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Posted On: 12/22/15 10:28 PM
It wasn’t exactly what Snider wanted in its 84-68 SAC Holiday Tournament quarterfinal victory against Northrop. It didn’t want to see its defense give up the most points it has all season or its guards turn the ball over in the first half.
Still, it sure helps having Malik Williams to make up for any issues that occur.
Williams scored 25 points, grabbed 15 rebounds and had three blocks to lead Snider to the victory Tuesday evening. He did this while also defending Northrop’s best player in Jagger Surface for the majority of the final three quarters.
“He’s going to still have to improve, he got tired because he never comes out of the game, but that shows his resolve and how he doesn’t give up,” Snider head coach John Todor said. “He’s a 17-year-old junior, he’ll only get better.”
Williams’ abilities helped keep Snider close early in the game as the guards got going. Eventually, Keondre Brown (12 points), Money Woods (eight points) and Jordan Gorman (eight points) would limit turnovers and push Snider away in the third quarter after leading 35-31 at halftime.
The guards improved second half play was helped by Lidonta Hicks-Gentry providing a spark after sitting the bench for the first half due to disciplinary reasons. Hicks-Gentry scored seven points and had two rebounds in the third quarter once he entered game.
“He (Hicks-Gentry) brought energy in the third quarter and hit a couple big shots in the third,” Todor said. “He kind of sparked us and some of the other guards stepped up off the bench.”
Snider’s play was able to offset the strong offensive game from Northrop’s Surface. He finished with 32 points and nine rebounds in the game. The 32 points moved him into a tie for 18th place all-time in the SAC Holiday Tournament single game scoring record book. He is tied with names that include James Blackmon Jr. and Deshaun Thomas. Northrop also had strong play from Richard Robertson (15 points and five rebounds).
“It’s a great honor to be with some really talented guys over the years and just blessed to be in that top 20,” Surface said “It’s an honor, just wish we could have gotten that W tonight.”
Despite Surface’s efforts, Snider advances to play North Side in the tournament semifinal Wednesday evening at 8:15 p.m. at Wayne High School. The game is a rematch of the last two SAC Holiday Tournament finals and of a 52-50 victory from last week.
“It’s going to be a battle, and I think it’s what our guys are looking for,” Todor said. “Kind of was a trap game tonight … our guys were looking forward to the next night (against North Side) and said we have to take care of business tonight.”