The Sand Devils hosted the Snowflake Lobos in a non-conference game Saturday that brought the Sand Devil’s win/loss record up to 5-2 with their 69-54 win.
The game began with the Sand Devil’s controlling the tip-off which they transitioned into their signature fast break offense. The Lobos used a defense that put two defenders on the Sand Devils point guard and played tight in the paint.
Gabriel Gomez broke through the Lobo’s defense to make the first basket of the game. He was fouled in the process and added another point from the free throw line.
The Lobos laid down a strong block-and-rebound defense on the Sand Devils fast break, which earned them some turnovers, but they failed to capitalize on them. At times the Sand Devils got some steals of their own and maximized their passing game for the drive to the hoop, and other times they remained patient, found the open man and used textbook jump shots. At the end of the first quarter they led 19-14.
In the second quarter the Sand Devils brought the heat with a tough man-to-man defense that kept the Lobos from finding the hoop. During mid-quarter Jonah Holiday used his long arms to swat the ball away from the Lobos lay-up attempts. The Lobos switched up their offense and tied the score a few minutes before the half.
But Gomez, with the crowd roaring, hit a three-pointer. The Sand Devils aggressive offense earned them several trip to the free throw line, and from there they were able to retake the lead 31-23 going into the half.
In the third quarter Dainian Sloan kept the momentum going for the Sand Devils when he faked a three-pointer, which brought a defender out to him, after which he drove to the basket and finished with a reverse lay-up that brought the crowd to their feet.
The Sand Devils were able to maintain an eight-point lead using a triangle offense with Dillon Neztsotsie, Jonah Holiday and Brandon James, and the driving prowess of Sloan, who continued to make lanes into the paint for baskets.
In the fourth quarter the flagging Lobos simply couldn’t keep up with the high-flying, high-energy Sand Devils who added to their lead. The final score read 69-54.
Head basketball coach Russ Skubal had scouted the Lobos ahead of time and prepared his team for a tough, physical game and he was happy with the way they responded.
“We could have won by more, but I think it was a good game.,” said coach Skubal. “We have [players] dealing with transitioning into a leadership role and sometimes you got to be [tough].”
The next home game against the Pinion Eagles is on Friday evening at 7 p.m.