MILLEDGEVILLE — Spectators enjoyed two thrillers on Tuesday night as the Baldwin High basketball teams clashed with Westside-Macon at home for Senior Night, as both games played out to be exciting contests with the girls winning and the boys coming up just short.
After a pair of losses to the number one team in the region over the weekend, the BHS girls notched a decisive 58-40 victory over the Lady Seminoles.
“Mary Person’s is the class of our region—back-to-back region champions—and have the reigning region player of the year, but to our credit we played them well in both games for three quarters each. They’re a championship level team, and they put together four quarters,” girls’ head coach Randall Owens said. “We took a lot of positives from the Mary Persons games, but it felt good tonight to be able to put together a complete game of our own against Westside.”
Appropriately, senior Shemirika Manson led the Bravettes on senior night with 16 points, followed by Tykeasia Williams with 13 points, 10 assists and 4 steals.
Quantasha Cannie added 12 points to the team’s efforts, while senior Terrian Williams also contributed with 8 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals.
According to Owens, the team chemistry was strong on Tuesday night, which led to a big win over a region opponent.
“The biggest thing we take from this game is that we were very unselfish tonight,” he said. “Players were genuinely happy for each other and cheering for each other, for the group that was on the floor. It feels going in a critical stretch in the season knowing that we’re both becoming a more cohesive team and a team that’s willing to play and fight for one another.”
Unfortunately, the boys’ contest would end differently, with a narrow 47-39 loss to the Seminoles.
Tuesday’s loss snaps a seven-game win streak for the Braves.
“You know, when you’re playing good teams like Westside, you got to make plays. One thing that we shared with our guys is that ‘players’ make plays,” boys’ head coach Rechard Larkin said. “We played extremely hard tonight; I definitely give them credit for that. We credit as well, you know, Westside did an outstanding job packing their zone in, double-teaming ‘Bird’ [Marquise Williams] and limiting his touches and the guys around him. Like we said at halftime, we have to make plays. Tonight, we didn’t do that.”
Digging themselves a hole early on by shooting 5-19 in the field to the Seminole’s 10-18 in the first half, BHS struggled to gain any traction throughout the ball game.
Senior Marquise Williams continued to lead the Braves with 15 points and 9 rebounds, but to no avail as the team shot 56 percent from the free throw line to Westside-Macon’s almost perfect 92 percent.
Frustrated at the way things played out Tuesday night, Larkin admits the Braves have to figure out how to win close games as they approach the region tournament next week.
“We got to find ways to win close ball games such as this,” he said. “This puts out of the contention for first in our league, but nonetheless we’re still excited about our chances as it relates to us going forward. We’re going to continue to work and go forward.”