high school basketball: Kendall Thomas scores 23 points in Huron's senior night win over Saline
The words of Huron High School boys basketball coach Waleed Samaha echoed off the walls of the school's Riverdome.
Visiting Saline had just scored to cut the River Rats' lead to 31-28 with 2:04 to go in the first half and Samaha wasn't happy.
"How about making them do what we want?" asked Samaha angrily during the timeout, referring to his team's defense.
That timeout sparked an 18-3 run that gave Huron all the cushion it would need Friday night to cruise to a 67-51 win on senior night.
"Senior nights are just funny. Too much emotion going in," Samaha said. "That's what I attribute that to."
It didn't help that Saline hit three 3-pointers in a 75-second span to take an early 9-3 lead.
"We were matching them blow-for-blow," Saline coach Matt Seidl said. "We were playing about as well offensively as we have in a while."
The Hornets led 18-16 after the first quarter.
"They did a great job," Samaha said. "We were kind of hoping Saline would miss a few, but they hit everything early."
After the timeout, Saline scored three points in the next eight minutes of game play, being held without a field goal. Huron pushed the three-point lead to eight at halftime and 12 eighty-nine seconds into the second half.
"That three points to eight, that was a big difference," Seidl said. About the bad start to the third quarter, he said: "Now it's 12 and now we're kind of in a chase mode. About half the game plan is gone."
For Huron (11-5, 7-2 Southeastern Conference), Kendall Thomas tied his career high with 23 points.
"I was hot, but the game just came to me," Thomas said.
Mike Lewis scored 18 points despite checking himself out of the game for a stretch in the third-quarter, dry-heaving as he dealt with an illness, according to Samaha. Andre Bond scored 14.
"For us to beat them, they need to cooperate a little bit," Seidl said. "And they didn't."
Sophomore K.C. Borseth scored 14 points for Saline (7-9, 4-8), which has lost nine of its last 10 games.
"These guys have really done everything I've asked," Seidl said. "That's why actually I'm getting frustrated, because I want them to be rewarded for all they've done."