That is the amount of time the Willard boys basketball team trailed (3-2) against Crestview Friday night in a Division III sectional championship game at Hopewell-Loudon High School.
From that point on, Terry Baldridge Jr. and his Willard teammates dominated the Cougars in a lopsided 74-39 win. The victory is the 15th straight for the Crimson Flashes (20-3), who advance to face Carey (15-8) in a district semifinal at 6:15 p.m. Wednesday at Norwalk High School.
Baldridge Jr. scored 24 of his game-high 28 points in the first half — including eight that came on four dunks in 62 seconds on the backend of fast breaks.
Crestview had trouble dealing with the length, athleticism and tenacity that the Flashes showcased in the contest. Willard began the game with a press that the Cougars (5-19) appeared ill-equipped to deal with and it led to far too many easy buckets by Willard.
By the time the first half ended, Baldridge Jr. had outscored the Cougars 24-17 and Willard had more than doubled up Crestview with a 46-17 lead.
The second was far more competitive, but Willard still got the better of the action as they outscored Crestview 28-22 in the third and fourth quarters.
“In the first half, I thought we were pretty good we were able to get into the lane on offense and gave them trouble on defense with our length,” Willard coach Joe Bedingfield said. “Then, I thought that we got a little bit sloppy in the second half. And obviously there are still some fundamentals things that we need to get better at and clean up some like getting rid of the ball, but I was pleased with how we came out.
“You have to give them some credit, too,” he added. “They came out hitting their shots and scored early from three — and we knew that they weren’t going to be making them all night. I think we were able to play a little bit better on defense and put pressure on them. But I was happy with the way played tonight.”
Davon Triplett scored 10 points and played the enforcer role on the blocks where he grabbed more than a dozen rebounds. He also threw the outlet passes to start the breaks that Baldridge finished with the slam dunks.
Also for Willard, Cooper Parrott had 13 points, while Myles Pinkston added to the balance with 12 points.
Bedingfield said that the he nor the team has looked ahead beyond Crestview, but admitted it would only get tougher the further they go.
“We can only control what we can control,” Bedingfield said. “We would like to have a four quarter game every night but tonight we didn’t, but sometimes that happens with high school kids. I am not going to get to hard on them tonight, we will talk about it when we get back to practice and work on it.
“It won’t get any easier from here on out,” he added. “When you compare where we are today from a year ago it is a reversal of roles and instead of being the hunter, we are the hunted and getting everyone’s best shot.”
Jacob Greer 0-4—4; Brevin King 4-0—11; Evan Hamilton 7-0—17; Kolton Kissel 1-0—3; Jacob Littleton 1-0—2; Kameron Goon 1-0—2. TOTAL 14-4—39.
Brevon Polachek 1-1—3; Terry Baldridge Jr. 12-3—28; Myles Pinkston 6-0—12; Trey Paxton 0-2—2;Hayden Meisner 2-1—3; Davon Triplett 5-0—10; Micah Dawson 1-0—2; Cooper Parrot 5-1—13; Trey Mock 0-1—1. TOTAL 31-9—74
Crestview 12 5 12 10 — 39
Willard 25 21 9 20 — 74
3-point FGs: (C) King 3, Hamilton 3, Kissel (W) Parrot 2, Baldridge Jr.