By George Bremer
The Herald Bulletin
---- — PENDLETON — There were plenty of familiar sights for Pendleton Heights fans during Saturday's boys basketball season opener.
The give-and-go was a staple of the offense. The defense was aggressive and persistent. And the leading scorer was a Dunham.
Sophomore Kenton Dunham — Kellen's younger brother — scored 21 points in his first varsity start, and the Arabians ran away with a 57-45 victory against Hoosier Heritage Conference rival Delta.
"He had a great offseason and a really great fall," Pendleton Heights head coach Brian Hahn said. "With (junior) Sean (McDermott) out, he's getting a lot more reps in practice. We knew he was capable of that. He did a great job tonight, and we needed that."
McDermott was expected to be one of the top juniors in the state this season, but he was hospitalized last week with a severe staph infection. He attended Saturday's game on crutches and sat behind the Arabians' bench.
Hahn said there is no timetable for the sharp-shooter's return, and the team's only goal now is to see him regain full health.
"It was great to have him back in the gym," Hahn said. "We've all been worried about him. We all want him healthy and back with us."
Even without the junior star on the court, Dunham had plenty of help against the Eagles.
Fellow sophomore Caleb Hardy scored 12 points on 6-of-7 shooting and pulled down six rebounds. Senior Austin Brizendine added eight points, 10 rebounds and two steals. Senior Levi Buck dished out a team-high seven assists and blocked two shots, and junior Logan Robertson had six assists.
The Arabians turned the ball over just eight times against a persistent Delta press and shot 55 percent from the field.
The visitors never led, trailing 17-13 after one quarter and 31-23 at the half. When Dunham sank one of his three 3-pointers at the third-quarter buzzer, Pendleton Heights' lead swelled to 44-31 and the student section serenaded the gym with chants of "He's a Dunham."
The Arabians were scheduled to face Westfield on Tuesday in their first road game, but that contest has been delayed until Dec. 17 because of the Shamrocks' appearance in the state football finals.
Pendleton Heights will next play at Hamilton Southeastern on Dec. 7. And the Arabians will enter that game with momentum from Saturday's full-team effort.
"We needed everybody to contribute," Hahn said. "This was a great team win."