Girls Basketball: Rich Central escapes rival Rich East
Updated: January 30, 2012 9:51PM
Ariel Sneed is back to 100 percent, and it couldn’t have come at a better time for Rich Central.
The 6-foot senior forward was a real stepper-upper Monday night for the Olympians in a 61-55 victory over host Rich East that helped Rich Central maintain its share of first place in the Southland Athletic Conference.
Sneed had 17 points and seven rebounds, Alex Stanford 19 points and 10 rebounds and Jessica Warren eight points and eight rebounds for Rich Central (20-6, 7-1).
Makeba Elliott had 23 points and seven rebounds, Danielle King 14 points and Ashley Bates eight rebounds for Rich East (14-8, 5-4).
Rich Central is in serious need of leadership with seniors Chaz Duson and Ashley Blohm-Bivens both out because of eligibility issues.
“It’s really a mental game now,” senior Nia Green said. “We’ve got to come together as a team and as a family and play hard. We want to finish strong and have a good season.”
For Sneed, it’s been a physical thing. Over Christmas, she missed time because of a knee issue. Before that, she battled through a hamstring pull.
Monday, she had a pair of buckets early as the Olympians opened up an 18-10 lead. She also was key in the third period with the team’s first two baskets to help expand a lead that had shrunk to as little as four points. Sneed has hit double-digit scoring in her last six games.
“I’m just excited to be back on the floor with playoff time coming, ready to step up,” Sneed said. “It’s exciting to be back at normal speed, running up and down the floor.”
Rich East struggled offensively most of the night and fell behind by as many as 14 points during a 2-for-15 third period. Elliott got hot down the stretch, scoring 15 points in the fourth quarter, but clutch free-throw tosses by Stanford and Sneed kept the Rockets at bay.
“It got pretty intense,” Sneed said. “We had to keep our heads and fight through it. We were strong enough to pull it out.”