By David Wheeler/Special to the Journal
NEW ALBANY – Up until Saturday, Baldwyn head coach Jason McKay was the only person on his bench that could claim a victory over the Tupelo Golden Wave.
McKay has a bunch of Bearcats as company now.
In a featured contest at the annual Hot Bed Classic, the Bearcats held off the Golden Wave 65-61.
“This was a game of spurts, and we had more spurts than them,” said McKay, who had beaten Tupelo as a player for the Bearcats. “You have to give Tupelo a lot of credit.
“Because of the size of the school, no matter where they play, every time they go out, it’s a big game.”
After battling to a 12-12 tie in the first quarter, the big game belonged to the Bearcats (21-1) much of the next two quarters. Baldwyn edged in front 25-20 at the half, and used an 8-0 run by freshman Duke Upshaw and senior Tevin Lindsey to moved ahead 47-34 after three quarters.
But Tupelo had some gas left in the tank.
J. J. Ashby scored 16 points in the final period, including two field goals as part of a 9-0 run that pulled Tupelo (14-10) within 53-52 with 2 minutes, 52 seconds to play. Then a Jordan Garmon basket with 2:25 left knotted the contest at 54-54.
“This game was a good lesson for us that we’ve got make the simple plays,” Tupelo head coach Jeff Norwood said. “There was a rebound we fought for and didn’t get that was key.”
The rebound that Baldwyn earned was by Romaro Crump, who made the ensuing two free throws with 2:03 left From there, Upshaw scored seven points in the final 1:32 to preserve the win.
Upshaw paced Baldwyn with 21 points, and Ashby hit 18 for Tupelo.