FORT WAYNE — Snider turned around some recent misfortune in close games and snapped a four-game losing streak with a 65-60 road win over Canterbury on Tuesday.
The Panthers (5-5) had dropped their last two games – to South Side and Warsaw – on buzzer-beaters. And except for two blowout losses to Northrop, the Panthers have lost three games by two points or less.
“We talked during a timeout that let’s not lose another (close) one,” Snider coach John Todor said. “We are a team that is growing. We start some underclassmen, and they are learning. So it was a big win for us.”
Canterbury took a 60-59 lead with 1:22 left on a three-pointer by Grant Sinn, but Snider scored the final six points of the game.
The Cavaliers had their chances in the final minute but missed shots and were plagued by turnovers.
“It was really our lack of execution on the offensive end,” Canterbury coach Scott Kreiger said of the late-game struggles.
“When you got a chance to win games like that, you need to make one more play, and that’s the difference between winning and losing.”
The Panthers’ switch to a full-court man-to-man press instead of a 2-2-1 press caused problems for the Cavaliers.
“We made some great defensive stops,” Todor said. “We have been telling our guys we need to get better on defense.”
Snider’s Stephen Halstead had 20 points and went 6 for 6 at the free throw line, going 4 of 4 in the fourth.
“It was in the back of my mind, but I didn’t want to think about it,” Halstead said of Snider’s close losses. “I was just happy we got the lead, and we were the ones having the lead at the end and not having (buzzer-beaters) happen.
“It was nice to get over (the losing streak), and we have a big game Friday night (at Concordia).”
Leander Williams added 16 points and three assists before fouling out with two minutes left. Devlyn Williams had 10 points and 10 rebounds. Snider made 8 of 16 (50 percent) from three-point range, including 3 of 6 from Leander Williams.
The Panthers’ game against Canterbury was the start of six straight away from Snider. The Panthers’ next home game is Feb. 7.
The Cavaliers (7-4), who have lost three of their last four games, got 26 points from Trent VanHorn and 11 from Chase Moyle.
“Trent’s going to find it difficult to continue to do that because teams are starting to gear up on him,” Kreiger said of VanHorn carrying the offensive load. “He is going to have to see the floor better and distribute the ball better because as good as he is, he is not going to be able to carry the load the way he has so far.”
Three of the Cavaliers’ four losses this year have come to SAC teams Snider, Northrop and South Side, and they still have SAC teams Concordia, Wayne and Bishop Luers left on the schedule.