Bearcats drop two, but coach sees benefits from losses

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Baldwyn’s Gabe Richardson reaches for the ball as Potts Camp’s Joquavis Muse (10) prepares to pass it during the second half of Saturday’s matchup in the Doc Vandiver Classic. Baldwyn had an early lead but fell to Potts Camp 70-66. News Photo/Jason Collum

BALDWYN – Columbus is bigger. Potts Camp is one of the top teams in Class 2A.

Baldwyn lost to both last week, but Coach Grant Goolsby said there was good that came out of both matchups.

Baldwyn (3-2) fell 57-42 to Class 5A Columbus (6-3) on Friday night after a sluggish first half that had more to do with Columbus’ play. A 25-point second quarter put the Falcons in the driver’s seat with a 37-21 halftime lead, but Baldwyn matched Columbus in the second half. 

“I told our guys and we had a full-court press practice for an hour and a half (against Columbus),” Goolsby said. “They were long and athletic and you know, I thought we turned the ball over but you cannot simulate that in practice. I think it’s going to help us in the long run.”

Senior Gabe Richardson led Baldwyn with 14 points against the Falcons, while Logan Potts drilled three three-point shots for nine points. Also scoring were Riley Hoard (8), Timothy Scales (4), Jakobe Williams (3) and Andy Trollinger and Rodney Stewart with two points each.

Potts Camp 70, Baldwyn 66

From the outset the Bearcats played aggressively against Potts Camp in the Doc Vandiver Classic, leading 16-10 at the end of the first quarter and running out to a 28-17 lead with three minutes to go in the first half. The Cardinals, however, went on a 13-0 run in that final three minutes to take the lead before Hoard’s layup with five seconds to go tied the game at 30 at the half.

It was one of three runs Baldwyn allowed that ultimately proved too much to overcome.

“They feed off turnovers and are a team of runs,” Goolsby said of Potts Camp. “(At the half) we talked about we had to limit that. But we didn’t take care of the ball.”

Baldwyn’s Riley Hoard goes up for a shot against Potts Camp. News Photo/Jason Collum

The Cardinals matched the Bearcats basket for basket and traded leads in the third quarter before Potts camp went on a 10-0 run and took a 44-36. 

Baldwyn’s Potts broke the run by dropping the first of this three second-half three-pointers and Baldwyn moved to cut the deficit to 4, 46-42. Potts Camp again put together another run, however, this time 7-0, to take a 53-42 lead into the fourth quarter. 

A shot by Hoard and free throws by Jakobe Williams cut the Cardinals’ lead to open the final quarter, but Potts Camp continued to take advantage of turnovers and built a 66-55 lead with 2:20 remaining. A three-pointer by Williams and three baskets by Richardson brought Baldwyn to within four points, 64-68 with 25 seconds remaining and free-throws by Richardson with 17.6 seconds to go made it a 68-66 game. Potts Camp reeled off two more free-throws, however, to seal the loss for Baldwyn, 70-66.

“A game like that can help us down the road,” Goolsby said. “They’re (Potts Camp) a favorite in 2A in the state and (like Columbus) you can’t simulate that in practice. They’re good and really talented, but we had our chances. We just turned it over a lot. We’ve got to get better and take care of the ball.”

What’s ahead

Baldwyn now hosts Falkner on Dec. 12 and then plays Saturday in the BIGG Classic in Biggersville before hosting Biggersville on Dec. 17. The Bearcats then host Dyersburg, Tenn. On Dec. 19, Face Gibson County (Tenn.) in the Charles Cowles Classic in Dyersburg on Dec. 20, and play in the Hound Dog Classic in Tupelo on Dec. 21 before the Christmas break.