Baldwin's rebounding lifts Panthers over Crossroads
BALDWIN -- Familiar faces were meeting in different places on Tuesday in Baldwin when the Panthers hosted Crossroads Charter Academy in West Michigan D League boys basketball action.
The Cougars (1-3, 1-5) fell 50-47 against the Panthers (2-2, 3-2).
Cougar coach Rusty Fullerton is a former Baldwin girls basketball coach. Baldwin's coach JJ Eads was formerly the girls coach at Crossroads before going to Reed City for three seasons and is now spending his first year at Baldwin.
"Baldwin outworked us tonight," Fullerton said. "I was pleased with officiating. Baldwin held us on the edge tonight."
Baldwin built a 13-9 lead after the first quarter against the Cougars. Dexter Hossler scored to give Baldwin a 22-15 lead in the second quarter but CCA hung tight. Carmelo Anthony scored for a 24-15 Panther lead.
Raj Singh's 3-pointer for CCA cut the lead to 24-18. It was 26-20 at halftime. Anthony had nine points for Baldwin and Issac Slomp eight for CCA in the first half.
Slomp score inside earlier in the third to tie the game 26-26. Lavonte Palmer's basket helped Baldwin increase its lead to 30-26. But CCA went on a run to take the lead 35-30. Tyler Omo's basket gave CCA the five-point lead as the Baldwin offense continued to struggle. Aveon Hobbs had a key triple for the Panthers. CCA led 35-34 going into the final quarter.
Hossler scored off a steal for a 38-37 Panther lead at 5:30 of the fourth. Lavonte Palmer scored later for a 43-39 Baldwin lead. Hobbs' triple made it 46-42 at the three-minute mark.
CCA was in the bonus and was hitting some free throws to stay in the game. Carnes missed two free throws for CCA and Baldwin went up 48-45 on Leonard McNeilly's basket at 1:03.
CCA had a chance to take the lead but Palmer stole the ball and passed to Hossler for a basket and 50-47 lead with 20 seconds to play.
The Panthers couldn't put it away at the free-throw line and CCA, trailing by three, had the inbounds pass with a second left but turned the ball over.
The Panthers had a key rebounding advantage.
"We have to work on boxing out and free throws," Fullerton said. "That was the difference tonight, boxing out."
Anthony had 13 points while Hossler and Hobbs had 10 apiece.
"I don't know where to start with this one," Eads said. "I thought we got off to a decent start. Then we had so many lulls, missed some assignments on defense and missed way too many layups on offense. We were out of sync."
Slomp and Singh had 14 points apiece for CCA.
"We did get some big boards," Eads said. "The turnovers we had at the end of the game we can't have. But it's a W and we'll take it."
Crossroads is at Brethren on Thursday. Baldwin is at Walkerville on Thursday.