PLAYOFF TIME IN MILLEDGEVILLE: BHS boys and girls kick off region tournament with blowout wins
The Baldwin High School boys and girls basketball teams continued their dominant seasons Tuesday night with semifinal wins in the Region 4-AAAA tournament, hosted at Perry High School. Both top-seeded teams maintained their perfect region records as the girls improved to 12-0 in region play while the boys also stayed undefeated at 13-0.
The BHS boys, who now hold a 20-3 overall record this spring, took on the 9-15 Spalding High School Jaguars. The Braves dominated from tipoff in a one-sided 95-59 victory.
The top seed wasted no time in mounting a lead as BHS rang in 31 points in the first quarter alone. Four different Braves scored in the period, sharing the wealth and moving the ball with purpose as they have all season.
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BHS junior Christian Burnett exploded for 27 points in just three quarters, nailing an incredible six three-pointers in the process. Thanks to his team’s enormous lead, the red-hot sharpshooter earned some valuable rest in the final period.
BHS point guard Rudolph Satcher continued his phenomenal junior year, posting a cool 14 points on a perfect 6-for-6 clip from the free-throw line. Satcher leads the Braves in scoring this spring with an average of 14.9 points per game.
Meanwhile, another BHS junior lit up the stat sheet as double-double machine Shatavious Hogan made a statement with 16 points. Like Satcher, the big man sank all six of his shots at the charity stripe. He has provided a paint presence for the Braves all season long, putting up 8.0 points per game, a team-high 7.6 rebounds per game, and a team-high 2.0 blocks per game.
The Braves piled up 82 points through three quarters, showing their outmatched opponents no mercy. In the fourth, the reserves played extended minutes, and the BHS second unit maintained the lead as the final buzzer loomed.
With the emphatic win, BHS moved on to the region championship. They will take on second-seeded Perry in the final.
The BHS girls somehow made even lighter work of their opponents with a 38-point blowout victory over the 8-16 Perry Panthers. The Bravettes built on their phenomenal season, moving to 22-2 overall with a 62-24 win.
Star sophomore Madison Ruff led the team to victory with some dominant play on both ends of the floor. This spring, Ruff has posted team-high averages of 12.9 points per game, 2.7 assists per game, and a ridiculous 4.4 steals per game.
The Bravette defense was at its very best from start to finish, fueled by the perimeter defense of Ruff and the interior presence of talented BHS freshman Janaye Walker. Walker has averaged 11.3 points per game this season, along with team-highs of 8.3 boards and 1.8 blocks per contest.
The BHS defense suffocated Spalding throughout the first half, allowing just five points in each of the first two quarters. The game was out of reach by halftime as the top seeds led 39-10. They ballooned the lead further with a 23-14 second half and advanced to the region championship game.
The Bravettes will go up against West Laurens, the second-ranked team in the region, for a shot at the region title Thursday night at 7 p.m. The BHS boys will take on Perry later that night at 8:30 p.m.