Snow dominates teams in Horne Classic with two double-digit wins
EPHRAIM—The Snow College men’s basketball team was the king of its own tournament and let all its opponents know it loud and clear.
The Badgers posted their fifth and sixth 100-plus point games of the season in dominating Hillcrest Academy and Planet Athlete last Friday and Saturday, 129-60 and 122-51, respectively, at the Mountain America Classic at the Horne Center.
Neither game was anywhere close to competitive as the Badgers beat their opponents in every aspect of the game. The Badgers shot 63 percent from the field and held Hillcrest to 35 percent shooting and only two assists to 25 turnovers. Snow had 29 assists in the game.
Snow scored first and never gave up a lead whatsoever in the game. Sophomore forward Nate Bruneel led six Badgers in double figures with 19 points. Center Nate Aland scored 18. Sophomores Blake Truman and Zach Hunsaker both finished with 17 points, while three other players scored 10 points each. Center Souleymayne “Sully” Gueye grabbed 10 boards with nine points.
Bruneel provided the best of many highlight plays with an alley-oop dunk in the second half. It was one of two that Bruneel went for, but the second of them clanked just off the rim.
“We focused on getting assists,” head coach Rob Nielson said. “We wanted to get 30, and we got 29. We shot the ball really well from the inside, but it’s the worst we’ve shot outside (25 percent from three). If we had hit more threes, it would have been better for us.”
On a night when everyone saw a great deal of court time, Nielson expressed little surprise in the success of each of his players on the court.
“We got a lot of guys who can play,” Nielson said. “I’m surprised by how well they can share the ball with each other. That’s the thing that makes it the most fun.”
When asked about Saturday’s game in advance, Nielson said he expected “more of the same.” He couldn’t have been more right, as Snow continued to offensively pummel their opposition. Nielson got what he wanted with the production on three-point shooting returning to 47 percent to go with 54 percent shooting overall.
The game saw huge nights from sophomore guard Riley Panter, scoring 26 points, and Hunsaker, 22 points. Bruneel contributed 11 points, and the Badgers benefited from a rare offensive night by walk-on guard Quinn Nielson with 12 points.
Snow gets a good long rest before heading out to Mesa, Ariz. to play in the Fiesta Bowl Junior College Shootout from Dec. 28-30.