Paola’s threes down Bulldogs
A barrage of three-pointers in the first 11 minutes of the game doomed the Baldwin High School boys basketball team in its 72-67 loss to Paola here Tuesday night.
Paola sank 10 of 13 threes in the first half, despite being guarded on many of the attempts.
"They hit a lot of threes early," coach Heath Cooper said. "I felt like we guarded them. They just made some big shots, and they have some really good shooters. That's the difference in the game."
Cooper said he thought the team did a good job of defending Paola's shots.
"I felt like we defended it pretty well," Cooper said. "They did a good job of skipping the ball across the court."
Despite draining six three-pointers in the first quarter, Paola only led by four points at the end of the quarter.
Baldwin would stay close throughout the second quarter by making lay-ups on the Paola defense. The Bulldogs trailed 45-35 at halftime.
Baldwin rallied back in the third quarter to close the lead to only three heading into the final quarter.
"We kept looking down low and penetrating," junior Ryan Jorgensen said. "We knew they would come out cold in the second half, because no one can stay that hot all game."
Baldwin got within one of Paola early in the fourth quarter, but was never able to gain the lead.
"They knew how to take care of the ball and they knew how to make free throws," Cooper said. "They are a veteran team and they know how to win."
Jorgensen said the Bulldogs are improving, but they must work on the small things to win games.
"I thought we played better," Jorgensen said. "It still comes down to little things at the end, like turnovers and stupid mistakes."
Cooper said the team played well, especially in the half-court set on offense.
"Defensively, I thought we were pretty good," Cooper said. "I felt like we rebounded well, but I felt like they just made some shots. This was our best game in the half-court offense."
Junior Aaron Hannon led the way for Baldwin with 16 points. Senior Chris Irick added 13 points, while junior Jeremy Wright and Jorgensen each put up nine. Seniors Austin Inzer and Ben Knoll each contributed six points for Baldwin.
On Friday night, the Bulldogs took care of Frontier League opponent DeSoto, winning 69-53.
Baldwin made 20 of its 25 free-throw attempts in the second half on its way to a 69-53 victory. Wright led Baldwin by making 10 of 12 from the line.
"We've been harping on it in practice so much, and it's finally starting to come through," Cooper said. "Jeremy (Wright) was great from the line tonight. Really, they all were."
Hannon made eight of 10 free throws, while sophomore Sam Scott sank six of his eight attempts.
Baldwin took the lead midway through the second quarter and held it the rest of the way. The Bulldogs went on a 10-0 run early in the second half to give them a 13-point lead, but DeSoto still hung close.
The Bulldogs managed just one point in the first three minutes of the fourth quarter because of DeSoto's full-court press. DeSoto pulled within eight points, but Cooper called a time-out to solve the press.
"We called a time-out and told them to pass through it because we were dribbling through it," Cooper said. "They did a really good job of the press; I thought they were going to make a run at it."
Baldwin began to break the press, which forced DeSoto into committing fouls. Baldwin sank 28 of its 37 free throws on way to the victory.
DeSoto coach Jason Generally agreed that free throws were the difference in the game.
"They were 28-of-27; that's a ton of free throws," Generally said. "We were 50 percent from the line."
Wright led Baldwin with 18 points and Hannon chipped in with 16. Jorgensen added nine points, Scott put up eight and Irick totaled seven points.
The Bulldogs will next play Anderson County at 8 p.m. on Friday in Garnett.