JACKSON Ever since Argonaut escaped from Tuolumne with an 84-82 win over the Summerville High School boys' basketball team on Jan. 24, the Bears have been looking forward to evening the score
Thanks to Joe Sanders, they got a little payback and then some on Tuesday night
Sanders' 31 points and 15 rebounds led Summerville (17-7, 5-2 Mother Lode League) to a dramatic, come-from-behind, 75-69 win over the Mustangs that the Bears absolutely had to have in order to keep alive their slim hopes for an MLL title.
"Joe was a force," Summerville coach Marlen Ronten said. "And we played smart and clutch basketball."
To that end, five Bears combined to shoot nine-for-11 from the free-throw line in the decisive fourth quarter.
With Summerville trailing 61-58 early in the fourth quarter, Sanders hit back-to-back baskets to put the Bears ahead to stay. After he, Cody Munsel and Charley Pierce added three more field goals, Summerville stretched its lead out at the free throw line.
Just as important as Summerville's success at the stripe was its man-to-man defense the first time all season the Bears have played an entire game without their normal 1-3-1 zone.
"We saw that a couple of teams had beaten them with man, and they did really well against our zone the last time we played them," Ronten said.
For the most part, the adjustment worked. After watching Argonaut's Bo Gillman and Mitch Ryan score 25 and 24 points, respectively, in their first meeting, the Bears limited the Mustangs' post players to just 10 and 11 points, respectively, last night.
Sanders led Summerville to a 24-19 lead in the first quarter with 12 points and five rebounds.
In addition to Sanders' 31 points, Munsel finished with 17, Quint Gerber with 11 and Pierce with seven off the bench.