Snowden scores 19, powers Faith Christian past Dock in BAL quarters

EAST ROCKHILL >> Faith Christian held a tight, two-point lead at the half Tuesday night over visiting Dock Mennonite Academy, but then the third quarter happened, and Zeke Snowden happened, again and again and again.

Snowden scored 17 points in the third quarter alone, the Lions’ 6-foot-5 big man firmly pointing Faith towards a 69-49 victory over the Pioneers in a Bicentennial Athletic League quarterfinal game at Faith.

“We’re used to having our backs against the wall, used to having the target on our backs,” said Snowden, who scored a team-high 19 points for the 22-2 Lions. “All we wanted to do was compete and get this win.

“We’re 14-deep, so we really try to use that to our advantage. And we have big men, between me, Sawyer (Smith) and (Mikulas Vitek), so we’re always trying to take advantage of our size and our quick feet, and just take advantage of the post.”

The Lions, who advance to a 7 p.m. home semifinal contest Thursday against Lower Moreland or Church Farm, kept feeding Snowden inside and he kept delivering.

Vitek scored and was fouled, then Snowden got the rebound on the free throw attempt, putting it back up and in and to begin the Lions’ push, up 35-26 early in the third.

On a defensive stop, Landon Coyle saved a ball from going out of bounds, threw it behind the back downcourt, with Charles Ervin racing to get it, slamming it home to make it 43-28 Lions.

The run was on.

Faith Christian’s Zeke Snowden puts up a shot against Dock Mennonite during their BAL quarterfinal on Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017. (Bob Raines/Digital First Media)

Jackson Scialanca (game-high 21 points) hit a three for Dock at the other end, but Faith came right back and got a three-point play from Snowden, who moments later showed a nice, mid-range jumper, as the Lion lead grew to 17.

Back-to-back baskets by Snowden enabled Faith to close the third on an 11-0 run, in command at 57-31.

Said Lions coach Tony DaCosta: “(Charles and Zeke) have been the right captains, the right leaders. When they know we need to turn it up, we’ve been able to do so.”

To cap off a well-contested first quarter, Vitek caught the inbounds pass from Snowden right underneath the hoop, laying it in for a basket at the buzzer, extending the Lions’ lead to 13-6.

Vitek was the main force for Faith early on, scoring nine points in the first.

Faith stayed ahead the whole way in the second quarter, with Smith tracking down an errant pass in the backcourt by Dock then finding Anthony Sessa cutting to the basket, boosting the margin to 19-12.

Faith got points from three players off the bench in the second quarter, including Owen Bradford, who muscled his way through multiple bodies and put it through to help keep the Lions ahead.

Dock cut into the Faith advantage though, with Miz Nyagwegwe driving to the hoop for two of his eight second-quarter points. On the play, Faith was hit with a technical foul, and Scialanca sank both free throws.

Scialanca had nine points in the second, helping to bring the Pioneers within 25-23 at the break.

Snowden and the Lions would take over in the third.

“Zeke went off in the third quarter – we didn’t guard him and we didn’t block him out,” said Pioneers coach Mike Fergus, whose team will get ready for a Feb. 24 district-playoff contest against Delco. “We turned it over three or four times in a row and just did not play well in the third quarter.

“I don’t think they did anything different (in the second half). I just think we came out and things snowballed.”

Top Photo: Faith Christian’s Anthony Sessa passes the ball ahead to Owen Bradford as he is shadowed by Dock Mennonite’s Miz Nyagwegwe during their BAL Tournament quarterfinal on Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017. (Bob Raines/Digital First Media)

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