The Union Democrat Sports Department

Aryk Freeman grabbed an offensive rebound and put it back into the basket with 30 seconds remaining to help the Summerville Bears boys' basketball team seal a 53-51 Mother Lode League victory over Argonauton Fridayin Jackson.

The Bears denied the Mustangs the rest of the way on defense and earned its second straight league win.

"We played really, really good defense most of the night, but especially in the fourth quarter," said Summerville head coach Ben Watson. "They struggled getting off a clean shot and their desperation shot was off. A great team effort. An uphill battle, we kept hanging in there and kept chipping away. We had an opportunity and chipped away at it."

Argonaut took a 12-8 lead after the opening period, but Summerville was able to double its point total in the second quarter and dropped 16.

However, the Mustangs still led 30-24 at the break after exploiting the Bears man-to-man defense.

Struggling to contain Argonaut's strong offensive output, Watson made some adjustments and employed a zone scheme mixed with some man defense.

Although that strategy was effective on some possessions, the Mustangs outscored the Bears 14-13 in the third quarter.

Then, with the game on the line in the fourth quarter, Summerville stood tall.

Behind an impressive rebounding performance, the Bears limited the Mustangs to a game-low seven points in the final 8 minutes and tallied 16.

Summerville took its first lead of the contest, 51-49, late in the match.

"We were down most of the night," Watson said. "We didn't take the lead until about 3 minutes or so left in the game."

From there, the Bears, solely playing a zone defense for much of the last period, shut down the Mustangs offensive attack and never relinquished their advantage.

"I was really pleased with our defense on the last four to five possessions," Watson said. "The biggest thing was we did a good job not only getting out on their shooters, but getting hands on the ball in the passing lanes. We were real active in the lanes. Rebounded really well. In the fourth quarter, our rebounding came through. Our rebounding got better as the game went on. Everybody I thought we played really good team defense out in the zone."

Braden Anderson scored 19 points to lead Summerville and Freeman finished with 14. Bryce Farrell scored all eight of his points in the second half. Eli McLaurin added seven.

Both Freeman and Farrell pulled down six boards. Ethan McLaurin hauled in five.

"Aryk Freeman had a really good game," Watson said. "An all-around game rebounding and scoring some points."

Danny Robles and Daniel Sedlmeyer each posted two points and Jake Fulkerson had one.

"Everybody chipped in," Watson said. "Even the guys who weren't scoring. I thought it was a really good team effort in terms of execution on offense. We didn't play great, but we kept hanging in there. Fulkerson did some good things for us on defense. Had two good assists. We had some guys come off the bench and did a good job. Robles did a good job. Everybody contributed. That was nice."

The Bears (9-13, 5-7 MLL) will look to make three in a row when they travel to San Andreas to face the Calaveras Redskins (17-5, 11-1 MLL)on Tuesdayat7:30 p.m.inside Mike Flock Gym.

"Calaveras is a well coached team," Watson said. "Kraig (Clifton) does a great job. They have a really powerful big guy. They have some smaller guys that can really shoot the ball. They create a lot of problems for you. It's going to be a very difficult task. I would hope that we just compete and make them earn everything. But they're a great team, and hopefully, we can make it a competitive game. Who knows? May be the ball will bounce our way."