Bulldogs rebound with win over Trojans
According to coaches, the best cure for a loss is to get back out on the court and play another game.
That was exactly the mindset of Baldwin High School’s boys’ basketball team Tuesday night as it squared off against Osawatomie. The Bulldogs rebounded from Saturday’s tough loss with a solid victory over the Trojans, 65-54.
“The most important thing tonight is that we just needed a win,” coach Eric Toot said. “After losing Saturday, we had a really bad taste in our mouth. We couldn't afford to lose two in a row at home. We have to get it turned around and tonight we took a step in the right direction.”
Both teams battled closely for most of the contest. Baldwin used its height and offensive skills to build small leads, but the Trojans stayed close by shooting the long ball. The Trojans hit five three-pointers for the game.
“We played pretty well tonight, in spurts,” Toot said. “We played a lot more zone than we normally do. They got hot in the first half, but we stayed patient. In the second half, they started missing and we were able to pull away. We got to the line tonight and made our free throws. That was big.”
Baldwin sank 19 of 25 free throws Tuesday. Osawatomie shot a better percentage, but only made 13 of 17. Most of Baldwin’s foul shots came in the fourth quarter, as BHS outscored the Trojans 23-16 in the period.
“We just gradually pulled away early in the fourth,” Toot said. “We had good possessions and made some good plays. We got up about 10 halfway through the fourth and then made our free throws down the stretch.”
Senior Brandon Tommer once again led the Bulldogs. He scored 18 points in the victory. Junior Zach Wright (14), senior Sam Beecher (12) and sophomore Justin Vander Tuig (11) also scored in double figures.
“He had a quiet 18 tonight,” Toot said of Tommer. “I don’t think he took very many shots. Sam Beecher really stepped up tonight. He was eight of eight from the line. He’s a great free throw shooter, so we’re trying to get him to be more aggressive and get to the line more during games.”
The BHS boys’ teams swept Osawatomie Tuesday at home. The junior varsity boys’ team narrowly beat the Trojans, 56-49, despite shooting 12 of 28 from the free throw line. Sophomore Nate Growcock led the team with 14 points and sophomore Josh Hoffman added 10.
The BHS freshmen boys’ squad easily beat Osawatomie. The Bulldogs won 39-18 Tuesday. Chip Kueffer scored a game-high 13 points. Ian Dunn chipped in eight.
The Bulldogs will host De Soto on Friday. The BHS freshmen will start at 4:30 p.m. with the JV to follow at 6 p.m. The varsity will play last at approximately 7:30 p.m.
“They are a very good team and they’re having a great year,” Toot said of the Wildcats. “They have some of the best shooters in the league and they have a great freshman guard. We’ll have to really stick it to them defensively Friday.”