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Posted On: 11/27/18 9:41 PM
This game was set for a thriller from the get go. With this being Snider’s first game of the season, they came out of the gates firing. They were clicking on all cylinders from the tip but East Noble was matching their energy and scoring output. Aside from foul trouble, this game had a late season feel to it.
Snider took an early lead behind their standout sophomore, Michael Eley. He was able to create space within the offense and was efficient from the floor. Snider lead 18-14 at the end of the first quarter with Ali Ali and Brent Cox pacing the Knights.
The second quarter was much of the same. We didn’t get much of Dillon Duff in the first half as he battled foul trouble but Snider was able to outpace East Noble behind a couple of long balls from Airyan Thomas. Brent Cox and Ali Ali continued to fill the scoring column for the Knights. Ali was drawing fouls early and often and spent a lot of time at the free throw line. Snider lead 31-26 at the break.
The third quarter was the Ali Ali and Hayden Jones show. The two standouts for East Noble completely took over the game on both ends of the floor and Snider couldn’t put an end to it. They had to put two of their best defenders around the basket on the bench with four fouls each and it allowed Jones and Ali to control the flow of the game. East Noble won the third quarter, 22-13, and carried a 48-44 lead into the fourth quarter.
With the momentum on their side, it seemed as though East Noble was going to run away with this one. Dillon Duff got himself consistently involved in the offense in the fourth quarter and Thomas and Eley stepped up from deep. Snider put a three-quarter court press on the Knights and that sealed the deal. East Noble struggled to get the same looks they were in the third quarter with the press on and they let the lead slip away. Snider took home the victory, 63-60 in a gutsy, comeback performance.
Ali Ali was in command of this game from start to finish, aside from the last possession of the game. He put the Snider defenders in tough positions which lead to them getting into foul trouble. He was dominant with his back to the basket and showed off his interior passing skills early and often making the correct pass out of the double team. Ali finished with a game-high 26 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, and 1 steal. Ali draws so much attention of the defense and consistently made the correct play in tough situations.
Michael Eley was the most efficient offensive player tonight. He commanded the attention of the top defenders from East Noble and moved extremely well without the ball in his hands. Eley is known for his ability to knock down the long ball but he showed some improvements by putting the ball on the floor tonight. Michael finished with a team-high 23 points, 3 rebounds, 3 steals, and 1 assist. Look for him to continue drawing the best on-ball defender from teams this year as Dillon Duff draws the team’s best defender.
Hayden Jones was all over Michael Eley this evening. Even though Eley put up 23, most of them came on opportunities working off multiple screens or situations where another defender had switched onto him. Jones is a tenacious defender who works ball handlers the entire length of the court and uses his feet extremely well to close down driving lanes. Jones finished with 11 points, 5 assists, 4 rebounds, 3 steals, and 1 blocked shot. He is the unspoken defensive leader because of the energy he brings to that end of the floor.
Brent Cox put together an efficient and solid all-around game tonight. Although it wasn’t flashy, Cox posted 16 points and 16 rebounds. His willingness to do the little things and put himself in the best position to pull rebounds on both ends of the floor lead to his impact on this game. He uses his body positioning and length under the basket to snag rebounds in traffic. Keep an eye on the 6’6” senior to turn some heads this season.
Jon Barnes was the best player off the bench in a game that was owned by a trio of starters on both teams. Barnes came on the floor in the first quarter when Duff picked up his second foul and quickly made his presence felt with a corner three. Barnes finished with 5 points, 2 assists, and 1 steal. His name was called in a multitude of situations as one of their better perimeter defenders in crucial defensive possessions.
Airyan Thomas may end up being that third offensive threat that Snider needs this season to be successful in the Summit Athletic Conference. Thomas proved his ability to stretch that floor with the long ball and also put it on the deck and finished around the basket. Airyan finished with 16 points, 3 rebounds, and 1 assist. Airyan has a quick release from deep and confidence to continue getting his shot up on the rim.
Brent Cox left his mark all over this game on the offensive and defensive glass. He more than doubled the amount of rebounds than anyone else in this game. His rebounding rate is one of the more impressive things about his performances early this season. Cox finished with a game high 16 rebounds (11 defensive and 5 offensive). He is stepping up as the third go-to option for this East Noble team.
Michael Eley obviously had an impressive game with 23 points and did it with great efficiency from the floor but another underclassmen to note for the young Panther team is Jaylen Lattimore. Eley is using his experience from last season to propel his game on both ends while Lattimore is a strong left-handed wing with growing potential. He uses his strength well as a freshman and stepped behind the line and knocked down the long ball as well. The entire Snider team is young as they don’t have any seniors rostered.
Isaac Farnsworth struggled to keep himself on the floor due to foul trouble but when he was on the floor, he made it known on both ends of the floor. The junior moves well off the ball on offense and creates opportunities for his teammates with his screens and cuts into space. Isaac also takes pride in what he can bring to the defensive end of the floor with his length and agile feet. He has the ability to guard 1-4.
This game was lopsided in the foul column and it put Coach Jeremy Rauch from Snider in some tough situations with the guys he had on the floor. Snider was able to knock down the big shots when they mattered most which helped keep the game within striking distance when Duff and Eley could make the plays that they’re expected too. East Noble had this game won at the end of the third quarter but they weren’t able to seal the game from the free-throw line or with open shots late in the fourth quarter.
Jayshawn Underwood #2
Jermaine Woods #4
Michael Eley #5
(3-5 2FG, 4-6 3FG, and 5-5 FT)
Airyan Thomas #11
(2-2 2FG and 4-10 3FG)
Dillon Duff #23
(7-9 2FG and 0-2 FT)
Ali Ali #12
(6-11 2FG, 2-6 3FG, and 8-13 FT)
Brent Cox #23
(7-13 2FG and 2-3 FT)
(11 defensive and 5 offensive)
Hayden Jones #24
(5-6 2FG and 1-3 FT)
(2 defensive and 2 offensive)
Michael Klein #32
(1-1 2FG and 0-1 3FG)
Michael Bender #42
(3 defensive and 1 offensive)