SAC Holiday Tournament, Friday edition: Bounce’s observations

Back for day two of SAC Holiday Tournament action as we will set the remaining six spots in Saturday’s semifinal round with six total Friday games including seeing top seeds Wayne (boys) and Homestead (girls) in action.

Follow along with us all day for updates and my observations on the games.

South Side girls basketball coach Juanita Goodwell patrols the sidelines during December 27’s SAC Tournament game against Bishop Dwenger.


Press, press and more press. That is how South Side and Bishop Dwenger opened Friday. The frantic pace certainly woke everyone up in the gym on day two of the tournament. And it led to a steal fest, 10 total between the two teams in the first quarter alone, with the teams tied at 13 after one. Molly Ream of the Saints was the show stealer in the opening quarter, putting up six points, four rebounds and two steals in the opening frame. She ended the game with 11 points and seven rebounds, both team highs.

South Side looked to pull away in the second on the hands of Jaci Jones, who ended a stagnant frame at 17-13 to pull up from three feet behind the three point line to nail her second triple, giving her 12 points already not even midway through the second quarter. Jones, playing in her fourth SAC Holiday Tournament, proved that you can never leave the experienced shooter even a little open. South Side’s energy, pressure and enthusiasm was matched by the Saints early, but South clearly started pulling away in that area. The Archers also found early success inside and Lamyia Woodson’s four first half blocks made the Saints want to avoid her area on their drives, cutting down on their quality looks at the rim.

The second half saw the Archers get more comfortable shooting the ball and Jones found her shooters, rotating it early in the third to both Jas Combs and Olivia Smith for long range bombs, extending the lead to 32-18 at the 6:17 mark of the third. The Archers pushed their lead through the second half, getting as big as 27 as South Side continued to move the ball well to open teammates. The court vision on display for South Side in the second half was on an extra level. Jones led all scorers with 17 points, adding fours in rebounds, steals and assists. Olivia Smith had seven steals and five assists for the Archers while Woodson had six big blocks.

Bounce’s Player of the Game: Jaci Jones, South Side

Homestead’s Zak Krueger surveys the court during December 27’s SAC Tournament game against Bishop Luers.


Homestead came out looking to go inside and attack some mismatches. Alec Grinsfelder and Luke Goode were the clear targets at the block and they attacked smaller defenders. The pair were part of the first 8 points for Homestead and combined for 11 of their first 15. Grinsfelder was able to get to the free throw line four times in the opening half. Bishop Luers cut the lead down to just two early in the second quarter, but threes from Goode and Grant Simmons with space pushed things significantly back in Homestead’s favor in the energy and momentum department. Goode’s length was huge in the first half, scoring three outback layups, including one in the closing seconds of the first half when he snuck away from his defender to simply and cleaning put back the Zak Krueger miss.

The third quarter provided much of the same ebb and flow, with the game remaining stagnant in scoring margin save for some work inside for Grinsfelder and Naylon Thompson’s third quarter ending two handed block of Goode at the rim. Luers played the steal well to start the fourth, cutting the lead back down to six, but back-to-back baskets from Krueger gave Homestead a comfortable margin again, knocking down a three under tough coverage in the far corner, then scoring on a weak out pass from Goode. Krueger remained silent much of the game offensively, but made it count late by taking control.

The game came down to who could make their last run sustainable and that, more often than not, favors Homestead. While Bishop Luers’ defense showed a lot of good throughout the contest, the constant pressure of Homestead’s offense just ended up being too much down the stretch. Goode ended with a game high, and at that point, tournament high 24 points, adding 10 rebounds and a pair of blocks; Grinsfelder added 17 points and six rebounds.

The Knights were led by Naylon Thompson’s 15 points and three blocks.

Bounce’s Player of the Game: Luke Goode, Homestead

Homestead’s Sydney Graber congratulates teammate Amber Austin on a basket during the second half of December 27’s SAC Holiday Tournament game against Snider.


Spartan coach Rod Parker sat in, silently, on the Spartans’ first game in hopes of repeating as Holiday Tournament champions. Partially incognito at the end of the bench, Parker saw the Spartans jump out to a dominant lead on Snider early. Sydney Graber was hitting from wherever she wanted in the first half, continuing her torrid pace that she had started her senior season with. Graber knocked down three triples and scored 15 points in the first half, but interim head coach Kara Ankenbruck wasn’t shy about keeping her starts rested either, going 11 players deep in total in the opening half.

Homestead led 46-12 at the halftime break. And that is about all you need to know. Length, aggression and superior court vision made things flow smoothly for the Spartans.

Graber’s scoring, while impressive, was facilitated nicely by Ayanna Patterson. The duo got off on the break together and Patterson consistently made the extra, unselfish pass to feed the senior. It was a trend that spread through the entire Spartan lineup, with team assist total piling up with Patterson and Megan Yoder leading the way with their court vision and willingness to pass the ball.

The Spartans were led by Graber’s 23 points; Patterson added 16 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists and Alison Stephens added 14, while Molly Stock scored 11.

Bounce’s Player of the Game: Sydney Graber, Homestead

Northrop’s Qualen Pettus pulls up to beat the first half buzzer during December 27’s SAC Holiday Tournament game against Wayne.

BOYS: (1) WAYNE 34, (9) NORTHROP 42

A game that started 9-9 stayed that way for the first half of the second quarter. The stagnant nature of a lot of travels and double dribbles, yet the pace stayed frantic as Quincy Miles’ ultra quick first step for the hoop with the harm with 3:40 to go in the first half started to swing some energy Wayne’s way as the teams kept trying to figure each other out.

Qualen Pettus put on the spin cycle with 90 seconds left in the first half, splitting Miles and Michael Redding for a basket the put Northrop up 21-13 as part of a great run to close out the half. Pettus then took off in the closing seconds of the half and managed to get off a little bit of a wild shot that bounced and rolled around before falling to beat the buzzer and give Northrop a 25-13 halftime lead with monster momentum. Pettus’ addition to this lineup after missing every game prior to the SAC Tournament has changed so much with Northrop’s patience and energy.

As Northrop attempted to close out the win, the continued physicality and length of Devin Baney was critical. Without even having to get off his feet much in the game, Baney almost out rebounded the entire Wayne team. Baney was a rim protector just with his presence for much of the game, finishing with seven points and 13 rebounds.

Wayne pushed energy back their way in the closing minutes, refusing to give up the fight and cutting the Northrop lead to four with 3:36 left on a JaQuan Kizer finish. Wayne’s run led to a frantic pace down the stretch in a game that hadn’t seen a lot of scoring throughout the first 28 minutes. The intensity in the gym in the final four minutes of this game was the best in the tournament to this point; the fans were loud and it felt, finally, like a SAC Holiday Tournament game should. Pettus’ free throws with 1:04 left extended Northrop’s lead back to 37-34 after he had missed his previous attempt. On the other end,  Kizer’s jumper and Jamari Tabb’s putback both fell short. Northrop closed it out down the stretch at the free throw line.

Pettus finished with a team high 16 points for Northrop, adding six rebounds and three blocks. Wayne was led by Miles’ 12 and Kizer’s 12.

Bounce’s Player of the Game: Devin Baney, Northrop

Northrop’s Destiny Jackson rises up and snatches a rebound away from several Carroll players during the second half of December 27’s SAC Holiday Tournament game.


Carroll didn’t seem to change up much about their pressure led gameplay without one of their top players, Olivia Hoeppner, out of action with an illness. The Chargers were happy to set up in their full court press and challenge the speed and length of Northrop tick for tack. It went so back and forth that we found ourselves at 11-11 in the closing seconds of the first quarter before J’Asia Scott buried a three at the buzzer. Scott, for the second straight day, looks like she may be the happiest person in the gym with the smile spread across her face.

Carroll kept things close but had about the most rotten luck with shots not falling off the consistently unforgiving rims at Wayne High School. And when they missed opportunities, Northrop made sure to sprint extra hard into transition, forcing many 2-on-1 situations, letting their lead balloon to as many as seven points. Emily Parrett was probably the one who suffered the most from not getting a roll; the Carroll guard put up a lot of good shots, some point blank, but had just two first half points. The beneficiary of Northrop’s return break off Carroll misses: TiAuna White, who either was able to sprint ahead or make a big lead pass in transition.

That energy carried over to the second half, pushing the lead to 14 after White sprinted straight through Carroll’s press with the ball, getting the basket and converting an and-one at the foul line. The lack of shots falling, even on good looks from Carroll, seemed to zap the energy out of their game. Carroll’s got a ten second call in the backcourt in their favor with 3:17 left that gave them the chance to cut the deficit to six, but got nothing out of the trip. Northrop got the momentum break they needed after a wild scramble saw the ball end up in White’s hands for a basket and a free throw with 2:19 left, extending Northrop’s lead back to 11. White led all scorers for Northrop with 25 and 11 rebounds while Destiny Jackson had six points, nine rebounds and five blocks.

Bounce’s Player of the Game: TiAuna White

Snider’s Dillon Duff and Bishop Dwenger’s Tobe Eke soar for the opening tipoff of their December 27 SAC Holiday Tournament game.


Bishop Dwenger opened this game up looking to match Snider’s intensity, getting up and down the court well but Snider stayed active defensively, with their hands in all kinds of passing lanes. But they weren’t able to capitalize much as Dwenger clung to a 12-9 lead late in the first quarter as Snider was trying to find some stability in their offense against Dwenger’s hybrid 2-3 zone that was trapping Snider shooters in the corners of the court.

Both teams clearly scouted the opposing team well, which showed throughout the game while it was close. The game stayed tied to within three points much of the second quarter with neither team finding a way to pull ahead. In fact, Snider struggled to get the lead as they were stymied by the 2-3 zone and were not working the ball to Isaac Farnsworth in the short corner much. Tied at 25 at halftime, the Saints had to have been happy with holding the Panthers offense down. It certainly set the stage in the intrigue department for the second half in a tournament that hasn’t had many games you’d call close.

The Panthers seized the 31-27 lead early in the second half with Jon Barnes’ third triple of the game and then an and-one finish and free throw from Jayshawn Underwood that fired up the Snider faithful with a flexing “let’s go!” celebration from Underwood. And then, there was the Michael Eley putback dunk. What else can you say, but ouch? Eley read the missed shot all the way, came right up the middle of the basket and slammed it back with two hands, chin level on the rim. I can’t do it justice in words, go to Summit City Sports’ Twitter page and find the highlight replay. It’s good.

And it was a catalyst for the Panthers to pull away, up to 10 points at the third quarter break with a put back from Karson Jenkins at the buzzer that was an absolute thorn into Dwenger’s hopes. The frantic pace of the fourth favored Snider but Dwenger kept paces nicely even as the Panthers were scoring on the break with dunks from Eley and Duff along the way. Duff led all scorers with 20 points to go with eight rebounds, Eley added 14 points and Barnes scored 11.

Lytle led the Saints with 17 points.

These opinions represent those of Bounce and Outside the Huddle. No opinions expressed on Outside the Huddle represent those of any of our advertisers. Follow Bounce on Twitter at Bounce_OTH

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