Bulldogs drop games
It was the best of times and it was the worst of times for the Baldwin High School boys basketball team during its 64-53 loss at Eudora on Tuesday night.
The Bulldogs only managed 11 points the first half, while scoring 42 in the second half.
"We can't come out and score 11 points in the first half," coach Heath Cooper said. "That's horrible. "We've got to put two halves together and be intense. I think we've had one game where we had four quarters of all-out intensity."
Cooper said the ability to play good for one half has been the team's trademark this season.
"We show flashes of brilliance every game it seems like," Cooper said. "We just cannot put four quarters together. It's the story of the year."
Junior Jeremy Wright agreed with Cooper.
"Not putting the full game together has basically been our thing all year," Wright said. "Hopefully it will come together in sub-state."
The Bulldogs trailed 13-8 after the first quarter and went on an eight-minute scoring drought. Wright hit a three-pointer with one-minute left in the half, taking them to halftime down 25-11.
"We were flat the first half and coach kind of got our heads screwed on at halftime," Wright said. "We came out the second half a lot more fired up."
Sophomore Travis Moore also said the coach's halftime speech motivated them to play hard in the second half.
"In the first half, we just didn't come out and play hard," Moore said. "For the second half, coach gave us a good speech and motivated us. We came out and played our best."
Baldwin closed the lead to 11, before Eudora went on a 9-3 run to close the third quarter.
The Bulldogs did cut the lead down to only six late in the fourth quarter, but were unable to get any closer as Eudora made its free throws.
Cooper said the team needs to show intensity the entire game, not just moments during the game.
"You can't turn intensity on and off, it has to be full force, especially at this time of the year," Cooper said. "There is no turning back, especially when we play next Monday at sub-state."
Cooper also said the Bulldogs had a little trouble against Eudora's zone defense.
"We struggled with the zone, because we weren't getting all five guys looks," Cooper said. "We are just going guard to guard. The way to beat a zone is to get into the middle."
The Bulldogs had their chance to defeat league rival Gardner-Edgerton on Friday night, but fell short in the fourth quarter, losing 58-44.
"We played good for three quarters, but in the fourth quarter, we didn't play very good," Cooper said. "We really killed ourselves. We fell asleep in the fourth quarter. Gardner is really good, but I think a lot of the errors we had were things we did to ourselves."
Baldwin played Gardner close in the first half, by controlling the tempo of the game. Baldwin trailed at 22-21 at halftime.
"Our goal was to control the tempo, and we did that with our defenses," Cooper said. "We were patient and made sure we got good looks."
The Bulldogs stayed close to Gardner in the third quarter and only trailed by six points heading into the final quarter.
But Gardner took control of the game early in the fourth quarter, and put Baldwin out of reach.
"When we would miss an easy shot or turn it over, they would come down and hit a three," Cooper said. "That's a five-point swing. That happened to us three or four times, and that's 20 points."
Cooper said the team didn't use its possessions wisely in the fourth quarter.
"When we got in our half-court sets, we didn't take care of the ball and have good possessions," Cooper said. "This time of the year, every possession matters. Every possession on offense and defense is important."
The Bulldogs', now 6-13, final regular season game will be played at 8 p.m. on Friday at home against rival Wellsville.
The Bulldogs have received the six seed for sub-state. They will play in the first-round on Monday in Louisburg .
"We better come out with some emotion," Cooper said about Friday's game. "I don't see any reason why we shouldn't. It's a rivalry, it's senior night and we're at home. You would think we would come out intense."
Wright said Friday's game will be different than Tuesday's game.
"It will be a lot different than this," Wright said. "I've got a feeling we are going to come out very intense and smack them."