By Brandon Speck/NEMS Daily Journal
For the second straight year, the Baldwyn Bearcats are dealing with a season-ending injury.
Baldwyn (11-0) hasn’t lost a basketball game but the Bearcats lost senior starting point guard Dee Gates to a torn ACL. Gates is done for the year.
“You’re talking about one of the top players in the area. Naturally we’ll have to make adjustments,” Baldwyn coach Jason McKay said. “The thing we’re blessed with here is we have some tremendous basketball players. It’s a matter of everybody stepping it up and doing a little bit more than they’re accustomed to doing.”
Baldwyn lost starter Reggie Patterson to a torn ACL last season and went on the MHSAA Class 2A state championship game.
Gates got hurt on Dec. 8 against Aberdeen. He had surgery Monday. Gates has started since his ninth grade season.
“It’s something you can’t dwell on. If you do, you’re trying to make excuses, possibly in your mind be questioning God as to why. That’s not something we do,” McKay said. “It happened for a reason for him and this team and if we all take the right approach, it makes us and our team stronger.”
Junior Martell Brown and freshman Conner McKay are filling in, taking Baldwyn to a two-guard system.
The Bearcats have won four straight since Gates’ injury and play back-to-back games against Houlka and Shannon in the Baldwyn Rotary Classic today and Friday.
Gates was scoring a team-second 14.2 points a game this season. Tevin Lindsey is averaging 15.2.
“Like with Reggie, we’re going to have a pity party for Dee as a person, as a player and for his tremendous family,” McKay said. “But at the same time, this team has to keep going. I still think we’re a good team.”