If Friday and Saturday are any indication, the Apalachee High School boys basketball team has moved on from its Jan. 14 loss to Clarke Central.
The Wildcats, who entered this week 15-3 overall and 8-3 in 8-AAAAA, defeated region foe Gainesville Friday and then stepped out of region play to defeat Jefferson, a top 10 Class AA team, Saturday. The team also defeated Flowery Branch Tuesday on the road in region play 74-57.
“We went to Gainesville and earned a big win,” said AHS coach Kevin Morris. “To be able to win on the road in our region is always a big thing. It’s always tough and Gainesville is a pretty good basketball team.”
In Friday’s 90-73 road win, Kamar Baldwin continued his standout season with 31 points. He would follow that up in Saturday’s 81-76 win with a 30-point performance against Jefferson, including a 6-of-6 performance at the free throw line down the stretch to seal the win.
In his last two outings, Baldwin is 17-of-17 from the free throw line and averaged 30.5 points. The sophomore also scored 26 points Tuesday against Flowery Branch.
“It was just two more usual games for him,” Morris said. “It’s something when you consider he is just a sophomore.”
Morris was also pleased by his team’s play in Saturday’s non-region title with Jefferson. The Wildcats were playing a Saturday game after two earlier region games during the week.
“Jefferson is a really good team,” the AHS coach said. “For us to get the two wins we did this weekend after what happened against Clarke Central speaks to what this team is made of. The best way to get over a loss like that is to go back out and win and that’s what we did against two quality teams.”
Morris said it seems to him that high school players today don’t need as long to get over a tough loss as they used to.
“Kids today have a shorter attention span,” the coach said. “Losing may not hurt as bad as it used to hurt it. They move on quicker. I would pout in my room all week long. Now they just start over. Maybe it’s tied to Xbox or something. In some ways, it’s actually good to be able to put it behind you and move on. We did a good job of coming back to practice on Wednesday and then playing well Friday and Saturday. We shot the lights out both nights.”
In Friday’s win against Gainesville, AHS was 16-of-26 from 3-point range. The following night against Jefferson the Wildcats were 13-of-26 from behind the arc.
“When you make them at that kind of clip, you are doing pretty good,” Morris said.
In the win against Jefferson Saturday, AHS was also 16-of-17 as a team from the free throw line.