BJHS eighth graders end perfect season
Sure enough, the Baldwin Junior High School eighth graders wrapped up their unbeaten season Thursday with a victory over Prairie View. But, there was much more to this game.
BJHS had already wrapped up the Frontier League title. All the eighth graders needed to complete the unbeaten season was a win over Prairie View.
They started out with an 11-3 first-quarter lead, were up 25-12 at halftime and tacked on another four points to the margin with a 13-9 third quarter. Still Prairie View wouldn't let up and battled back with a 20-11 fourth quarter, but it was too late.
"For being the last game and going for an undefeated record, we didn't exactly play too hot," said coach Aman Reaka. "Our defense wasn't on track and we couldn't make our easy shots. But we caught some breaks and managed the biggest win that this team will ever experience."
Andrew Hannon again led the way with 15 points, three rebounds, four assists and three steals. Jason Kesinger added 12 points and Micah Mason chipped in with eight.
But the biggest charge of the night came from Edd Stansberry, who had missed the entire season because of surgery in November. Stansberry received doctor's clearance on Tuesday to play and Reaka promised he'd get in during the last minute of the game.
Chants of "We want Edd. We want Edd," at the two-minute mark helped bring Stansberry in. He played the last minute and a half and took a Hannon pass and swished an 18-footer at the buzzer to send the crowd into a frenzy.
Hannon and Stansberry shared top contributor honors.
"We had ups and downs, had a lot of fun, and Edd Stansberry provided us with a wonderful storybook ending," said Reaka, whose teamed finished with a 14-0 overall record and an 8-0 league slate. "It has been a wonderful season. The kids have worked very hard and very much deserve to be undefeated.
"I know I won't forget it in my lifetime," he said. "I want to thank the parents, coaches, managers and fans for all their wonderful support."
Stansberry won't forget it either, but it was the team that mattered most, he said.
"Being hurt the entire season, I was glad to be able to play in the last game," said Stansberry. "With about two minutes left, the crowd really got into it. This added to me being nervous. I went in with a minute left and they all tried extremely hard to get me the ball. When I finally got an open shot, I turned around so I couldn't see if it went in. But none of this could have happened if it wasn't for my team."
The BJHS seventh graders also went out on a winning note with a 28-26 win over Prairie View. They went up 8-6 after the first quarter and had a 15-12 halftime lead. Prairie View took the lead with a 7-2 third quarter, but BJHS battled back 11-7 down the stretch to take the win.
"It was a good way to end the year," said coach Dane Jorgensen. "The kids played hard for half of one quarter. Luckily, it was the fourth quarter. Prairie View played well enough to win. It was our kids' desire to win in the last two minutes that made the difference.
"If the kids work hard in the off season, we should be an improved team next year," said Jorgensen.
Emery Kincaid had four points, five rebounds, an assist and two steals to be named top contributor. The seventh graders ended the season with a 6-8 overall record and were 3-6 in league play.
The BJHS seventh grade junior varsity also closed out the season with a win, 19-6 over Prairie View. Dusty Schultz was the top contributor with six points. The team ended with a 6-6 overall record and 4-4 league mark. No information was available on the eighth grade JV.