Baldwin boys win season opener over TCC
BALDWIN -- Baldwin's boys basketball team entered Tuesday's opener looking to start what they hope will be a winning season after falling well below .500 last year.
The Panthers triumphed 67-62 against Traverse City Christian at Baldwin.
It marked the Baldwin coaching debut of former Reed City boys and Crossroads girls coach JJ Eads.
"It was an exciting first night," Eads said. "Being my first game at Baldwin for me and the kids, the home atmosphere was cool tonight. I thought the crowd got into it. It was an exciting game."
TCC grabbed an 18-14 lead after the first quarter. But the Panther fast break started clicking in the second quarter. Aveon Hobbs netted a pair of threes to give Baldwin a 28-22 lead midway in the quarter.
Baldwin had a 33-29 lead going into halftime.
Dexter Hossler hit a pair of triples in the fourth to help the Panthers keep the lead.
Darrion Hayter had a 3-point play late in the third for a 49-42 Baldwin lead. Lavonte Palmer scored at 0:34 for a 51-45 lead. It was 51-47 going into the fourth.
Hayter scored a layup off the give-and-go and Carmelo Lindsey hit a triple for a 56-48 lead with 6:13 to play. Dylan Hibma's putback made it 60-54 midway in the quarter.
Lindsey's free throw made it 63-57 at 1:58. Palmer added a free throw at 1:09 for a 64-60 lead. Hibma had a key block and defensive rebound at the other end. Lindsey added a free throw for a 65-61 lead at 0:52.
TCC couldn't get the shots at the other end and the Panthers got the key rebounds. Palmer's free throw made it 66-61 with 14 seconds to go. Hibma had a defensive rebound and steal in the remaining seconds to ice the win.
Lindsey scored 16 points while Palmer had 12 and Hobbs added 11.
"We did well working together as a team and not giving up on it," Palmer said. "It's a new team and a better environment."
"We need to work on free throws and defense," Hobbs said. "We need (better) concentration."
Brock Broderick had 26 points and Elijah Mleko had 21 for the visitors.
"Traverse City had a couple of special players who hit some tough shots on us," Eads said. "The first game, there's always some things you can do better. The kids battled hard, stuck together and overcame mistakes. They stuck to it."
Baldwin is home on Thursday against Pentwater in West Michigan D League action.