Baldwin coach optimistic about team’s chances in upcoming regional

TIME TO STRATEGIZE: Baldwin coach Scott Pedigo goes over strategy with his team at a recent practice. (File photo)

TIME TO STRATEGIZE: Baldwin coach Scott Pedigo goes over strategy with his team at a recent practice. (File photo)

BALDWIN  — Baldwin (20-1) enjoyed its fifth straight Class D district title with a 62-44 win over Mason County Eastern on Friday.

But now the Panthers hope to enjoy success in the regional tournament.

Baldwin advance to the regional semifinals at 7:30 p.m. on Monday against Muskegon Catholic Central (10-12) at Crossroads Charter Academy. It’s Mount Pleasant Sacred Heart (14-9) vs. Wyoming Tri Unity Christian (14-9) in the first game at 6 p.m.

The Panthers have lost in the regional semifinals the past four seasons, but coach Scott Pedigo likes his team’s prospects.

“In years past, it was exciting and kids were pumped to win the district,” Pedigo said. “It didn’t have quite the excitement it has in the past because the kids want to get the regional.”

Pedigo has been keeping an eye on potential regional opponents all season, including MCC, which lost in the regional semifinals to Crossroads last year.

MCC is 10-12 but it’s deceiving, “to a point because of their schedule,” Pedigo said. “They’ve won their district three to four years in a row.”

Muskegon Catholic has been a state title power in football the past several years.

“I don’t think they’re quite the basketball school as they are a football school,” Pedigo said. “It’s definitely a team I think they can beat.”

Pedigo also has seen Tri Unity and Sacred Heart.

“I think Tri Unity is probably the better team,” he said. “Tri Unity is small this year compared to the past. They only have one guy 6-2. I really think if we get the first one, we have a shot at winning the regional. At this point, everyone is good. You have to play your best. As a coach you always feel you can win. I think we have a good shot at regionals.”

In Baldwin’s district final, it was the third win in a row this season for the Panthers over MCE.

“We started out a little slow,” Pedigo recalled. “Armondo Jennings had five 3-pointers for us. They ran a 1-3-1. We put him in the corner. He’s shot well all year. They wouldn’t guard him. He hits about two or three of those a game for us.”

Jennings and Scott Anscomb led Baldwin with 17 points.

Baldwin was ahead 32-21 at halftime.

“’We kept a nice lead and started getting a little bit over 20,” Pedigo said. “They’d bring it back down, we’d bring it up. It seesawed back and forth. They never got it back to within 13 after halftime.”

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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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