BHS downs Eagles again
Less than 24 hours after beating Wellsville 46-32 for their second win in a row, the Baldwin High School Bulldogs almost made it three in a row with a thrilling 72-70 overtime loss to Kansas City (Mo.) Pembroke Hill Saturday in the BHS gym.
"It was quite a weekend," said coach Jeff Haas. "The Pembroke Hill game was memorable."
The back-to-back victories over arch-rival Wellsville were just what BHS needed to get back in the swing of things. Although the Bulldogs didn't jump out on the Eagles early like they had in the first win, they still never trailed and used a 17-9 surge in the third quarter to secure the victory.
"I thought we did a lot of things well against Wellsville," said Haas. "We knew it would be a bigger challenge. I thought we responded real well given the circumstances.
"We lost a little aggressiveness in the fourth quarter. I think it was a subconscious thing because we certainly weren't talking about milking the clock," he said. "We had some turnovers in the game that kept them within striking distance, although we did beat them on the boards, which is what we wanted to do."
BHS was up 23-18 at halftime, but used the 17-9 spurt in the third to beef up the lead. Junior guard Andrew Hannon led the run with a 3-pointer and a 15-footer around the two-minute mark that put the Bulldogs up 40-25. Wellsville got a bucket to close the quarter out, but BHS was still up 40-27.
The Eagles kept at it and cut the lead to 11 before the Bulldogs closed it out for the 14-point win. Hannon was the lone player in double digits with 19 points as BHS upped its record to 4-11.
"I thought Friday we had some spots that were as good as any spots we've had all year in finding the open man," said Haas. "We outscored them in every quarter, so there weren't any major problems.
That was Friday around 9 p.m. At 4 p.m. Saturday, BHS took to the court against Pembroke Hill and based on players the school has sent on to the collegiate ranks, most people thought it would be a rough game for Baldwin. It wasn't and the Bulldogs actually had two chances to win it at the buzzer, but came up short.
"We were real confident going into the game because we're a little more settled with our rotation and our roles. I think everyone in our camp was confident we could win," he said. "We've been there before. I thought it was a winning effort. The point is we worked hard in the game. We had a couple of lapses in the second quarter."
It was tied 19-19 after the first quarter, which was easily BHS's biggest point total of the season for the opening stanza. Pembroke Hill managed to take a 37-33 halftime lead and maintained that in the third for a 53-49 lead. Then it got interesting.
BHS had a 17-13 edge in the fourth quarter to knot the score. Keying the run were a 3-pointer by freshman Jeremy Wright at the 3:58 mark, a 3 by Hannon 20 seconds later and an eight-footer by senior Brian Lauridsen at the 2:44 mark. That brought it within five points and then it was the Joe show. Senior guard Joe Gipp his a 3-pointer at the 2:03 mark and a layup after a turnover to tie it at 66 with 1:48 left.
Pembroke Hill missed a shot with 18 seconds left to give BHS the game-winning chance. The Bulldog shot was just off and forced the overtime.
BHS opened the extra period with a layup by senior Anthony Myrick for the early lead. Pembroke took a 69-68 lead with 1:20 left, but Hannon got it back with a layup with less than a minute remaining. An inside shot with 16 seconds left gave Pembroke the lead. BHS then turned it over at :14, which looked like the end. But the Bulldogs fouled and Pembroke could only convert one free throw with 13 seconds left.
The Bulldogs again had the last shot with a chance for the win or a tie, but the it didn't fall.
"I felt like we gave a winning effort and I'm disappointed in the outcome, but not our team. I was proud of how we played," said Haas. "When we controlled the last shot of regulation and got a look that was more than make able and did the same at the end of overtime, I thought the ball was going in."
BHS dropped to 4-12 with the loss, but showed improvement in getting after it.
"I couldn't agree more that they're getting after it more each game," he said. "I liked what I saw after the game. I think our minds and hearts are in the right place headed into February. I saw no heads down."
Next up for the Bulldogs will be Friday's home game against Prairie View. Not only will it be King and Queen of Courts night, but also Senior Recognition Night because it's the last home game of the season for the boys.
"Prairie View is having a good season and is 7-5," Haas said. "They've got a good nucleus that's been around. They have the league's leading rebounder from a year ago who is leading the league again this year.
"I know this game is going to carry special weight for that reason," he said of the seniors last home game. "It's always a special night. The time has come. It's right in front of us."
Game time Friday is 8 p.m., although King and Queen of Courts and Senior Night festivities will probably alter that.
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