Mike Moore | The Journal Gazette Homestead sophomore Luke Goode scores over Snider junior Cleevas Craig in the second quarter of the SAC Holiday Tournament final Friday night at Wayne.
Saturday, December 29, 2018 1:00 am
SAC Holiday Tournament
Spartans capture 1st title
Homestead couples hot shooting with Panthers' fatigue to pull away
VICTORIA JACOBSEN | The Journal Gazette
(All games at Wayne)
Snider 75, Northrop 68
Homestead 51, Carroll 40
Final: Homestead 65, Snider 49
Homestead vs. Carroll, 10 a.m.
South Side vs. Concordia, noon
Final: 7 p.m.
Homestead sophomore Luke Goode scored 22 points against Carroll in the SAC Holiday Tournament semifinal on Friday afternoon – and that was just his second-best performance of the day.
Goode shot 11 of 15 on Friday night for a career-high 31 points to lead the third-seeded Spartans (8-1) to their first SAC Holiday Tournament title with a 65-49 win over top-seeded Snider (8-2) at Wayne.
“We came into this tournament knowing that Homestead hadn't won a title yet, and we just wanted to bring it home for coach (Chris) Johnson,” said Goode, whose Spartans first played in the tournament in 2015.
Goode, who already had 20 points at halftime, was 4 for 4 in the third quarter, when Homestead started to pull away for good. Teammate Zak Krueger had the hot hand in the third quarter, hitting his first five shots. He finished with 21 points and seven rebounds.
“Any time you hit shots and extend the defense, good things are going to happen,” Johnson said. “They were having to come out and chase a little bit, more than maybe they wanted to. I know he (Snider coach Jeremy Rauch) likes to play pressure defense, but we have to have a counter to it.”
Snider had trailed by as many as 11 points in the fourth quarter of the semifinal game against Northrop earlier in the day, but Dillon Duff scored 10 points in the final quarter to spur a Panthers comeback. Duff had another strong performance in the final, scoring 17 points and grabbing eight rebounds, but the Panthers looked spent by the end of the third and did not have another rally in them.
“They have some great scorers in Michael (Eley) and Dillon Duff, and we knew we needed to stop them,” Goode said. “Cleevas (Craig) on the inside, he's a big presence, so we knew we needed to control them on the boards.”
Craig and Duff created some havoc in the post early, but that became less and less of a factor as the game wore on. Eley, who scored 18 against Northrop in the morning game, was limited to just one basket in the second quarter.
“We started helping off on him and not letting him get easy buckets,” Goode said of Craig. “We started boxing out and being more physical, so that's kind of how we changed it up.”
Johnson said he did not discuss Snider with his team until it met for a pre-game meeting at 5:15 p.m., just a few hours after its semifinal win.
“We wanted it to start on defense, and I think we did a good job of that,” Krueger said. “Once we get going on defense, offense comes into play.”
Goode scored 71 points in three tournament games and said he couldn't think of another three-game stretch like that in his career.
“It helps that we're in the same gym, you came and play basketball on the same hoops for two days,” Goode said. “But the confidence my teammates give me and that I have for myself and my shot, it carries over from game to game.”