PLAYOFF TIME IN MILLEDGEVILLE: Defending champ Braves gear up for state playoffs

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The Baldwin High School boys basketball team will begin their quest for a second consecutive 4-AAAA state championship tonight at 7:30 p.m. as they host Shaw High School from Columbus in a first-round matchup. The visiting Raiders logged a 15-8 record this season and should present a solid opening test for the defending champs.

The Braves recently hoisted their second straight region championship last Thursday with a gutsy 56-53 win over Perry, and they will look to carry their momentum into the postseason. The team boasts an incredible 21-3 record this spring, bolstered by a flawless 14-0 mark in region play. BHS has only dropped one game in the James A. Lunsford Gymnasium this season, and the boys will look to continue their impressive home court dominance against Shaw.

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Baldwin’s roster is loaded with talent, and the team has benefitted from contributions across the board all season long. BHS junior Christian Burnett led the team with 13 points in the region title game, and he has put up solid scoring numbers throughout the spring. However, he makes just as much of an impact on the defensive end. Burnett leads the team with an insane 2.3 steals per game on the year.

Meanwhile, BHS junior Shatavious Hogan has provided a presence in the paint on both sides of the ball. He swallows a team-high 7.9 rebounds per game and rejects two shots per contest as well. His play in the paint was key last game as he posted 11 points and 14 rebounds during his team’s victory. Hogan’s energy on the glass has been key to Baldwin’s success all year, and the team will need him to maintain his production with a second championship on the line.

BHS junior Rudolph Satcher runs the offense for the Braves, and he does a great job of it. Satcher leads the team in assists per game and points per game this season, averaging 2.4 dimes and 14.6 points. He also grabs 3.8 rebounds per night, along with an impressive two steals. The jack-of-all-trades guard can play off the ball as well, and he will look to bring his versatility to the table as much as possible as the postseason commences.

Some of Baldwin’s younger players have also stepped up this season. Sophomore Quamond Dennis has averaged 8.6 points per game in region play this year, and he showcased his skills in a 17-point performance against Spalding in the region semifinals. Meanwhile, fellow sophomore Tremarius Lawrence has posted per-game averages of 5.4 points and 1.5 steals in region matchups

The BHS girls also host Shaw at home tonight. The Bravettes have been just as dominant as the boys team, compiling a 23-2 record on the season with a 13-0 region mark.

As the Braves prepare for a run at another title, they will look to make a statement right out of the gate. They will get their first chance to do so tonight when tipoff begins at 7:30.


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