SAC HOLIDAY TOURNAMENT: Shooter’s observations from Wednesday’s games

Bishop Luers' Lydia Reimbold scores around the defense of North Side's Laquisha Ruth in Wednesday's game as part of the SAC Holiday Tournament. (Photo by Dan Vance of news-sentinel.com)
Bishop Dwenger's Hayden Smithey shoots a free throw during Wednesday's win over Bishop Luers. (Photo by Dan Vance of news-sentinel.com)

There is no better Christmas gift for this frog than four days of goodness at Wayne High School.

Yes, the basketball is good too, but I am talking about the hospitality room.

Wednesday saw BBQ pork, baked beans, cole slaw and cornbread in the aforementioned room, only open to privileged humans and amphibians.

RELATED: SAC HOLIDAY TOURNAMENT, Wednesday schedule and results

RELATED: SAC HOLIDAY TOURNAMENT, Wednesday’s roundup

But I digress, on to some observations from the first day of the SAC Holiday Tournament.

∙ A year ago, Lydia Reimbold was running around the court for Bishop Luers doing more thinking than reacting. That is expected as a freshman, but her older teammates seemed to be doing just as much thinking as she was.

But now, Reimbold appears much more comfortable on the floor, as do the rest of the Knights. Maybe that is why Bishop Luers has already surpassed last season’s win total, winning its ninth game of the season on Wednesday in a rout of North Side.

The Knights won just seven games all of last year.

“I feel like I’ve improved on seeing the court a lot better and understanding the intensity and having to come to play at the varsity level,” said Reimbold, who scored 16 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in Wednesday’s win. “Freshman year I was a little taken aback.”

Reimbold has gotten help from her older sister Addie, a senior playing for Kentucky Wesleyan University.

“She watches my film with me and shows me where I need to pick up my defense and be a better leader,” Lydia said. “Addie is always a great vocal leader and she teaches me how to talk to my teammates and just understand the game.”

Lydia’s play against North Side was even more impressive considering she is battling a Christmas cold.

“Coming out and running was a little bit rough, just getting over coughing a lot,” said a raspy Lydia. “I was happy to be back on the floor.”

Luers (8-6) takes on top-seeded Homestead (13-1) on Thursday at 4 p.m.

∙ There was an interesting sequence in the fourth quarter of the Northrop-Concordia boys game on Wednesday.

Bruins junior Isaac Anderson was sent to the sideline with blood on his jersey. By rule, he must change into a clean jersey before being allowed to re-enter the game.

Northrop coaches, in an attempt not to lose one of their best players for a significant period of time, had Anderson simply switch jerseys with bench player Keanu Hicks. However, the IHSAA rule is that Anderson, while allowed to put on a jersey with another number, cannot have a jersey with a number of a player written down in the official scorebook.

After officials consulted, they told Northrop coach Rod Chamble that Anderson must change into another jersey.

Anderson headed into the locker room, where the team vigorously scrubbed the splotches of blood off his original jersey. He then re-entered the game a few minutes later.

Anderson finished with 10 points, five rebounds and five steals in defeat.

∙ Snider assistant coach Kaylyn Speed earned her first career win with the Panthers in head coach Greg Friend’s absence.

As reported by The News-Sentinel last week, Friend is being investigated by Fort Wayne Police and Fort Wayne Community Schools for an alleged battery incident on a player during a game at North Side on Dec. 15.

Speed acquitted herself well. Snider got off to a relatively slow start before turning it up and running away from Wayne in a 58-21 win.

It is unknown if and when Friend — 21-13 in two years with the Panthers — will return to the sideline.

∙ Less than three weeks ago, the Carroll girls blew a double-digit lead against Concordia, falling 45-43.

After building a similar advantage on Wednesday in the rematch, the Chargers didn’t let a win slip away, although it got dicey there for a bit.

So what was coach Mark Redding stressing to his team as Concordia continued to cut into the lead?

“Not to shoot the ball,” said Redding with an exasperated sigh after Wednesday’s 56-45 win. “How many times were we going to shoot the ball and how many times were we going to miss? We were winning, we didn’t need to shoot the ball.

“That’s something we have to get better at. We have to understand that we are in control of the game, let’s make them play defense.”

The Chargers might get another chance to avenge an earlier defeat. Carroll will await the winner of Thursday’s Homestead-Bishop Luers game. The Spartans beat the Chargers by a single point on Dec. 1.

∙ The first day of the holiday tournament is traditionally where we “weed out the weak” so to speak. But even this frog was surprised at just how weak the basketball was on Wednesday.

By and large, the six games saw plenty of mediocrity, at best. This is not an attack on any individual players, teams or coaches, it’s just stating facts. Your beloved amphibian friend is hard-pressed to remember a year recently in which the SAC boys had so much in the way of average basketball teams.

We are blessed some years with an immense amount of talented teams in the area, where we can easily make the case for two to three SAC squads to make a run at a state championship appearance. This year is not one of them.

Here is hoping Thursday sees more good hoops.

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