BASKETBALL: Bedford Storms Back to Beat Saline in the 4th Quarter
For a while, it looked like Saline might pull off the upset at Bedford and shake up the still-early race for the SEC Red, but Bedford outscored the Hornets 13-2 in the fourth quarter and defeated Saline 39-30.
Saline fell to 7-3 overall and 2-2 in the SEC Red.
Saline was in the game until the end but couldn’t shake a shooting slump that plagued the Hornets throughout the second half. The second-half power outage spoiled a terrific defensive effort by the Hornets.
“I thought we played excellent defensively the entire game. We really limited the things that they like to do. Until we started gambling and fouling, our defense was the thing that gave us a chance to win,” coach Leigh Ann Roehm said. “I was proud of our effort. Bedford is experienced, tough, tall and skilled at every position and I couldn't be prouder of how we battled. They had to work for everything they got.”
Sophomore Ayla Stager, with the help of her teammates, did a remarkable job on 6’3 senior Victoria Gray.
Kate Stemmer scored 10 points and had three assists, three steals and three rebounds. Keiria Roehm scored nine points and had three rebounds. Hadley Griffin scored six points and had two assists. Kadyn Maida had four points, two rebounds and two blocks. Stager had one point and three rebounds.
Kate Stemmer was the hot shot in the first quarter, scoring six points as the Hornets built an early 10-8 lead.
In the second quarter, Keira Roehm hit two threes and made another basket, Hadley Griffin made a three and Kadyn Maida and Kate Stemmer had baskets as Salinne built a 25-15 lead in a gym that hasn’t been kind to the Hornets over the years. Payton Pudlowski led Bedford with 14 points.
“I loved our movement in the first half. We really spread out the court and knocked down 3s, scored on slips to the paint, and created driving to the rim. We were firing on all cylinders,” coach Roehm said.
But from there on, late in the second quarter, the Kicking Mules took over, outsourcing Saline 24-5. The Mules finished the second quarter with two baskets.
Things still looked pretty good for Saline when Griffin made her second three of the game with 5:19 left to play in the third, giving Saline a 28-21 lead. But by the end of the third, Saline was clinging to a two-point lead, 28-26.
The Mules took the lead early in the fourth. Stemmer’s run through the paint brought the Hornets back to within one, at 31-30, but the Hornets couldn't buy a basket the rest of the way.
“The second half we turned it over a lot and just didn't make the shots we needed and that was the difference,” Roehm said.
Roehm said while the team has veterans, they’re still very young and inexperienced. The team is showing it can play with anyone. Now, it’s a matter of closing out some of these promising games.
“I loved what we showed we are capable of. When we can learn to hone in on the things that make us successful, this is really going to be a great team. We have lost to three great teams. And, we were completely in contention of winning in the fourth quarter in all three of those games. We have shown we can play with anybody,” Roehm said.
She said she’s not discouraged by some tough losses against good teams.
“I wholeheartedly believe the story of this team is just getting started. People can look at these tough losses and count us out. But, I can tell you where I stand: Don't count us out, you should count on us coming back and having incredible success the rest of the season,” Roehm said. “We are only scratching the surface of what this team can be.”
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