BELLEVILLE - For the third straight game, Bailey Coder did basically whatever he wanted.
In this one, the 6-foot-7 senior scored 24 points and made four steals as East Juniata cruised past Belleville Mennonite 71-35 on Tuesday night in a non-league boys basketball game.
"He's getting into spots where he needs to on the floor, which is allowing him to be very successful," East Juniata coach Brock Anders said of Coder. "His size obviously helps him. His ability now to get out in transition with the ball and make pull up jump shots, it makes a big, big difference."
Coder had his way with the overmatched Thunder, scoring eight straight points between the end of the first quarter and the beginning of the second quarter.
"He's a real good player," Belleville Mennonite coach Larry Kauffman said. "(He's a ) good face up player and able to start the break for them. Real impressed with him. (He's) definitely a tough match-up."
Coder wasn't alone.
Nick Lorenz scored 21 points and David Brantley added 17 for the Tigers, who improve to 3-0 on the season.
It was a game of runs for both teams, with East Juniata sustaining more of them with the torrid pace they played.
"Their pace is tough for us," Kauffman said. "EJ is always a tough match-up for us, especially with the way we're built this year. We're definitely not built to run-and-gun and they definitely are."
The Tigers ripped off a 19-0 run between the first two quarters and added another 13-0 run in the third. The Thunder answered the 19-0 East Juniata run with a 12-0 run of their own.
Austin Byler ended the East Juniata run with a basket, which was followed by back-to-back Noah Anders 3-pointers.
Kyle Derstein drained two free throws and Sammy Kauffman made a basket to finish the second quarter.
Despite the run, East Juniata took a 35-19 lead into the half.
East Juniata snapped off its second big run of the night, this time a 13-0 spurt, capped by four points from Lorenz.
Anders responded with a three and made it 48-19 Tigers.
Chas Mcguire's only basket of the night gave the Tigers their biggest lead of the night at 69-33.
The two teams traded baskets and the game settled at 71-35 in favor of East Juniata.
East Juniata will take the floor again tonight at 7:30 p.m. when it travels to Mount Union to battle the unbeaten Trojans (4-0).
"It's going to be a difficult task," Anders said. "We know we're playing at their place, which is difficult. They're very athletic and we're going to have to go in there and take care of the ball.
"They like to get out in transition as well," Anders said. "It's going to be a difficult ball game with two difficult teams. Coach Komir has a well coached club up there and has for many, many years. We're looking forward to the challenge tomorrow night."
Belleville Mennonite will travel to Fannett-Metal at 7:45 p.m. Thursday.
For Kauffman, playing a team that has the size and the pace of East Juniata can only benefit his club in the long run.
"It's huge for us," Kauffman said. "We've had a step up in every match-up we've had. It's a good challenge for us and it's good that it's early in the year. It gives us something to build off of."