saw it quickly dissipate.
Concordia Lutheran opened with a 13-2 run in the second half to pull within two points in the middle of the third quarter.
“We just wanted in the third quarter, we wanted to get it down to a doable margin, six or eight points,” Concordia Lutheran coach Dave Miller said. “I thought the kids did a very nice job in the third quarter and then the fourth quarter just gave up a couple things.”
The things Miller referred belonged to Snider's Meredith Shipman. The senior created multiple steals for fastbreak layups, grabbed offensive rebounds and scored the first six points of the fourth quarter to push a 4-point Panthers lead to double digits.
Shipman finished the quarter with nine points and was the game's leading scorer with 20 points. Snider's Wimby also contributed 14 points and Concordia Lutheran was led by DeJour Young's 19 points and Courtney Smith's 12.
“I was just trying to keep the pressure on them and not myself,” Shipman said. “Just playing how I've been taught to play and fortunately I got it done.”
The win gives Snider sole-possession of second place in the SAC. The Panthers are one game behind South Side in the standings after the Archers handed them their only conference loss last weekend.
“You know, we still have the SAC in the back of our mind with still two more games to play in the SAC, and even though it is in the back of our mind, we are just focused on getting better and trying to get a piece of that title,” Meiklejohn said.
SNIDER 62, CONCORDIA LUTHERAN 52
Snider 12 20 13 17 — 62
Concordia Lutheran 11 8 22 11 — 52
Snider: Shipman 20, Moore 3, Deja Wimby 14, Parker 7, Smith 9, Eley 5, Enissa Wimby 1
Concordia Lutheran: Dixie 4, Young 19, Smith 12, Kammeyer 6, Hahn 6, Sparks 3, Germann 2