Ware leads way for Baldwin

BALDWIN — Andon Ware saved one of his best games of the season for the right time.

The Baldwin junior netted 28 points and dished out five assists in Baldwin’s 69-58 West Michigan D League victory over Bear Lake last week.

The victory improved Baldwin’s record to 13-6 overall and 11-5 in the West Michigan D league. It also cost Bear Lake a share of the title. Baldwin went to beat Northport on Thursday to end the regular season.

“It’s the best one,” Ware said of the victory. “We took away their share of the league championship. We couldn’t win it so we had to spoil it for somebody else.”

Ware’s points numbers caught his coach, Baldwin skipper Scott Pedigo slightly off guard.

“I didn’t know he had that many,” Pedigo said. “He’s capable of having those games. He’s had a few like those throughout the year He did a nice job of waiting for his shots tonight. He took some chances earlier. He changed his game and did a lot of nice things for us. With some of the assists he threw, he could have easily had the layup too.”

Ware put in 12 field goals and added four free throws.

“Overall, our team effort was important, it was a good game to win,” Ware said. “We came out and didn’t let them stop us and played well and kept working hard. We took care of the basketball.”

He had 13 points in the first half to lift his team to a 34-19 lead at the intermission and put in 11 points in the fourth quarter.

“Andon’s a nice player,” Bear Lake coach Bryan Groenwald said. “The (Karlos) Perez kid, we were counting on him getting into foul trouble. We couldn’t get him deep enough into foul trouble and he hit us on the boards pretty hard. That doesn’t surprise me too much.”

“When he gets going, we’re tough to beat,” Pedigo said of Ware. “He’s been playing well. Brandon (Childress) is playing well. If Andon gets hot, we’re tough to beat.”

It’s been a fun year as far as Ware is concerned.

“A lot of games we should have won,” Ware said. “We weren’t out of any game.”

The Panthers played on March 7 at McBain Northern Michigan Christian against the host school in a Class D district semifinal game. The finals are Friday.

“Hopefully we can cap if off with a district title,” Ware said. “We have to take care of the ball.”

The win over Bear Lake will hopefully give his team valuable momentum headed into upcoming games, Ware indicated.

“It gives us a lot of confidence,” he said. “We know what each player can do. We know we can get better.”