BAKER — The story of two ranked District 6-3A teams proved to be anything but a mystery Friday night.
The third-ranked Baker girls proved that 13 isn’t always an unlucky number. The Buffaloes scored the game’s first 13 points on the way to an easy 81-37 win over Glen Oaks to open the District 6-3A doubleheader.
It wasn’t nearly as easy for the seventh-ranked Glen Oaks boys. The Panthers blew an early lead and trailed briefly in the third quarter before methodically pulling away for a 53-40 win over Baker.
It was the 29th straight district win over a span of four seasons for the Baker girls of coach Michael Stephens.
“I was really pleased with our defense,” Stephens said. “The three girls who played up top did a good job of pressuring them.
“But there are still plenty of things to work on. You just have to take each district game as it comes and play hard.”
Baker scored the first six points of the third quarter and led 24-22. But Glen Oaks outscored the Buffaloes 31-16 the rest of the way to claim a win in the matchup of the league’s two top teams.
“I thought our four seniors really maintained their composure well when Baker closed the gap,” Glen Oaks coach Harvey Adger said. “We wanted to keep their crowd out the ballgame. So, we did fundamental things like take the ball to the basket and get high-percentage shots.”
BAKER 81, GLEN OAKS 37: Any hopes the GOHS girls had of getting off to a fast start quickly disappeared. Baker led 9-0 less than two minutes into the game and scored the game’s first 13 points before Glen Oaks managed to get a shot.
Jocquis Dodson scored 13 first-half points and Eugenea James added 12. Eleven first-quarter turnovers did not help Glen Oaks’ cause. The Buffaloes led 24-6 after one quarter.
The secondquarter provided more of the same. Baker started the quarter with a 16-4 run. By halftime, the Buffaloes’ lead had swelled to 30 points at 46-16.
“Baker is a team with a lot of experience, and they play with a lot of confidence,” GOHS coach Alicia Dedeaux said. “We’re extremely young … we only have one senior. If this group of sophomores can stick together, I’d like to think we’ll be more like them.”
Eugenea James scored a game-high 22 points for Baker (18-5, 5-0). Jocquis Dodson added 18 and Iesha Smith had 11 for the Buffaloes.
Deja Young led Glen Oaks (8-16, 2-3) with 19 points. Lakeisha Kemp added 10 for the Panthers.
GLEN OAKS 53, BAKER 40: Glen Oaks got eight first-quarter points from Chris Thomas, who finished with a game-high 19 points. Thomas’ play helped the Panthers fashion a 16-8 first-quarter lead.
The Panthers (16-11, 5-1) scored the first six points of the second quarter and fell silent after that. Three-pointers by Rahmil Almond and William Elzy helped Baker (10-13, 3-2) pull within four, at 22-18 by halftime.
Elzy led Baker with 16 points. Chris Dancey (16) and Jalen Variste were other double-figures scorers for Glen Oaks.
Almond scored on a layup and made two free throws to the tie the game for Baker once the third quarter started. A jumper in the lane by Eric Hulbert gave the Buffaloes a 24-22 lead with 5:52 left.
The teams traded baskets, with Dancey hitting a 3-pointer from the left wing with 4:53 left to make it 27-26. The Panthers scored the final 11 points of the quarter and took control of the game, going into a four-corners offense to open the driving lanes toward the basket.
“I think in the last part of the third quarter and the fourth quarter we stopped being aggressive and got away from what worked for us,” Baker coach Raeshawn Williams said. “We settled for jump shots. Coach Adger is a great coach, and when he gets up you know what he’s going to do, go to that four corners.”
A layup and a dunk by Thomas in the first 1:15 of the final quarter upped the GOHS lead to 16 points, putting the game out of reach.