On a cold January night at Titan Coliseum, nobody knew it yet, but history was about to be made. A scoring record that had stood for 11 years was about to be broken.
At 5-foot-9-inches, Lane freshman, point guard Shelby Snook, seems like just a regular run-of-the-mill athlete.
However, after a closer look at Snook during game play, anyone can tell that she has the uncoachable ability to score at will.
That ability was on full display when the Titans faced the Umpqua Community College Riverhawks on Jan. 8. Snook dominated the Riverhawks, scoring 44 points and leading the Titans to a pressure-packed 94-93 win. Snook broke the previous scoring record of 42 points, set by Dominique King in 2003.
“I knew I was scoring pretty well, but I was completely surprised when people told me I had just broken the record,” Snook said.
However, more important than the stats to Snook was how her team responded.
“I’m just really happy that we dug down and found a way to win,” Snook said.
Snook has a refreshing attitude. In a sport that can cause star’s egos to rise above the team, she has an attitude that team success comes first. She will do anything to help her team win. Snook has helped the Titans to a second place position in the Southern Region.
Snook grew up in Roseburg, learning the game of basketball from her father, Rod Snook, a basketball coach who was head coach for the women’s team at nearby Umpqua Community College until 2002. He was also an assistant coach at the University of Oregon for three years and the University of Idaho.
Snook also has two older brothers: Jordan Snook, who played point-guard at Umpqua Community College, and Skylar Snook, who was also a shooting guard for the Riverhawks.
“I remember going to the local gym in Roseburg when I was little and playing ball with my dad and two brothers. Those were always fun times,” Snook said.
In these practice sessions, Snook began to hone her game — specifically, her rebounding. Snook is tied for second on the team with 6.71 rebounds per game.
“Growing up, my dad always encouraged rebounding. He always drilled me on boxing out and the fundamentals. I played with my brothers a lot, and they gave me good practice in rebounding against bigger opponents,” Snook said.
Snook joined the Titans by way of Roseburg, where she played soccer and volleyball and ran track for Roseburg High School. However, basketball has always been Snook’s favorite.
“I’ve always wanted to play college ball. I guess you could say I’ve always had a passion for it,” Snook said.
When Snook made the Roseburg High School varsity basketball team in September 2009, she was coming into a program that featured few players with varsity experience. As a result, the Indians went 7-16 overall, with a 2-9 record in conference play Snook’s freshman year. As the years progressed, the Indians began to steadily improve. Indians head coach Jeff Thomas began to see improvement in Snook’s game as well.
“Shelby was an integral part of us, improving each year starting her freshman year. She was asked to do a lot of things for us and really took that challenge head on,” Thomas said.
Snook’s willingness to make the needed sacrifices for her team paid off her senior season, when she led the Indians to an 18-8 overall record and a spot in the playoffs. Thomas saw improvement in more than just Snook’s basketball abilities.
“As she got older, she began to become more comfortable communicating with me and was someone whose opinion I respected as she is knowledgeable about the game,” Thomas said.
After graduating from Roseburg, Snook joined a Titans team that was fresh off winning the NWACC championship last season. Lane head coach Greg Sheley’s offensive system immediately took off with Snook at point guard as the Titans lead the NWACC in scoring, with 84 points per game.
“Our offense has been really effective with Shelby at the point. Shelby can get to the basket really well,” Sheley said. “Teams have to decide if they are going to take away the drive to the basket or the three-point shot.”
Although Snook was excited to continue her basketball career at the collegiate level, she had her struggles at first.
“At Roseburg, I was playing in a program that I had been playing in for years. I had a level of comfort with that system,” Snook said. “So at first, it was difficult to adjust to a new offense and adjust to what my new coaches wanted from me.”
The Titans have had a few hurdles to overcome this season. Snook specifically talked about about an 85-66 loss to Clackamas Community College on Jan. 5 that still eats away at her.
“That loss to Clackamas has definitely opened our eyes,” Snook said.
On Feb. 1 the Titans struck back with a 73-66 home win over the Cougars. Snook led the Titans with 35 points and five assists.
“We knew it was a must win if we wanted to have a chance to get first in the region,” Snook said. They are a good team so it felt nice to win.”