Lane women’s basketball rolls Everett in first round of NWAC playoffs

03/06/2016 10:50

By Jarrid Denney | For The Register-Guard

Saturday marked the first time in nearly two years that Lane point guard Shelby Snook had taken the court for a playoff game. She wasted no time picking up where she had left off.

In her final home game as a Titan, Snook scored 17 first-half points and finished with 25 total to lead Lane to an 89-39 win over Everett in the first round of the Northwest Athletic Conference championship.

The win improved the Titans’ season record to 29-1 and secured them a spot in the elite eight for the fifth straight year.

“It was pretty surreal,” Snook said. “The sophomores were sitting on the bench and with like two minutes left we were thinking ‘this is our last time playing here’ so that kind of hit home. I’ve had a great experience here.”

The Trojans played the Titans close for the first eight minutes of the opening quarter, but Lane broke away to take a 24-16 lead by the end of the period. They extended that to a 51-28 lead by halftime.

After a slow start to the third quarter, the Titans put their foot back on the gas. Lane is a team built around their three-point shooting — it averages 25 three-point attempts per game — but the Titans shot 5-of-16 from three-point range against Everett. What the Titans lacked in long range shooting they made up for in defensive effort and fast-break scoring.

Lane scored 19 points off of turnovers and shot 24-of-32 from the free throw line.

Snook shot 8-of-16 in 24 minutes, and Lane forward Bre DuBois added 16 points, 10 rebounds and five assists.

The Titans held the Trojans scoreless for the entire fourth quarter and surrendered 11 second-half points despite resting their starters for most of the fourth quarter. Lane coach Greg Shelley called the game one of his team’s finest defensive efforts of the season.

Snook’s experience at Lane has been a rollercoaster ride. She led the Titans to a NWAC final four appearance during the 2013-14 season and was the team’s leading scorer during that campaign.

Before the 2014-15 season, Snook suffered a knee injury during a workout and missed the entire year. The Titans reached the NWAC championship final in her absence but were beaten by Peninsula.

This season, Snook and fellow sophomores DuBois, Jordan Kimbrough and Gabby Heehn have carried a Lane offense that is the most lethal in the conference.

The Titans average an NWAC best 90 points per game, and their win Saturday marked the 27th occasion they have scored 80 points or more.

A win over the Trojans was the first successful step in a tournament Snook and the Titans hope will end with them capturing the conference championship that has stayed just out of reach for the past two years.

“I’m super excited,” Snook said. “I think between the sophomores that played in that championship game last year, plus me and Gabby (Heehn), we’re ready… We’ve got experience and we know what to expect. I don’t know if other teams have as much experience as we do.”

The remainder of the tournament will be played at the Walt Price Student Fitness Center in Everett, Wash. Lane will next face Centralia at 4 p.m. Thursday.