SOUTH WHITLEY — Rebounding is the result of effort. A great rebounder takes the time in practice and in games to watch the shot, block out and then get to the ball before anybody else.
Rebounding the basketball means second chance points on offense and the end of a possession for the opponent on defense. Few female basketball players in the state are as good at pulling down a rebound this season as Whitko senior Ellie Snep.
It’s not out of the ordinary to look at a Whitko box score and see that Snep has snagged anywhere from 15 to 20 rebounds in a game. On the season, Snep is averaging right at 15 rebounds per game. Her head coach, Rick Bragg, credits Snep with making a giant leap in her play from last year to this season.
“I’m proud of her to see the improvements she’s made,” said Bragg. “Rebounding is one of those things you really can’t teach.”
Bragg said there are two key ingredients that have made Snep a terror on the boards. First, Bragg said Snep’s athleticism allows her to get to the ball quickly. Second, and perhaps more important, Bragg said at this point Snep takes pride in being a good rebounder.
“I have confidence now,” said Snep of her play on the boards. “I can go out and be my best and in my mind I can be productive.”
Snep has been rebounding at such an astonishing clip that she has set a new Lady Wildcats’ single season record. Snep collected 285 rebounds in 19 games. The previous record was 234 rebounds which was held by Emily Bidwell Christoffel and was set in 2008. Christoffel is now an assistant coach for the Whitko girls and she had a message for Snep before the season.
“Emily texted me before the season and said I better beat her record,” said Snep.
Snep has three more regular season games on the schedule for Whitko. Then, the team enters the sectional tournament. Any team that wants to beat Whitko in the tournament will have to do so without getting its hands on very many rebounds. Odds are Snep is going to get her hands on most shots that don’t make it through the net.
Snep leads the conference and state in rebounding, and is ranked in the top 20 in the country in rebounds per game, Bragg said.