Baldwin boys clinch share of league title with senior night win
The Baldwin boys completed a 17-3 regular season Thursday, which included two tournament titles and an outright Frontier League crown with a 58-50 victory against De Soto.
The senior-laden Baldwin team overcame an all-to-familiar slow start to overtake De Soto at the 7:20 mark of the second quarter of the senior night game. The Bulldogs, facing another zone defense as they have five of the past six games, were able to get the ball inside in the first half for six points from senior center Quinn Twombly and senior forward Michael Burton in building a 25-18 halftime cushion.
Baldwin further stretched the lead in the third quarter, building its biggest advantage at 40-23 before De Soto ripped off nine-straight points. Twombly stopped the run with a conventional three-point play with 6:10 to play in the game.
“We talked about not having a slow start,” Baldwin coach Dustin Leochner said. “Hopefully, we get that out of our system. If we’re lucky enough to go deep, that can get you buried pretty quick. It can tighten you up and then you start missing a lot of shots you generally make and it spirals from there.”
In Thursday’s game, the Bulldogs kept their cool and caught the Wildcats. Leochner noted the team did it against a zone defense by getting the ball inside to his big men and by turning over De Soto on the press.
De Soto tried to make a game of it after the Bulldogs got careless the brother Dalton and Quinton Verhust make Baldwin bay, Leochner said.
Baldwin was able to hold the Wildcats at bay by hitting 7 of 9 free throws in the final two minutes, including five by senior guard Chad Berg.
It was the last regular season home game for eight Baldwin seniors, Berg, Cornell Brown, Michael Burton, Tim Craig, Ian Kirk, Seth Phillips and Quinn Twombly.
Ottawa’s loss Friday at Spring Hill gave Baldwin the outright Frontier League title with 9-3 record.
Baldwin 58, De Soto 50
Baldwin (17-3, 9-3) 9 16 15 18 – 58
De Soto (8-12, 3-9) 12 6 9 23 - 50
Baldwin scoring: Cornell Brown 12, Tim Craig 3, Chad Berg 14, Luke Fursman 10, Michael Burton 10, Quinn Twombly 9
De Soto: Max Taulbee 5, Luke Stenzel 5, Dalton Verhulst 4, Jackson Reynolds 4, Justin Johnson 5, Albert 2, Quinton Verhulst 20, Eric Williams 5.