Matchups with region foe Mary Persons on Friday night at home proved to be the end of streaks for the Baldwin High basketball teams, as the ladies ended a three-game win streak and a five-game losing streak for the men came to an end.
Competing against the defending region champions, the BHS women dug themselves a hole early on that they could not climb out of, ultimately falling 58-44 to the Lady Bulldogs.
“We knew going into this game that Mary Persons was a very good basketball team,” Randall Owens, women’s head coach, said. “They did a great job of getting out to a fast start in the first quarter. They outscored us 21-8 in the first quarter, but the first quarter aside, we played them pretty evenly throughout.”
Bria Reeves led the Bravettes on Friday with 13 points in the contest, followed by Jayla Waller with 11 and Ja’La Douglas with 10 against Mary Persons.
While their offense warmed up throughout the ballgame, BHS never could consistently stop the Lady Bulldogs, allowing more than 50 points in the game.
“They did a great job of handling our pressure, and that’s something a lot of teams haven’t been able to do this season,” Owens said. “They were coached up well on our press, and broke it with ease throughout the night.”
Though the Bravettes cut Mary Persons lead to six points early in the fourth quarter, Owens believes the youth of the team inhibited the team’s ability to pull out the victory.
“Mary Persons has been through the wars, and we’re trying to get there,” he said. “Playing with younger players, at times you will have those growing pains.”
Following the women’s loss to Mary Persons, the men snapped a streak of their own, winning their first contest out of the last six ball games, beating the Bulldogs 68-54.
“At this point in the season, anytime you can get a win in league play, that’s huge. It’s important for us having dropped five consecutive, and four consecutive region games, to come out tonight a get a win,” Rechard Larkin, men’s head coach, said. “We’re just happy to get a win. We’re happy to see our guys come out from the beginning of the game and compete.”
The Braves are excited about the win; though, Larkin believes that Friday night’s game was one that BHS should have won.
“Coach [Greg] Nix is a great guy, and I know that he’s going to have that program turned around, but some nights there are teams that you’re supposed to beat. Not knocking them in any way, but this was one of those games,” he said. “Mary Persons has struggled all year as it relates to wins, but we didn’t take them lightly.”
BHS certainly did not take the Bulldogs lightly, as they controlled the game for the opening tip-off.
Stetson Richardson led the team with 10 points; however, was assisted by Nicholas Jones with nine, as well as Tyree Solomon and Javonte Adams with eight points a piece.
“It’s good to get some shots to go down,” Larkin said. “To be real honest, this is as close as we’ve been in the last three weeks to 100 percent, as it relates to our bodies.”
Health and momentum is what Larkin is hoping will give the Braves an edge against the two of the top teams in the region in their last two games of the season.
“For us to come out and play, and not struggle, was huge. Certainly, you want to win, but there are certain ways you want to win,” he said. “We wanted to win tonight in that fashion, so we’re hoping that can propel us into next week as we face the first place and second place team in our league.”
BHS travel on the road for their next competition against Westside-Macon on Tuesday with the women taking the court at 6 p.m. and the men following at 7:30 p.m.