Baldwin boys race past Chanute in Bulldog/Wildcat Classic
The Baldwin Bulldogs exploded for 27 second-quarter points Monday to pull away from Chanute on the way to a 67-52 victory in their opening game of the Bulldog/Wildcat Classic.
Points in the quarter came in transition and in the half-court set. In the middle of the surge was senior Cornell Brown, who scored 10 of his game-high 21 points in the quarter. The Bulldogs knocked down five three-pointers in the quarter — three by senior guard Tim Craig — as they increased what had been a two-point advantage at the end of the first quarter to a 38-22 halftime lead.
“We played really well that second quarter,” Baldwin boys coach Dustin Leochner said. “We got out on transition, and he (Brown) was able to create things in transition
“We were finding gaps in the 1-3-1 zone, the big guys finished inside or kicked it out to the wings and they knocked down some shots.”
The Bulldogs’ success against the Blue Comets’ 1-3-1 zone was in stark contrast to the team’s struggles against the a zone Jeff County North deployed in Baldwin’s opening game Friday. While crediting his team with finding gaps in the zone and getting the ball to post players, Leochner noted it was a much looser defense than the packed in 2-3 zone of Jeff County.
Chanute scrapped the zone at half in favor of man-to-man. It proved effective as Baldwin scored only five points in the third period, including the second three-pointer of the game from sophomore Jackson Barth as he tallied his first varsity points.
“Odd as it seems, we were a little rusty against the man,” Leochner said of the third-quarter slump. “We hadn’t seen it in six quarters.
“We talked about at halftime how, in the game of basketball, droughts will come. The key to a good team is to be patient, keep running your stuff, keep playing good defense and wait for the shots to start falling again.”
The points came again in the fourth quarter when the Bulldogs scored 24. In an attempt to get back in the game, Chanute started pressing full court. It was a move Leochner welcomed because it gave the team the chance to get game-time experience against full court pressure.
“I thought we handled it pretty well,” Leochner said. “We haven’t really practiced our press break this year.”
Brown was again big in the final period with 11 fourth-quarter points, including nine from the free-throw line.
Baldwin got enough layups off the press and made enough free throws to allow Leochner to pull starters in the game’s final minute.
The tournament that alternates annually between Baldwin and Burlington has a pool format. Baldwin played Wednesday against Iola, a 51-40 loser Tuesday to Chanute. With a win, the Bulldogs would have advanced to the championship game Friday.
“It’ll be challenge no matter who we play Friday,” Leochner said.
Baldwin 67, Chanute 52
Baldwin (2-0) 11 27 5 24 – 67
Chanute (0-2) 9 13 10 20 – 52
Baldwin scoring: Cornell Brown 21, Tim Craig 13, Luke Fursman 12, Jackson Barth 6, Michael Burton 6, Quinn Twombly 9
Chanute scoring: Caleb Dietsch 18, Colton Erickson 3, Trey Ellis 10, Derek Sharp 11, Aaron Haviland 3, Austin Troxell 7