Homestead got solid play from several of its players late in its win over Snider in boy's basketball action on Friday.
Here were five keys to the Spartans' victory:
1. Defensive switch
In the first half, Homestead played man-to-man defense, which allowed Snider to penetrate and kick to an open man outside. This led to seven 3-pointers and 64 percent shooting from beyond the arc in the first half for the Panthers. Then Homestead switched to a zone in the second half. This stopped Snider’s ability to drive and kick and saw their 3-point shooting percentage drop in half to 31 percent in the second half.
2. Nick Gamble
The Homestead senior has been spectacular for the Spartans all year, and was once again instrumental for them against Snider. He scored 11 points in the first quarter en route to 21 points, three steals, three rebounds and three assists. He made the Panthers have to always account for him and routinely found his way through Snider’s defense to score.
3. Seniors on senior night
It was Homestead’s senior night and head coach Chris Johnson started five of his six seniors and made sure all of them saw plenty of minutes on the court. Sometimes, this means giving playing time to guys who may not be as talented as the underclassmen. Not on this night. Beyond just Gamble, the other five seniors scored 37 points. Nice to have that depth if you are Johnson and not feel you are giving up a lot when you reward the seniors.
4. Caleb Swanigan
The freshman big man continued to impress. He was one rebound away from a double-double with 18 points and nine rebounds, but his big body also caused issues for the Panthers around the rim when they would drive into the lane.
5. Fourth quarter start
The game had nine ties and 10 lead changes but none happened in the fourth quarter. Homestead came out and scored the first six points of the fourth to take an eight-point lead. Snider did make one more run to pull it within three but the Panthers could never get over the hump.