Printed on: January 17, 2013

Fast start, big finish in Knights' win

By Paul Lambert
plambert@postregister.com

Forced to watch from the bench during a loss at Madison, Hillcrest's Scott Baldwin looked like a guy ready to chew a hole in his seat cushion last Thursday.

Six nights later in his return to the starting lineup, Baldwin converted that pent-up energy into a game-best 22 points and an 81-59 high school boys basketball win over Skyline.

Baldwin hit 8 of his 11 field goals, including three 3-pointers, and his 22 points came over just 21 minutes.

"It's not fun watching, I'm not going to lie," Baldwin said. "And it's really easy to score when your team gets you open shots like that."

Skyline fell flat on its face coming out of the gate, finishing its first five possessions with four turnovers and two missed field goals.

By the time the game was four minutes old, the Knights had a 15-2 lead and Skyline had already used three timeouts.

"It's not like they were pressing us, and we dug ourselves in a huge hole right at the start," Skyline coach Ty Shippen said. "You can't do that against a team like this in a conference game."

Hillcrest closed the first quarter with a 25-10 lead and went into the half up 49-27 as the rout was on.

Skyline came into the game averaging 13.4 turnovers and eclipsed that number in the first half alone with 14, including nine in the first quarter.

Shippen said the turnover festival was a team effort, supported by the fact that the Grizzlies had six players with at least three turnovers and finished with 24.

While Skyline was giving possessions away, Hillcrest was taking them away, winning the rebounding battle 44-35, including 18 boards on the offensive glass.

More important to Hillcrest coach Don Baldwin, his Knights finished with 17 assists on their 31 field goals, including a team-best six assists from forward Tyson McDonald.

Blake Phippen also had a solid game for the Knights, finishing with 15 points, six rebounds and a team-high three steals.

"We played really good as a team tonight, and when someone was open, they got the ball," coach Baldwin said. "That's what we stress with the kids, and they got that done tonight."

Hillcrest improved to 11-3 overall with the victory, squaring its record in 5A District 5-6 at 2-2. The Knights will play Friday at Rigby. Skyline fell to 5-8 and 2-2 and will play at Friday at Bonneville.