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Senior Spotlight: Andrew Snow

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Senior point guard thrives as South Central's on-court coach

By Andrew Harner

On the court, Andrew Snow might be the most vocal basketball player in the area.

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The senior point guard from South Central barks out nearly every offensive play for the Cougars and often berates opposing ball-handlers with screams of "ball, ball, ball" in hopes of forcing a turnover on defense.

"It's a good role,” Snow said. “Somebody's got to be out there to direct and tell people what to do, even though they know what to do."

The point guard is very important to South Central’s offensive scheme, which attempts to wear down opposing defenses with constant ball movement until an open player is found.

To have someone who has been playing basketball since the third grade take on the role of main distributor has produced excellent results this season.

Not only have Snow’s stats improved from 1.3 points per game last season to 6.23 this season, sophomore Fischer Tharp, the team’s best post player, has seen his points per game average rise from 6.8 to 14.38, due in large part to Snow’s ability to move the ball.

Those improvements also come because Snow, at times, will drive into the paint to either attempt a layup or draw enough defenders to assist an open teammate.

"We have a lot of good penetrators,” Snow said. “If I can penetrate in and kick out to our shooters ... it opens things up for the rest of the team."

While that hasn’t produced a lot of wins so far this season – the Cougars are 3-10 – first-year coach Rick Simmons has frequently said the team is improving.

Simmons was a long-time assistant at South Central and has acquired enough confidence in Snow to allow him to make decisions on the court to help the team improve.

"I pretty much let him run the show,” Simmons said. “He is a coach on the floor, and he has a very good grasp of what we want to do, and how we want to do it.

"He is a natural leader. These kids look up to him and respect him,” he said. “If he says something, they hop to it."

When the season is over, hopefully Snow looks at his teammates and tells them to always play with passion, no matter how well or poorly the team is playing.

Through his 10 years of playing organized ball, he has developed a strong passion for the game.

"He lives it. He breathes it. It's kind of his life,” Simmons said. “If things don't work out, he kind of drags himself through the mud. You want kids to be that passionate.

"I wish we had more just like him, as far as the attitude.”

Snow’s passion was on full display against Altamont during the Vandalia Holiday Tournament last Wednesday.

With 1:31 remaining in a 51-36 loss, Snow committed his fifth foul of the game, and even though the Cougars were trailing by 13 points at the time and had no chance to make a comeback, he was devastated on the bench, holding his head in a towel for the next several plays

"Once you foul out, you can't go back in,” Snow said. “That's the worst feeling, feeling helpless on the bench, because you can't help your team on the court."

He said he gets over those incidents quickly, never letting a poor game affect his play the next time out, but when he is off the floor, it is unusual to hear someone else’s voice calling out plays for the Cougars.