BHS starts sluggish, sinks Vikings
After a double overtime victory in Ottawa on Jan.3, Baldwin High School boys' basketball coach Heath Cooper was worried about a let down against Central Heights at home Friday.
His worries were washed away quickly.
The Bulldogs (5-1) defeated Central Heights 69-44 to win their third consecutive game.
"It feels good to come away with a win," Cooper said. "I do think there was some layover effect from the Ottawa game a little bit. We came out really flat and had nine turnovers in the first quarter. Our guys fought through that. I think that shows another sign of improvement with our team."
Junior Sam Scott was also glad the team didn't drop its intensity for Friday's game.
"We really didn't want to come out and have a let down," Scott said. "It was nice to come out and get a big win at home."
The Bulldogs did start Friday's game with a bang as senior Jeremy Wright drained a three-pointer on the opening possession. But Central Heights answered back with its own shot from long range to tie the game.
Both teams struggled offensively for most of the quarter, but BHS scored four points in the final minute to take a 15-9 lead into the second quarter.
"We talked all week about coming out flat," Cooper said. "It's human nature to come out flat after a big win, and they came out flat. But I think in the other three quarters, they responded pretty well."
Baldwin opened up the second period with a 16-3 run and led 31-12 in the middle of the quarter. The Bulldogs went into halftime leading 37-22 and feeling confident.
"We challenged them during the game," Cooper said of Central Heights. "They wanted us to come out flat and play their slow style. But we got up by 15 at half. Despite the bad first quarter, we came back and played three fairly decent quarters."
During the third and fourth quarters, Baldwin held Central Heights to only 11 points per quarter as it opened its lead. The Bulldogs continued to pressure their opponent and score off turnovers.
"I think we wore them down a bit and they started to turn it over," Cooper said. "We made them work the full court and made them handle the ball quite a bit. Defensively, we were average."
Scott was proud of how many BHS players were able to get on the scoreboard.
"It felt really good to get the win," Scott said. "We came out and played really well together. The scoring was distributed well between a bunch of different players. It was nice to see a lot of different players score."
Friday's game was the first action for senior James Hightree, who was home schooled until this year and wasn't eligible until Friday.
Since he had to sit out the first five games, Hightree was excited and ready for the game.
"It felt great, because I have been waiting so long to play," Hightree said. "I was really excited. I was all pumped up."
Hightree was proud of how the team played together and got a big team win.
"I think we played really good as a team," Hightree said. "We passed it around pretty good and played well together."
The Bulldogs had three players score in double figures. Senior Jeremy Wright led the team with 15 points, six assists and three steals. Junior Blake Wieden totaled 13 points, four assists and two steals. Senior Ryan Jorgensen added 10 points for the Bulldogs.
Drew Berg scored eight points while grabbing five rebounds. Hightree and Scott grabbed six boards while scoring seven and six points, respectively.
On Tuesday, the Bulldogs were scheduled to play at Osawatomie, but the game was postponed until Wednesday because of weather. The results of that game were unavailable at press time. Check the Signal's Web site at www.baldwincity.com for results.
The next BHS game is at 8 p.m. Friday at home against Kansas City Turner. Then next week the Bulldogs will play in the Baldwin Invitational Tournament. Their first game is at 6 p.m. Tuesday versus Kansas City Christian.