Baldwin coach nets 100th win

BALDWIN — It was quite a unique time for Baldwin coach Scott Pedigo to gain his 100th victory as the Panther basketball skipper.

Win No. 100 came on Saturday in a 59-58 victory in non-league action over Covert.

The game went down to the wire. Covert led 12-10 after the first quarter and 27-26 at halftime. Baldwin took a 42-39 lead into the fourth quarter.

“Its a rivalry game,” said Pedigo. “Whenever you play it, throw out the records. It’s about pride, about community, that type of thing. We were down seven the first quarter and came back from that and to be up by nine at the end and they actually went up by two. I thought we did a better job of finishing. We had some mental errors.”

Brandon Childress drove for two with 10 seconds left for a 59-55 Baldwin lead. Covert hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer.

“This is one when the calendar comes out, it’s circled,” Pedigo said. “I don’t care what the records are, we get a lot fans. Our gym usually gets loud. It’s been a tradition. Hopefully the tradition will continue. I know they get a lot of fans from Covert. I’m hoping they’re able to keep the school open.”

Covert fell to 10-9.

“I knew it was going to be a fast-paced game, up and down,” said Covert coach Dennis Brunt. “They put a lot of pressure on us. We have a point guard who’s a sophomore. He’s not our regular point guard. Our regular point guard is injured. He did the best he could do. The pressure got to him.”

Childress scored 19 points for Baldwin while Karlos Perez had 18 points and Andon Ware 13 points. Perez grabbed 13 rebounds compared to eight for Ware and six apiece for Childress and Devon Sparks-Burrell.

It’s Pedigo’s ninth season as coach.

“It means a lot to the kids,” Pedigo said of the 100-win milestone. “It means a lot. I think it’s a big deal nowadays. A lot of guys ... from the year I started, they don’t stay around nine years. I look at it that a lot of kids over the years were a part of it with different ups and downs. If I made 100 kids better people I’d be a little happier than for my 100 wins. It took a lot of kids to believe in me to get to where I’m at and believe in what I’m doing.”

Baldwin is 12-5 overall. The Panthers were able to come off a victory from Friday night 60-40 over Brethren and 10-4 in the West Michigan D league. It was 16-10, Baldwin, after the first quarter and 27-14 at halftime. The Panthers led after the third quarter 34-23 and outscored the visitors 26-17 in the final eight minutes.

Childress scored 18 points against Brethren while Perez had 17 points and Ware and Sparks-Burrell added seven apiece. Perez also grabbed 10 rebounds.

“We played around with a 10-point lead all night, burst out and made it 18 and they’d cut it down to 10,” Pedigo said. “I was trying to limit playing time for this game and save some legs for Saturday.”

Baldwin plays Friday at Manistee Catholic and will try to get some revenge for a loss sustained earlier in the season.

“They’re tied for first place right now (with Bear Lake),” Pedigo said. “Both of those teams are waiting on us right now. If we beat either of them. We might as well be a spoiler going into districts. It’s kind of a district-like atmosphere.”

Baldwin will be playing in the Class D McBain Northern Michigan Christian district starting March 7 against the host

team.

“It’s only a four-team district, Marion plays Buckley,” Pedigo said. “McBain (NMC) is definitely the favorite. We went up against them in the district finals last year. Buckley isn’t bad either.”