MILLEDGEVILLE — It has been a roller coaster of a season for the Baldwin High boys’ basketball team this year, as they started off 0-5, but regrouped to finish out the regular season 13-6.
The Braves had many highs and lows, but the lowest of them all came last Tuesday night in the first round of the region 2-AAAA when they came up short 55-44 to Perry on the road.
Having beaten the Panthers twice already this season, BHS ran out of steam on Tuesday, ending the season 13-12 — 8-7 in the region.
“Definitely not the outcome we expected, nor the end that we had hoped for,” head coach Rechard Larkin said. “We were certainly expecting our season to roll on. Our regular season we beat Perry twice, and had a great deal of success on their home court and our home court.
“It certainly one of the worst games we played this season. We looked like we weren’t ready to play, like it was going to be handed to us.”
BHS struggled offensively to put points on the board against the Panthers, scoring 11 points below their average for the season.
“That night, we just didn’t get it done — we didn’t play well enough,” Larkin said. “Our guards didn’t play well and didn’t respond to the pressure. The unfortunate thing is that it happened on the wrong night. We just didn’t match the intensity and didn’t match the execution; therefore, we ended up on the losing end.
“It was a shocker not only to us, but to other coaches, and probably a shocker to Perry.”
Marquise Williams led the Braves in scoring with 17 points, while also leading the team with 18 rebounds, two assists and two steals.
A trio including Jatavius Williams, Marshall Dunn and Stetson Richardson scored six points apiece in the team’s efforts.
Larkin admits BHS needed other players to step up and score in the double-figures on Tuesday, but no one responded.
“There has to be somebody that steps up, whether it’s spread out over five or six guys, but somebody else has to score,” he said. “As a team, I don’t think everybody did their part.”
For seniors Marquise Williams, Jatavius Williams, Dunn and Richardson, their high school careers come to an end with the loss to Perry.
“For our junior, and our sophomores and our freshmen, for them there’s always next year and other opportunities,” Larkin said. “But for them that was it — their last game.”
While the Braves’ season came to an ugly, abrupt end last week, Larkin believes they must now focus on the future and restoring a program that once produced some of the best basketball teams in the state every year.
“Nonetheless, we aren’t pleased with losing, but we’re still proud of our guys,” he said. “They’re still Baldwin Braves.
We’ll continue to work toward it, and that will continue to be the driving force. Not only to win the region, but go deep into the state playoffs.”