Baldwin boys basketball stays on track with strong win over Bear Lake

BALDWIN—Baldwin boys basketball stayed undefeated in West Michigan D League play on Wednesday night (Jan. 25) against Bear Lake.

Playing one of their cleanest games defensively on the year, the Panthers improved to 10-1 overall and 8-0 in conference play by beating Bear Lake 58-32.

"It was a little bit of a slow start, we were throwing up a lot of bricks early. Kind of rushing on offense," Coach JJ Eads said. "We've had three very emotional games in a row. I knew that it could be a possibility. It's not like we're doing terribly, just couldn't get shots to fall early. Defensively, we're just one step behind that a few things that we're trying to do. Then we changed it up there in a second quarter and we changed up again at halftime just to do different things at this time of year."

The Panthers were unable to get a shot to fall to begin the night, falling behind 9-7 at the end of the first quarter. In the second quarter, the offense found its groove behind strong outside shooting from SJ Hossler and strong play at the rim by Louie Jackson. Baldwin scored 25 points in the quarter to lead 32-14 at the half.

The second half was more of the same, with Carmelo Lindsey also finding a groove and scoring 10 points in the third quarter and Baldwin entered the fourth up 51-22.

A big improvement on the evening in comparison to last week was Baldwin's clean play defensively. Bear Lake attempted only 18 free throws on the evening compared to Brethren which shot 32 free throws on Thursday. 

"It was definitely the main focus of practice the last couple days, to be honest with you," Eads said. "They've just got to learn to move on to the next play no matter what happened on the previous play. It was nice not having everybody in foul trouble and not having our opponents shoot 40 free throws."

SJ Hossler led the team in scoring with 20 points. Jackson scored 17 points and Lindsey added 12. 

"When we played against Brethren we went into a lot of man, and our defense is called Buzz. We did really good in our 2-3 and they just broke down," Louie Jackson said on the team's strong and clean defensive performance.