Bulldogs dominate Eagles
WELLSVILLE Eventually, the Baldwin High School Bulldogs figured out their massive size advantage over the Wellsville Eagles here Friday night. Eventually, it meant a 52-37 victory for BHS in game that was close early, but never should have been.
First quarter score: 7-4 Wellsville. Why? The BHS starters, for whatever reason, decided to shoot jump shots instead of taking it inside against the heavily undersized Eagles, who were playing without 6-foot-6 postman Josh Flett, who was out sick with the flu.
What did that leave Wellsville? A lineup that didn't go over 5-10. BHS countered with a lineup that only had 5-10 point guard Tony Zuzzio. He could have played post for Wellsville. Everyone else for the Bulldogs topped the 6-foot mark. That included 6-5 Heath Knight, 6-4 Ben Cosman, 6-3 Luke Tutschulte and 6-0 Eric Black.
But, for whatever reason, the Bulldogs chose to play Wellsville's game initially and a 3-pointer by the Eagles at the buzzer gave them the 7-4 lead. The second quarter didn't open much better, as BHS was assessed a technical foul for not having a player entered in the scorebook. A free throw and follow shot later, Wellsville was up 10-4.
But, BHS coach Bobby Taul had put a new five on the floor (one of which wasn't in the scorebook), and they started taking the ball to the hole. Most notable were 6-3 junior postmen Hugh Murphy and Eric Brown, who scored BHS's first two buckets of the second frame. Cosman came back in, hit an inside shot, was fouled and converted the three-point play. Two minutes later, Cosman hit a layup to give BHS its first lead at 15-14. The Bulldogs would never trail again.
"We wanted to take the ball inside," said Taul. "In the first quarter, we just wanted to shoot the jumper for some reason. The second group came in and did a good job, with Eric (Brown) and Hugh taking it inside.
"I can't put my finger on why we didn't take the ball inside from the start," he said. "We talked about it and they decided that that's what they needed to do. Once we did that, we were all right."
BHS started to pull away at the end of the second quarter, but was only up 23-13 at halftime. The Bulldogs opened the second half with three straight inside shots and a 15-footer by Knight to go up 31-19. Although Wellsville stayed relatively close with 3-pointers, BHS's dominance on the inside prevailed and the advantage went as high as 19 points with a Murphy follow and a Brown free throw.
Knight led the way with 22 points, which included a flurry in the third quarter of steals for layups and dunks.
"Once we started running on them and getting the ball inside, we were all right," said Taul. "We got some steals in the third quarter that really got it moving."
Cosman was also in double digits with 13 points. The victory moved BHS's record to 8-4 overall and 3-1 in Frontier League play. It also capped a sweep of Wellsville, as the junior varsity won 62-49 and the freshmen won as well.