Bulldogs down Buffs with scoring, defense
LaCYGNE It was one of the best offensive shows of the season for the Baldwin High School Bulldogs here Friday night against Prairie View, but it was staunch defense in the third quarter that really helped pave the way for a 77-59 victory.
"It's a tough place to play and we went down and did the things we wanted to do," said coach Bobby Taul of the hour-plus drive to the game site. "Offensively, we played as well as we have all year. We scored 31 points in the first half. But, unfortunately, they scored 32.
"We talked at halftime about how everything they were throwing up was going in," said Taul. "We figured sooner or later they would cool down and we shouldn't panic."
There was a cool down and the breeze was caused by a change in the BHS defense. The Bulldogs had used a 2-1-2 zone in the first half and switched to a 3-2 in the second. The results were impressive.
"We held them to two points in the third quarter," he said. "The switch to the 3-2 allowed us to cover their perimeter shooters better. We figured we needed to change up the defense because their three perimeter players were their best players."
It worked ... and the BHS offense continued to roll. Junior Heath Knight started the onslaught with an inside move just into the third quarter that gave BHS the lead for good at 33-32. Balancing the inside game from Knight and fellow junior Ben Cosman and the outside shooting of seniors Sam McCall and Joe Kivett who both hit 3-pointers, with Kivett's coming at the buzzer the Bulldogs went on the 20-2 tear that ripped the game wide open.
It was more of the same in the final stanza with senior Andy Meinen joining in on the inside fun and everyone shooting a ton of free throws. The resulting 18-point win kept the Bulldogs unbeaten in Frontier League play at 6-0 (9-6 overall).
"That was a big one," said Taul. "We've told them before you've got to be able to win on the road, especially in league play. Everyone came in and did a good job. We scored from the outside and were able to work it inside. We took advantage of what they gave us."
Knight led the way with 23 points and 14 rebounds. Cosman was close behind with 17 points, Kivett had 15 and Meinen 12.
"That's the first time we've had four players in double figures all season. To do that against a zone is something," he said. "Heath has been taking the ball inside more. He's been more aggressive on the boards. One of the things we're trying to do is use him inside more."
The win took some of the sting off last Tuesday's 54-47 loss to Gardner. It didn't count towards league the league standings. Knight also led the way in scoring in that one with 20 points.
BHS was in action again Tuesday night against Olathe Christian, but results weren't available by press time. The Bulldogs will play host to Eudora Friday, which aside from being a big league game, will also be King and Queen of Courts night. Varsity game should be around 8 p.m.
"Friday night to me is really big," said Taul. "Eudora is 11-4 and only has one loss in the league. That's going to be a big game. Eudora likes to press and gets up and down the floor. We're going to have to do some things to slow them down and make them play our game, not theirs."
In much the same fashion, the BHS junior varsity and freshmen teams avenged losses to Gardner last Tuesday with big victories over Prairie View Friday.
In the JV game, Baldwin topped Prairie View 56-49, but had a 20-point lead in the fourth quarter before the Buffaloes bounced back. Bo Donora led the way with 13 points and Hugh Murphy was right behind with 12.
The freshmen topped Prairie View 51-40. Brian Lauridsen was the lone player in double digits with 25 points Lauridsen had also led the way in the loss to Gardner with 12 points and Joe Gipp added 10.
Both teams were also in action Tuesday and will play Friday at 5 and 6:30 p.m. in the high school gym.