Jeff West is no stranger to BHS
Baldwin High School's first round state tournament opponent is no stranger Jefferson County West won the Baldwin Invitational Tournament here in January.
Jeff West is the top-seeded team in the Class 4A State Basketball Tournament with its 21-2 record. Baldwin is the No. 8 seeded team with a 15-8 mark. But, BHS coach Bobby Taul and the Bulldogs aren't about to concede the victory.
"Our intent is to go out there and win it," said Taul. "If it's meant to be, it will happen. That's what I told them going into sub-state and that's why we're headed to Salina.
"We've got to go down there with the attitude that we can win it," he said. "We're the No. 8 seed. Jeff West is the No. 1 seed and they've got the pressure on them."
Jeff West has a starting front line that goes 6-foot-8, 6-6, 6-4 and has a 6-7 player coming off the bench. They also have quality guards. However, Taul knows Jeff West can be beaten.
"They definitely have a good team good size, good shooters but they can be beat just like anyone else," he said. "With the confidence we gained in sub-state, we can go out and beat them. It's going to take a great game, but we can do it. If we play our game, we can beat them."
Thursday's appearance at the state tournament is Baldwin High's first since 1981. Taul intends to make sure there isn't another 19 years between trips.
"We don't want to be a one-hit wonder," he said. "We want it to be an annual deal. The main thing was getting them there to let them see what it's like. We want them to want to come back and we intend to do that."
The winner of the BHS-Jeff-West game will play the winner of Thursday's game between Andale and Labette County, both of which have 16-7 record. The semi-final game will be Friday at 4:45 p.m.
The other first-round games pit Kansas City Sumner (19-4) against El Dorado (16-7) and Scott City (17-5) against Wamego (16-7). Winners of those games play Friday at 8:15 p.m.
Semi-final winners square off in Saturday's championship game at 6:15 p.m. Losers of the semi-final games play at 2 p.m. Saturday for third place. All games are at Salina's BiCentennial Center.