Cold shooting dooms Baldwin High to defeat
A bad shooting night is probably the worst thing that can happen to a basketball team. That's what happened to Baldwin High School Friday, when the Paola Panthers took advantage for a 52-35 win here.
How bad was it? Well, first-year coach Jeff Haas didn't have the numbers Sunday night, but said field goal shooting, 3-point shooting and free throw shooting percentages were all season lows. Of course it wasn't too hard to see that was true by the 13 points BHS scored in the first half.
"All the percentages were lower than usual," said Haas. "I felt like we got the types of looks we've been getting. It was a night that shots just weren't falling. I'm not particularly worried about it.
"We'll have better nights shooting," he said. "We didn't get the fast break layups, either."
A big part of the Bulldog offense this year has been those high percentage, fast-break layups. They weren't there Friday, but neither was anything else. Inside shots wouldn't fall, outside shots wouldn't fall. In short, nothing would fall but the Bulldogs.
"We tried to get some turnovers off the press," said Haas. "We didn't get as many as we wanted, but I think we're getting better.
"We didn't have those easy scoring opportunities that we have been off the press," he said. "I think that has a lot to do with Paola's defense."
There was another key item to Paola's defense stop Andrew Hannon. The BHS sophomore point guard who has been averaging upwards of 15 points a game was held to a season-low three points. Hannon didn't even get a shot off in the first half. A lot of that had to do with the lack of fast-break opportunities, where Hannon has scored many of his points.
"He needs to be a threat to score and pass," said Haas.
There were a couple of bright spots. Although there was no double-digit scorer, the scoring was balanced with all but one player scoring. Hugh Murphy led the way with nine points, followed by Eric Brown with seven; Eric Black and Joe Gipp with five; Yancy Richards and Hannon with three; and Brett Myrick with two.
"There was some balance," he said.
Haas also thought the Bulldogs rebounded better than they had been. They still got beat by eight on the boards, but there were signs of improvement.
"We did hit the boards better," he said. "We have made some progress in blocking out, but we still got beat. It's hard to feel good about getting beat on the glass, but in viewing the film, we were blocking out better."
That was another item that made Haas look at the game differently.
"I feel a little better after watching the film than I did," he said. "We executed better. We rebounded better. It was just a poor shooting night by us. Paola is a good team with the best individual (David Ward) that we've seen."
The loss evened BHS's record at 4-4. The Bulldogs traveled to Osage City Tuesday night, but results weren't available by press time. They'll also be on the road Friday at Gardner.
Then it's time for the 33rd Annual Baldwin Invitational Tournament. It's set for Jan. 15, 18 and 19. A tournament bracket is on page B-4.