Quick start helps BHS boys beat rival Wellsville
Unlike its previous game, the Baldwin High School boys' basketball team wasted no time in taking the lead Friday night against rival Wellsville.
On Jan. 2, the Bulldogs took their first lead of the game with nine seconds remaining in their 44-43 win over Paola. Friday's contest wasn't so close.
Baldwin trailed 2-0 quickly, but soon took a 4-2 lead and never looked back. BHS (5-1) went on to win 53-41 and take its fourth consecutive victory.
"We're off to a good start being 5-1 and 3-0 in the league," coach Eric Toot said. "I like where we are at right now."
The Bulldogs led by 17 early in the fourth quarter, but the Eagles closed the game on a 6-0 run. BHS senior Blake Wieden was excited to beat the rival Eagles.
"It feels good, because it is a rivalry," Wieden said. "It was a good atmosphere for the Friday after break. So it was a good win."
Toot said the Bulldogs' defense won the game, because the offense struggled again.
"Defensively, I thought we were incredible once again," Toot said. "We were playing solid as a team. I liked our transition game offensively, but we are struggling in the half court on the offensive end, though. All of it's new and I think we'll keep getting better in that phase of the game."
Baldwin only managed to score five points in the fourth quarter. A late third quarter run helped give BHS enough cushion for the final eight minutes.
BHS led 37-20 early in the third quarter, before Wellsville went on an 11-4 run to close Baldwin's lead to 10 points. BHS then finished the final 2:45 of the quarter with a 7-2 surge of its own to build its lead back up.
The Bulldogs led 33-20 at halftime, thanks to a 10-0 run led by junior Zach Durr, who scored six points during the streak. He went on to score nine points as Wieden tallied 18 in the victory. Senior Andrew Madl also added nine points.
"We played really well defensively and met a lot of the goals we were trying to reach," Wieden said. "Our offense struggled at times, but was still good enough to get the win."
Toot said the Bulldogs played tough defense, especially on Wellsville's post players.
"I think one of the keys to help shutting big guys down is for our guards to pressure the ball," Toot said. "With some of the guards that we have, that's one of our strong suits and they did a good job tonight. Our post men played tough tonight, too."
Wieden agreed, saying the team practiced defense a lot last week.
"We worked a lot on help-side defense during the week," Wieden said. "They were trying to lob over our heads, so we worked on guys being on the back side to help stop that."
Baldwin will next host Santa Fe Trail at 8 p.m. Friday at home.