Snider surges to sectional title; eyes run through regionals

February 10, 2022

When the basketball nets were cut last Saturday night on Kilmer Court, the Snider Panthers had left no doubt on who was the newly crowned 4A Sectional 5 champion.

“We were happy we were able to do it on our home court in front of all our family and friends,” senior guard Jyah LoVett tells the Parkview Sports Network. “This year, we have a lot of goals, and this was one of them.”

Jyah came to Fort Wayne from Pasadena, California, last summer. At 18.7 points per game, she is one of three Panthers who average double-digit in scoring (along with Destini Craig’s 16.1 and Jordyn Poole’s 12.1 points per game). As a team, Snider averages 66.3 points per game, which ranks fifth in the entire state.

“It’s a different night for everybody,” Destini, a sophomore forward, adds. “One night’s it’s one of us, one night it’s the other. We’re all there for together.”

After drawing a first-round bye, Snider avenged four-years of sectional losses to Carroll by beating the Chargers, 79-64, in the semi-final. Snider pushed past Northrop, 66-53, in the title to end the Panthers’ seven-year postseason itch.

“All of our players know their role, and execute that every night,” head coach Akilah Sims says. “They play hard every day, they work hard in practices, so it’s very nice to see the reward.”

akilah sims
Snider head coach Akilah Sims returned to her alma mater after assisting at Purdue Fort Wayne and a championship professional playing career overseas (photo WRNS Productions/Panthers Pause 2.0) 

Sims, who was an Indiana All-Star as a senior at Snider in 2012, has revitalized her alma mater into one of the top teams in the state again. Snider (19-3) started the season 1-2 with losses to eventual Northeast 8 Corner Conference co-champions Huntington North and Columbia City. The Panthers are 18-1 ever since, losing at top-ranked Homestead, 71-66, in a game that would decide the Summit Athletic Conference championship. Snider ranked 10th in the final media poll for 4A and 9th in the final one-class coaches poll.  

The Panther seek their 20th win and more at the 4A Marion Regional on Saturday, February 12. The Panthers face Kokomo Northwestern in the semi-final game at noon. The winner of that game plays the winner of the first semi-final between #1 Homestead and #4 Noblesville at 8:00 Saturday night.

Snider’s last regional title was 2010. The Panthers last won a regional semi-final game in 2012.

“It always feels good for the Panthers to have some sort of success,” Sims adds. “We had a common goal. We knew what type of team we could be. And I think every day, we try to get closer to what we want.”

Ortho Express Walk-in Clinic

Learn more about same-day orthopedic and sports injury care at SportsONE / Parkview Fieldhouse. Learn More

PSM Performance Edge Program

Personalized training to help take your game to the next level. Learn more.
Get Started