BASKETBALL: Sanderson Scores 38 As Saline Defeats Bedford


TEMPERANCE - Jonathan Sanderson poured in 38 points and Lincoln Keyes added 17 points as Saline defeated Bedford, 70-57, to say unbeaten in the SEC Red.

Saline is 10-2 overall and, at 5-0, is the only undefeated team in the conference.

Saline visits Huron Friday for one of the biggest regular-season games in recent memory. Huron s 5-1, with its only loss coming against Pioneer.

The Hornets broke the game open with 22 fourth-quarter points. 14 of those points were scored by Sanderson, who wowed even the hometown Kicking Mule fans in the gym with an assortment of three-pointers, drives to the rim and even a dunk.

Saline coach Mike Marek said he was much happier with the team’s second-half play.

“In the first half we were kind of sloppy at both ends. We cleaned it up and I was proud of our fight in the second half. But that’s how we have to start games,” Marek said. “I keep telling our guys - there’s a target on our back. This was a big game for Bedford. We’ve got to come ready to play every game and that falls on me, too. We weren’t ready.”

But, it was a win.

“And I’ll take an ugly win over a pretty loss any day,” Marek said.

Sanderson’s performance was mesmerizing at times.

“I know that’s a common theme, but I don’t want that to get lost in the shuffle either,” Marek said.

Most of Saline’s troubles in the first half were in the second quarter.

Saline led 16-9 after the first quarter. Lincoln Keyes opened the scoring, floating one over the player in the post. Sanderson then sandwiched two threes around a jump shot to make it 10-4. Keyes made it 13-7 when he made the layup and a free throw. Peyton Widen made it 16-7 with a three from the corner. Saline led 16-7.

The Hornets were a little loose with the basketball and on defense in the second quarter.

After Sanderson’s three made it 19-12, Bedford closed the gap to two. Saline rebuilt its lead with a layup by Sanderson, a basket by Isiaih Harris (nicely set up by Brad Leventhal, and Sanderson going 2-for-3 from the strip. Saline led 25-17. But again the Mules bounced back, tying the game at 25 before jumping out front, 28-27.

But Caleb Washington, getting a bigger role with an injury to Tommy Carr, hit an important three-pointer which gave Saline a 30-28 lead going into halftime.

Coach Marek, who’d given role players good minutes throughout the first half, sent his regulars out to start the third.

It was a steady diet of baskets by Sanderson and Keyes as Saline took a 39-32 lead. Sanderson hit a three to make it 42-32. The Mules forced their way back into he game, when Sanderson knocked a ball loose. It went to Keyes, who passed to Sanderson for the breakaway and he slammed it home to make it 46-41. Moments later, Keyes put back a rebound. Saline led 48-41.

The fourth quarter opened with Sanderson completing the rare four-point play, scoring the three from the corner while being fouled, and then making the free throw. Saline led 52-41. There was no looking back. Leventhal capped the game with a three-pointer for the corner.

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