Late run seals Bellevue win over Upper Sandusky, 55-43
By BRAD FRANK
Gazette Sports Editor
An increase in their defensive pressure afforded the Bellevue Redmen a 13–0 run on Tuesday, resulting in a 55–43 win over the visiting Upper Sandusky Rams in a non-league varsity boys basketball game.
Bellevue held a close lead throughout the first half, holding a 28–20 lead at halftime.
Redmen junior Charles Dendinger notched 13 of his 15 points in the first half, with teammate and leading scorer, senior Jalen Santoro was held to three points. Bellevue senior Derek Smith had eight of his 10 points in the first half Tuesday.
The Rams put forth a strong third quarter with the help of four made 3-pointers, converting their eight-point halftime deficit into a two-point deficit, 38–36, entering the fourth quarter.
A field goal by Upper Sandusky sophomore Seth Frey tied the game at 38–38 within the first minute of the fourth quarter.
After the game-tying bucket, the Rams went cold, as Bellevue held them to a scoreless stretch spanning five minutes, while the Redmen went on a 13–0 run to grab a 51–38 lead with 3:22 to play.
Upper Sandusky’s next points came with 2:40 left in the game, trailing 51–40, and the Rams would not move any closer toward the lead Tuesday, as Bellevue pulled out the 55–43 win.
Bellevue coach Mike Raifsnider explained what changed for his defensively that resulted in the scoreless stretch by Upper Sandusky.
“They’re so deliberate offensively that we got stagnant with what we were doing defensviely. We were playing good defense but it was almost ot the point where we were just standing around, so we changed it up,” he said. “We started trapping them and got a couple steals off of it, then the next thing you know we go from a tie game to being up (13).
“We just couldn’t stand around anymore. Obviously, our defense led to some of our offense.”
Bellevue’s first-half scoring comprised of 15 points off of made 3-pointers out of its 28 total points. Dendinger and Smith combined for all five threes.
Santoro had six assists, six rebounds and five steals, along with 6-for-7 shooting from the free-throw line Tuesday. Redmen senior Trent Stamm pulled down nine rebounds.
With the help of an 11-point fourth quarter, Santoro tallied a game-high 18 points. Dendinger finished with 15, and Smith 10. The trio reached double-digit scoring, despite each being held scoreless in one of Tuesday’s quarters.
Dendinger has now scored double-digits in three of Bellevue’s last four games. Raifsnider assessed Dendinger’s recent play offensively.
“I think Charles is playing with a lot of confidence. He’s looking to score. He’s had games where he hasn’t been assertive enough offensively,” Raifsnider said. “He put the ball on the floor tonight [Tuesday], took it to the basket and got shots that way.”
Raifsnider feels things have come together offensively lately for his ballclub.
“We’ve made some huge strides in the last week and a half, with what we are doing offensively,” he said. “The kids are starting to play with confidence. We were just so far behind at the beginning of the year.”
Tuesday’s win was Bellevue’s third consecutive and puts the team over .500 for the first time this season.
For the first time this season, Bellevue won a game without scoring 60 or more points, as the team was 0–6 when scoring under 60 entering Tuesday’s game. The relatively low scoring output Tuesday was a result of Upper Sandusky’s preference to be patient when trying to execute offensively.
The Redmen (7–6) dealt with a late start to their season due to the football’s team extended season.
Bellevue’s junior varsity romped Upper Sandusky, 51–15.
The Redmen scored 36 second-half points after holding a 16–8 halftime lead and held the Rams to a pair of two-point quarters.
Clay Fries paced Bellevue with 15 points. Ross Gerwin added 10, while Thomas Pressler tallied eight.
Brad Roeder led Upper Sandusky with nine.
Upper Sandusky 43
Joe Reile 2–0-6, Cody Clifford 3–2-10, Trent Howard 5–0-13, Brad Roeder 0–1-1, Cody Collins 1–0-2, Seth Frey 2–0-5, Stuart Young 1–0-2, Carson Mittermaier 2–0-4. Totals 16–3-43.
Derek Smith 4–0-10, Jalen Santoro 6–6-18, Charles Dendinger 6–0-15, Josh McNeely 1–0-2, Trent Stamm 2–1-5, Seth Linder 2–1-5. Totals 21–8-55.
Score by quarter
Upper Sandusky 10 10 16 7 — 43
Bellevue 13 15 10 17 — 55
Upper Sandusky 15
Brad Roeder 3–3-9, Cory Miller 1–0-2, Andre Myers 0–2-2, Kent Swavel 1–0-2. Totals 5–5-15.
Dylan DeWitt 2–0-5, Thomas Pressler 3–1-8, Isaac Hartley 1–0-2, Ross Gerwin 5–0-10, Shane Miller 3–0-6, Clay Fries 5–5-15, Grant Vickery 2–1-6. Totals 21–7-52.
Score by quarter
Upper Sandusky 6 2 5 2 — 15
Bellevue 6 10 18 18 — 52