SAULT STE. MARIE - It was a good week for Sault High basketball.
The Blue Devils collected their third win in four days with a 59-49 triumph over Escanaba in a non-conference boys basketball game Saturday.
Ray'Shon Anderson scored 16 points, while Kyle Root narrowly missed a triple-double with 14 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists. Terrance Fuller added a double-double 12 points and 12 rebounds for the Blue Devils (5-3).
"It's nice to get the three wins, but a tough way to get them when you have to play three times in four days," Sault High coach Bill Schomberg said. "We're really starting to come around with our defense, and that has made the difference lately. We're starting to hold teams to 50 and under, and that will win a lot of games for us."
It was the third win of the week for Sault High, and a second straight triumph over a Great Northern Conference team. The Blue Devils were coming off a 59-52 victory over the U.P.'s No. 1-ranked Marquette Redmen Wednesday and a 70-41 win over Rudyard Friday.
Brandon Robinette scored 16 points, Sam Molnar had 14 points and Dave Falish added nine points for the Eskymos (3-7).
ESCANABA 10 12 13 14 - 49
SAULT HIGH 16 15 7 21 - 59
ESCANABA - Hiltunen 2, Kleiman 2, Molnar 14, Ogren 2, Robinette 16, LaPalm 4, Falish 9. FT: 5-7; F: 13; 3PFG: 5 (Molnar 2, Robinette 1, Falish 1).
SAULT HIGH - Root 14, Ray'Shon Anderson 16, Fuller 12, Ray'Nell Anderson 9, Bailey 8. FT: 13-20; F: 13; 3PFG: 2 (Bailey 1, Ray'Shon Anderson 1).
"I couldn't have been more happy with the way our kids battled back," Escanaba coach Tracy Hudson said. "I felt pretty good that we were right there and had a chance to win this one. We were tied with them with less than five minutes left, so it didn't feel like a 10-point game. They just did a little better job on the glass, and out-executed us at crunch time.
"The Sault just beat Marquette, the No. 1 team in the U.P. a few days ago," Hudson said. "They are riding that momentum right now. They (Sault) just had a little better team effort than we did today, and their physical play was maybe the difference. They were able to post up for some big baskets and they were able to get the tough rebounds."
Sault High led 31-22 at halftime, but the Eskymos fought back. The game was tied at 45 after a 3-pointer by Molnar with 4:35 remaining.
But the Blue Devils answered with two straight baskets in the paint by Ray'Shon Anderson and Root. That started a 14-4 run by the Blue Devils to close out the game.
"We talked about trying to contain Ray'Shon Anderson and Root," Hudson said. "But they both posted solid games against us. I have to give them credit."
The Blue Devils outrebounded the Eskymos 37-31. The Eskymos shot 20-of-51 from the field, while the Blue Devils hit 22-of-61 shots.
"Escanaba always plays hard against us, and they gave us everything we could handle," Schomberg said. "It's been a good rivalry and we expected another dogfight coming into this one. Every time we made a run, they came right back. We just had the last run today."
In the junior varsity game, Sault High beat Escanaba 66-63 in overtime. Christopher Rose scored 26 points for the JV Eskymos.