Baldwin hoopsters win twice versus local rival Thomas Jefferson
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Baldwin's varsity basketball teams swept a two-game series with Thomas Jefferson in nonsection action last week.
The Baldwin boys defeated the host Jaguars, 62-50, while the Baldwin girls defeated the visiting Lady Jaguars, 60-43.
“I thought our defense was pretty solid for most of the game,” Joe Urmann, Baldwin's head coach, said. “We shot the ball well which always helps, but we made strides in taking care of the ball versus pressure as well.”
The Highlanders held a 30-28 halftime advantage, then outscored the home team by an 18-8 margin in the third quarter.
“Baldwin out-executed us, outhustled us, and played with a lot of fire,” Dom DeCicco, Thomas Jefferson's head coach, said. “They deserved to win; they're very well-coached.”
Four players attained double figures for Baldwin, led by 6-foot-2 senior guard/forward Jake Michael's game-high 19 points.
Michaels was complemented offensively by 6-6 junior forward Arnes Bajgora's 17 points, senior guard A.J. Greco's 12 and junior guard/forward Shane Perko's 11.
Thomas Jefferson was led by 6-2 senior guard/forward Joe Carroll's 18 points.
“TJ is a good team and they have had a great first half of the year,” Urmann said. “They were coming off a big, emotional win versus West Mifflin, which may have affected them a bit, but I look for them to make a nice run come playoff time.”
Baldwin's girls' team hit four treys in the first quarter, grabbed a 16-10 lead, then built up a 39-20 halftime advantage.
A 14-2 run in the second stanza, capped by a 3-pointer by 5-9 sophomore guard Amanda Larkin, gave the home team a commanding 32-14 lead prior to halftime.
The Baldwin backcourt of juniors Mandi Johnston (12 points), Nikki Corcoran (9) and Larkin (9), along with junior forwards Taylor Duchon and Taylor Letender, propelled the Lady Highlanders.
Trailing 47-25 midway through the third quarter, Thomas Jefferson outscored Baldwin by a 14-1 margin to close the gap to 48-39 at the 5:39 mark of the fourth frame.
But the Lady Highlanders iced the decision with a 10-0 run in a two-minute span down the game's home stretch.
Johnston, a 5-4 junior guard, finished with a game-high 20 points, while Corcoran ended up with 17. Larkin, Duchon, Letender and junior guard Vicki Johnston rounded out the Baldwin scoring.
For the vistors, 5-7 junior guard Alexis Yanief netted a team-high 16 points before fouling out late in the game.
Yanief was complemented by senior forward Jesse Hinkle's 14 points. Senior guard/forward Alex Hasis added seven.
Courtney Zoglmann, a sophomore guard/forward, and Haley Kutscher, a junior guard, rounded out the TJ scoring.
Mandi Johnston, Larkin and Hasis each connected twice from 3-point territory.
Greco, Michaels propel Highlanders
The Baldwin boys' team opened the second half of section play with a convincing 63-45 win at home against Moon.
The Highlanders reversed the results from their Section 4-AAAA opener, a 63-48 loss at Moon, and chalked up their third win in four games.
“I think we're making progress in certain phases of the game,” Urmann said. “I credit the players for their fight and willingness to compete despite a disappointing start to section play.”
Greco led Baldwin offensively with a game-high 25 points, including a 21-point outburst in the second half.
Michaels scored 10 points after the intermission to end up with a 17-point total, while Bajgora added 10 points to the Highlanders' cause.
Greco gunned in three treys — all in the second half when Baldwin outscored the visitors by a 42-33 margin — while senior guard Stefan Ayers had one triple.
Following an eight-game losing streak, Baldwin defeated the likes of Peters Township, TJ and Moon over the past two weeks, while losing at Bethel Park. The Highlanders were slated to visit Canon-McMillan earlier this week.
“Everyone seems to have stepped up their game in some way, not only on game days but also in practice. We're having some of our better practices lately,” Urmann said. “Our seniors have really bought in and taken the lead. They hold player meetings and seem to have developed a sense of ownership over the team.
“It's great because I think that's the way it should be; I've told them it is their team.”
Ray Fisher is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5805 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.