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MONROE — Bedford coach Nick Lowe walked off the basketball court Friday night at Monroe High not exactly pleased with what he had just witnessed.
Bedford turned the ball over 25 times to Monroe in a Southeastern Conference showdown.
A thing of beauty it wasn't. Yet, the Kicking Mules still came out unscathed and with a decisive 58-36 victory against the Trojans.
"In a rivalry game like this it's going to get physical and it's going to get chippy," Lowe said. "We weren't as precise as we'd like to be, but we're leaving with a 22-point win. We'll get better."
No one performed any better than 6-foot-6 senior Jackson Lamb, who seemed to be able to do whatever he wanted against the Trojans. He scored a game-high 24 points, grabbed seven rebounds, and blocked four shots for the Mules, who improved to 8-0 overall and 3-0 in the SEC.
"He's a calming factor," Lowe said of Lamb. "He can bring us some scoring, but we really need to pay attention to detail on everything that we do because not all games are going to be like this."
Yet, a minor case could be made that Lamb even had somewhat of an off night after coming in leading the area in points (28.4) and rebounds (14.0) per game. But he spent plenty of time on the bench after Bedford built a sizeable lead over Monroe (3-6, 0-3).
Bedford jumped to a 9-0 lead in the first quarter. Malik Austin, who finished with a team-high nine points, broke Monroe’s scoreless streak when he made a free throw with 4 minutes, 19 seconds left in the first.
Bedford led 18-7 through one quarter, with Lamb scored eight of his points.
However, his highlight basket came early in the fourth, when he threw down a dunk in a crowd around the basket to give the Mules a 50-28 advantage with 6:05 left.
Brad Boss was the only other Mule to score in double figures, finishing with 12 points. Dennis Guss added eight.
"We threw the ball around and everybody moved the ball around and that was great," Lamb said.
The Trojans upped their lead to 34-17 by halftime. Lamb had 15 points to nearly match Monroe's team total.
Despite the Mules' high turnovers, Lamb considered the effort they played with against Monroe the same type they've played with all season.
"We have the will to win this year," Lamb said. "We really want it. We've worked hard and we just want to make a run."
Monroe's Riley Wood and Raynard Pouncy scored eight points apiece.
Contact Donald Emmons at: firstname.lastname@example.org, 419-724-6302 or on Twitter @DemmonsBlade.