Panthers sophomore plays key role
BALDWIN — One of the reasons the Baldwin Panthers boys basketball team is undefeated entering the holiday break has been the Panthers’ ability to use role players to come up with key plays at critical times.
A strong example was in the Pentwater game in which the Panthers scored a 70-67 triple overtime victory.
Brandon Childress netted 30 points and Andon Ware added 25 points and 10 rebounds for the Panthers, who overcame a shaky 11-of-32 clip from the free-throw line.
But sophomore Damon Nichols came through in a key way. With 44 seconds left in the third overtime, Nichols hit a layup for a 69-67 lead and Childress netted a free throw moments later and grabbed the rebound on the defensive end to seal the win.
“I knew I had to go in because Andon had fouled out,” Nichols said. “I had to step up. It was my first basket of the year and it helped out a lot in that game. I was happy about that.”
Nichols is a shooting guard focusing also on 3-pointers. As a sophomore, the Panthers are planning on using him significantly.
“I feel confident about it,” Nichols said, adding that during the off-season, ”I work on everything. I haven’t played basketball since the seventh grade. I thought it’d be a good opportunity to do that this year. So I worked on that during the offseason.”
Nichols indicated he was a little rusty at first getting a basketball back in his hands.
“But I think I’m getting back in the groove,” he said.
Baldwin’s road game at Walkerville last Thursday was postponed. The Panthers next game is Jan. 8 at Onekama, plus a home bout Jan. 10 with Brethren.
“I think we’re playing good right now and we’re starting to get it down pat,” Nichols said.