Baldwin If the first game is any indicator of how Baldwin High's basketball season will be, the Bulldogs had better fasten their seat belts.
Baldwin outlasted Osawatomie, 78-71, in triple-overtime here Thursday night.
"This is a great way to start the season a win coming from behind," Baldwin coach Bob Martin said. "We came in untested and struggled early on, but got our nervousness out and played well."
Baldwin needed last-minute heroics to forge a tie in regulation. Trailing 56-49 with 1:20 remaining, point guard Denver Cleverly nailed a three-pointer. Osawatomie countered with a free throw before Matt Hanny's three-point play inside.
THE TROJANS left the door open, making only one free throw to leave the score at 58-55. Sophomore Ryan Gresnick knotted the game, burying a three-pointer from the right wing with :02 left.
"Gresnick did a good job tonight, especially with the shot at the end," Martin said.
After both teams mustered four points in the first overtime, Osawatomie answered with some heroics of its own. Joe Serna's three-pointer with :06 showing sent the game into a third overtime.
That's when Baldwin took charge, shutting out the Trojans, 7-0. Cleverly started the third extra period with a basket and finished with 11 overtime points. The senior playmaker led the Bulldogs with a game-high 27 points and nine assists.
"Denver didn't shoot all that well tonight, but he did great in everything," Martin said. "He penetrated, got on the line, and kept us under control."
Also keeping control inside were forwards Darrin Kurtz and sophomore Hanny. Kurtz had 14 rebounds, while Hanny hauled down nine.
"KURTZ CONTROLLED the boards in the overtime," Martin said. "Hanny came off the bench and got on the boards and did well inside."
Both teams struggled early in the first half with the Trojans building a 24-22 lead. Baldwin missed open shots, going 7 for 26, while Osawatomie was plagued with turnovers.
"We were nervous early and couldn't put the ball in the hole," Martin said. "But our offense improved and got smoother throughout the game."
New for Baldwin is the Osawatomie Tournament, starting Saturday against Kansas City Turner.