Paola Two long runs gave Paola a 75-70 victory over Baldwin Friday night.
The Panthers, 3-4, sustained a 19-1 run in the middle of the game and scored 12 unanswered points at the start of the fourth quarter for a Frontier League boys basketball victory. Baldwin, 6-2, made it close at the end, but never regained its momentum after the first run.
The Bulldogs, who received honorable mention in this week's Class 4A poll, had a comfortable 36-24 lead with about two minutes remaining before halftime. Then the Panthers' full-court press took effect.
Baldwin never adjusted and lost for the first time since Spring Hill defeated the Bulldogs, 66-54, in the season opener.
"We lost our poise from about the three minute mark of the first half," Baldwin coach Bob Martin said. "We did a lot of things awful and we did a lot of things well.
"I THOUGHT it was one of our poorer defensive games, but you have to give Paola credit. They attacked us pretty well offensively."
Paola's attacking full-court press caused much of the damage.
The first time Paola pressed, at the 4:09 mark of the second quarter, Baldwin's Steve Zimmerman (29 points, 9 rebounds) scored an uncontested layup. The Bulldogs turned the ball over the next four times pressure was applied. By the end, Baldwin had committed 25 turnovers and Paola 16.
"We just had too many turnovers," Zimmerman said. "We were disorganized."
Brian Boyle (15 points, 12 rebounds) and Zimmerman combined for 24 first-half points as Baldwin established its 12-point lead. The pair scored many of their points driving against Paola's man-to-man defense. In the second half, the Panthers stopped the penetration and the Bulldogs forced their shots from the outside.
PART OF the problem was foul trouble. Front line players Allen Bradley, Brian Sheldon and Chris Turner each saw limited playing time as Baldwin was charged with 29 fouls. When Turner drew his fourth with 2:44 left in the third quarter, Martin moved the 5-foot-11 Zimmerman to forward.
"They were calling it close," Martin said of the officials. "We had everybody in foul trouble. I had to go pretty deep into the bench."
A Bradley free throw put the Bulldogs within one, 51-50, early in the fourth quarter. Paola then added the finishing touches, building a 63-50 advantage. The Panthers couldn't prevent Baldwin's late surge, but the lead was large enough to withstand it.
Six points from Zimmerman cut it back to 64-59 with 3:27 left. Paola surged back to a 10-point edge before Baldwin launched its final run.
A pair of three-point field goals by substitute guard Kyle Trendel made the score 73-70 with seven seconds remaining. Trendel was fouled on the second but couldn't convert a rare four-point play.
The pace and Tuesday's four-overtime win over Osawatomie may have drained the Bulldogs. A flu virus which hit most of Baldwin's regulars this week didn't help, either.
"That was the way it was the way it happened against Osawatomie. To come that close again was really disappointing," Trendel said. "We didn't play well together at all. We weren't capitalizing on offense and on defense we were kind of worn out."
Allen Bradley 0-3 1-2 1, Brian Boyle 6-12 3-6 15, Chris Turner 2-3 2-4 6, Steve Zimmerman 11-20 4-6 29, Chad Brecheisen 1-6 0-0 2, Brian Sheldon 2-4 3-6 7, Kyle Trendel 2-5 1-3 7, Daniel Schwarz 1-1 0-0 2, Greg Harvie 0-0 1-2 1, Mike Hornberger 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 25-54 15-29 70. PAOLA (75)
Dave Clements 2-5 2-2 6, Lamont Hill 3-11 2-5 8, Brian Shanahan 5-11 8-8 18, Kyle Rockers 3-4 2-5 8, Chad Hignite 5-17 1-2 11, Mike Smith 3-6 0-1 6, Eric Trombly 0-2 1-2 1, Nick Rhea 2-4 10-14 14. Totals 23-60 25-39 75. Baldwin
Three-point goals Baldwin 5-10 (Zimmerman 3-5, Trendel 2-3, Boyle 0-2), Paola 3-6 (Hignite 3-6). Total fouls Baldwin 29, Paola 21. Fouled out Zimmerman, Brecheisen, Hill.