Baldwin boys advance in BIT
Baldwin edged a hot-shooting Bishop Ward team, 53-50, to advance in Tuesday’s first round of the Baldwin Invitational Tournament.
Baldwin, which was ahead by 16 points in the first half, could relax only when officials waved off a driving basket by Bishop Ward’s Cole Henley on a charging call with three seconds remaining.
“It could have gone either way,” Baldwin coach Dustin Leochner said. “I think everybody in the building knew he was going to go to the basket when he got the ball. That gave officials time to get a good look.”
It didn’t appear early as if the Bulldogs were in for much of a fight. Baldwin picked apart Bishop Ward’s game-opening, man-to-man defense to build a 24-8 lead with 6:02 to play in the second quarter. Leading the way early for the Bulldogs was sophomore Christian Gaylord, who had eight of his 12 points in the game’s first 10 minutes.
“They couldn’t match up to us in the man to man,” Leochner said. “We did a nice job of executing the high-low post.”
Cyclone coach Zack Swanson adjusted, switching to a zone defense. That and Bishop Ward’s 1-3-1 zone press, which forced a number of second-quarter turnovers, helped the Cyclones get back into the game.
Leochner said the Bulldogs expected a zone but failed to execute. Baldwin was cold from the outside and turned the ball over when the Cyclones trapped out of the zone.
Bishop Ward also benefitted from hot shooting from beyond the arc. The Cyclones made eight 3-pointers on the night. Junior Evan Brull drained five old-school rainbow set shots, the last of which gave Bishop Ward a 43-40 lead with 5 minutes left in the game.
Baldwin came back quickly as it started finding gaps in the Bishop Ward zone for baskets at the rim. The Bulldogs then got a big 3-point play of its own when junior Tim Craig connected from the right corner, giving the Bulldogs a 51-45 advantage with 1:50 to play. Junior Cornell Brown added two free throws as the Bulldogs built the lead to 53-48 with 45 seconds on the clock.
With the win, Baldwin, the second-seed in the tournament, will play third-seeded Anderson County at 7 p.m. Friday. Baldwin already owns a tournament win against Anderson County this year, claiming a 12-point victory in the first round of December’s Bulldog-Wildcat Classic.
Baldwin 53, Bishop Ward 50
Baldwin 18 12 8 15 – 53
Bishop Ward 6 15 14 15 50
Baldwin: Chad Berg 5, Tim Craig 8, Cornell Brown 6, Luke Fursman 8, Michael Burton 2, Caleb Gaylord 12, Christian Gaylord 12
Bishop Ward: Long Ho 4, Evan Brull 15, Manny Talavera 7, Cole Henley 13, Steven Gramblin 7, Zavier Tucker 2, Andrew Kump 2
Baldwin Invitational scores
Wellsville 54, Perry Lecompton 40
Bonner Springs 42, KC Christian 32
Anderson County 55, Augusta 35
No. 1 Wellsville vs. No. 4 Bonner Springs, 8:30 p.m.
No. 2 Baldwin vs. No. 3 Anderson County 7 p.m.
No. 8 Perry Lacompton vs. No. 5 KC Christian 4 p.m.
No. 7 KC Bishop Ward vs. No. 6 Augusta 6:30 p.m.
1st place game 5:30 p.m.
3rd place game 4 p.m.
5th place game, 2:30 p.m.
7th place game, 1 p.m.