Baldwin Panthers gearing up for season opener

FAST BREAK: Baldwin’s Deondra McDonald looks to make a move to the basket during a Monday practice. (Pioneer photo/John Raffel)

FAST BREAK: Baldwin’s Deondra McDonald looks to make a move to the basket during a Monday practice. (Pioneer photo/John Raffel)

BALDWIN — Baldwin’s boys basketball team was scheduled to test itself this week against various opponents in scrimmages, giving coach Scott Pedigo a better chance to evaluate the talent he’ll have for the 2016-17 season.

The Panthers were scheduled to open the week with a scrimmage at home against White Cloud and Reed City.

The season opens next week with a non-league game Monday against Scottville-Mason County Central.

Then the Panthers open their West Michigan D League schedule starting at home on Dec. 8 with Bear Lake and continues with games at Pentwater on Dec. 13 and home with Brethren Dec. 15.

After the holiday break, Baldwin resumes action Jan. 5 at Custer Mason County Eastern.

Deondra McDonald and Blake Dockery are two key returning players for the Panthers. Malik Pollard is also expected to see some significant playing time.

“He’ll play a little bit at point,” Pedigo said. “But we’ll see. That’s what scrimmages are about. It can show us who else can handle the ball a little better.”

Zach Lovett, Ahmad Gorman and Armondo Jennings could also play key roles for the Panthers.

In the scrimmages, Pedigo was expected to take a look at everybody and try different situations.

“I’m not worried about the score, it’s more about effort,” he said. “We’ll try a big lineup, we’ll try a small lineup. I’ll try to go fast and with the rest of the group look at a zone. We’ll see how we handle things.”

Pedigo wasn’t sure what to expect at Scottville on Monday.

“I’ll try to get a look at them before next week,” he said. “I think (Bear Lake) is one of the top teams in our league. Once I see some (game action) I’ll know what to expect. I think we’re fast and I think we’re quick and I think we’re fast, I don’t know how we’ll shoot and how well we’ll defend other people.”

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Posted by John Raffel

John is a sports reporter with the Pioneer as well as the Herald Review and The Lake County Star. He also coordinates the weekly Pioneer sports outdoors page. He can be reached at (231) 592-8356 or by email at jraffel@pioneergroup.com.

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