Bears begin season with dominating win over rival Saints

Published 12:45 am Saturday, November 17, 2012

Keith’s Rodney Ellis, left, drives to the basket against Selma’s Devontae Rembert during Friday’s game in Orrville. Keith opened the season with a 79-48 win over their in-county rival. -- Robert Hudson

ORRVILLE — A tight first quarter soon gave way to a blowout, as the Keith Bears crushed the Selma Saints 79-48 on Friday at home in their season opener.

Tommy Tisdale, head boys basketball coach of Keith High School, said he’s proud of the way his team played, but he’s not putting too much stock in one win.

“First game, it’s an okay win. Like I told them, we’re not going to get too high on one win because its only one win. It’s good to open at home the way we did,” Tisdale said. “We came out kind of sluggish for whatever reason and I think we spotted them nine points, so I had to talk to a couple of guys and they responded real well. We’ve still got a lot of work to do. There are still some little things that we didn’t do.”

Email newsletter signup

Woodie Jackson, head boys basketball coach of Selma High School (1-2), said the Saints just couldn’t do much right on the night.

“We just didn’t play ball. We looked like we were sleepwalking most of the game,” Jackson said. “Defensively, we got no stops, put up no resistance. Offensively, we just didn’t make our shots.”

The Saints jumped out to an early 7-0 lead that included a jumper and a 3-pointer by DeMario Gunn and a put back under the basket by Kahmal Jones, but once the Bears settled down, they worked their way back to take a 16-14 lead into the second period.

The Bears seized the momentum for good in the second quarter, opening the period with a shot down low by Demond Holmes, a mid-range shot from Rodney Ellis and a 3-pointer by A.J. Simmons that helped Keith to a 25-17 lead with little over five minutes remaining in the half.

It was more of the same the remainder of the half, as the Bears forced the Saints to turn the ball over constantly with stifling defense, with Ellis and A.J. Simmons scoring a combined 15 points in the quarter to give their team a 41-26 halftime lead.

Keith broke the game open even more in the third and took a 59-43 lead into the final quarter.

The Bears hurt the Saints from long range, hitting eight shots from behind the arch, with Ellis, Walton Young, A.J. Simmons and Jaquan Simmons hitting 3-pointers on the night.

A.J. and Jaquan each led the Bears with three baskets from 3-point range.

A.J. Simmons led the Bears with 19 points, while Holmes had 16 points, most of which came from inside the paint.

Ellis had 13 points, while Young and Jaquan Simmons each added 11 points for the Bears.

Gunn led the Saints with 23 points, including three 3-pointers, while Jones had 7 points, 6 rebounds and 2 blocks for Selma.

Devontae Rembert also had 8 points for Selma.

The Saints will play again at home in their Thanksgiving Tournament starting on Nov. 22, while the Bears will play at R.C. Hatch on Monday starting at 5 p.m.