Hannon, Wright team up to lead Bulldogs to wins
With their leading scorer back from an injury, the Baldwin High School Bulldogs were at full strength for the first time in over a month and it showed. They came away with two big, back-to-back victories in Frontier League play.
First, in a snow make-up game on Thursday, senior Andrew Hannon made his debut back in the lineup and scored 36 points to lead the Bulldogs to an 80-51 win on the road at Prairie View. BHS followed that up on King and Queen of Courts night Friday with a 68-59 victory over Eudora. Hannon had 26 points in that one and was also crowned king at halftime.
But, there was even more good news. Sophomore Jeremy Wright, who had become the Bulldog's leading scorer in Hannon's absence, played a major role in both games as well, giving the Bulldogs a heavy one-two punch to go along with a team concept that's carried BHS through some tough times. Wright had 25 points against Prairie View and 22 against Eudora.
"The wins over Prairie View and Eudora were great for our team because they confirmed that we have grown as a team and that we are much better at full strength," said coach Jeff Haas. "Everyone now knows that we are and will be a team to be reckoned with down the stretch.
"This is something the players and coaches knew before this weekend," said Haas. "I am very proud of the way our players and staff have fought through the various adversities we have had to deal with during our season."
In the Eudora win, the game was close until the end. BHS was up 18-17 after the first quarter, but the Cardinals had a 33-31 halftime lead. BHS regained the lead with a 22-13 edge in the third quarter, but Eudora came back to pull within one, 60-59, with 55 seconds left.
That's as close as it got, as Hannon and Wright combined for eight straight free throws to ice the win.
The Prairie View game was never in doubt. BHS was up 20-12 after the first quarter, 45-26 at halftime and coasted from there. In both games, the rest of the BHS squad chipped in with points to go along with Hannon and Wright's big numbers.
"Andy was spectacular particularly offensively in each contest," he said. "Jeremy Wright is now playing with added confidence as well, which was to be expected. The numbers those two have put up in tandem have been tremendous.
"We are looking to stronger blockouts and a third consistent scoring threat to bring us to the next level," said Haas. "We all look forward to Spring Hill coming to our place at long last on Friday. They are playing well now, but so are we. It should be fun."
BHS will play host to Spring Hill in a boys-only night of basketball in the junior high gym beginning at 5:30 p.m. BHS will bring a 9-10 overall record into the varsity contest and a 5-2 Frontier League mark.
But, it's not all varsity that's catching Haas' eye. The freshmen team stands 12-1 and the junior varsity has been doing some remarkable things as well.
"Our freshman team is on the verge of a great season and our JV played possibly the best team defense I have ever seen at that level in allowing a winning JV team to only score 17 points for a game against Eudora the other night," he said. "Needless to say, the varsity has not bee out done by those two with the pair of wins this weekend. We now sit at 5-2 in league."