Bulldogs post win over Paola
By Jimmy Gillispie
Signal Sports Writer
The Baldwin High School boys basketball team picked up its first win since losing senior Andy Hannon, by defeating Paola High School 57-47 at home on Jan. 6, to improve its record to 3-5.
"I'm really proud of our players, because basically from start to finish, we did what we set out to do," coach Jeff Haas said.
The Bulldogs and Panthers battled back and forth for most of the game, as the largest lead was only five points until the fourth quarter.
During the first quarter there were three lead changes and ended up with Baldwin on top 13-12. The Bulldogs also went with a zone defense part of the first half, and then switched back and forth with a man-to-man.
"We mixed it up quite a bit," Haas said. "It was something that we wanted to do in this game. We thought that would help us a lot. I thought what was effective for us, was mixing it up."
The second quarter was very similar, but it was Paola who had the edge, as the Panthers jumped out to 22-17 lead midway through the quarter. But Baldwin fought back with an 8-3 run and tied the game 25-25 with a layup by Austin Inzer, after he grabbed the rebound off his own 3-point shot.
The third quarter would be much of the same, as there were six lead changes and the largest lead was four by Baldwin. But the Bulldogs went into the fourth quarter leading 38-36.
The Bulldogs led early in the quarter 40-39, and then went on a 7-2 run to separate themselves from the Panthers. Paola would never recover and could only close the lead to four points. Down the stretch Baldwin made big plays and made its last four free throws to secure the victory.
"We were a lot more patient and executed better as a team," senior Brian Turk said. "We played smarter and committed less turnovers."
Senior Micah Mason said one of the reasons for the win was because the team achieved what the coaches asked them to do.
"We just played superb," Mason said. "Before every game, coach gives up goals. Those goals are meant to make us better as a team. We achieved each goal and beyond. The whole team played phenomenal."
The victory was also able to build some confidence for the team, because they were able to win without Hannon.
"That was a very important win for us," Mason said. "It was a confidence builder for us. We came out and had a lot of fun and ended up with a win. The crowd was great; they're always great."
The Bulldogs were led in scoring by Inzer, who had 12 points, but was followed closely by Mason and sophomore Ryan Jorgensen, who each added 11. Mason had a double-double, as he also grabbed 10 defensive rebounds.
As a team, Baldwin only committed nine turnovers, but had 13 assists for the game. The Bulldogs also shot 63 percent from the two-point range.
The junior varsity team also pulled off a win against Paola. BHS won 38-34, and was led by sophomore Aaron Hannon, who scored nine points for the Bulldogs.
"In the first half I saw us play the best defense that we have played all year," junior varsity coach Troy Webb said. "We only gave up one basket. In the second half, we just kind of held on to get the win."
Baldwin has a week full of traveling to games. The Bulldogs played Tuesday night at Osage City, but results weren't available by press time. They travel to Gardner Friday night to play at 8 p.m., and then to Riley County Saturday to play at 6 p.m. Next week, they will be hosting the Baldwin Invitational Tournament.