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Willard blasts St. Paul for sixth straight win

By JOSH MORGRET • Updated Jan 22, 2019 at 10:07 PM

WILLARD — Joe Bedingfield continues to stress the importance of balanced scoring.

On Tuesday, each of the five starters scored one of the first five baskets for the Willard head coach.

Each starter also scored at least eight points, leading Willard to a 69-39 non-league win over St. Paul in a non-league game at Willard High school.

"I think it is a big key when we can get balanced scoring," Bedingfield said. "It makes you hard to guard when all five guys you put on the floor can score."

Terry Baldridge paced the Flashes (11-3) with 16 points while Myles Pinkston just missed a double-double with 14 points and nine rebounds. Cooper Parrott tallied 11 points and eight rebounds, Davon Triplett had eight points and six blocks, and Brevon Polachek rounded out the starting five with eight points.

"We have started getting better chemistry," Bedingfield said. "Sharing the basketball is key. That is something we try to stress all the time. We also stress the importance of the basketball getting reversed. The shot percentage goes up when we do that."

Willard, which has won six games in a row now, wasted little time taking it to the Flyers (8-5). After Nate Winslow split two free throws just six seconds in for St. Paul, the Flashes ran off the next 14 points. Along the way, Baldridge and Parrott connected on 3-pointers while Polachek and Balridge scored consecutively for a 14-1 lead with 3:15 left in the first quarter.

The Flyers made their first and only shot of the quarter when Jake Griffin scored off of an offensive rebound. St. Paul made just 1 of 10 shots in the opening eight minutes.

"They are a very good basketball team, very well-coached, and very talented," St. Paul coach Mike Smith said. "They came at us and we did not handle that."

In the second quarter, the first of three thunderous dunks by Triplett pushed the lead to 11 points before back-to-back buckets from Balridge and Trey Paxton extended the margin to 20-5.

St. Paul, who committed 19 turnovers on the night, was just 2 of 23 from the field until Nick Winslow hit a pair of 3s to bring St. Paul within 23-11. But, Parrott scored twice, Triplett registered a block that led to his second dunk, and Balridge hit another triple for a 32-11 lead at halftime.

"I challenged Terry Baldridge defensively," Bedingfield said. "I know a lot of times he focuses on the offensive end. I thought we had a good matchup with him (on Griffin). He gives us length and size."

St. Paul played better over the first part of the third quarter, cutting the lead down as close as 38-22, but Willard kicked it into another gear from there.

Pinkston scored off of an offensive rebound and Micah Dawson scored his only bucket of the night for a 44-24 lead. Polachek scored before Pinkston hit Baldridge with a nice assist for a score. Pinkston then got his turn with the bucket on a nifty pass from Parrott. Parrot then scored for a 53-24 lead, attacking the Flyers in transition.

"We were able to get out in transition because of our defensive fundamentals," Bedingfield said. "I thought we did a better job of closing out. We boxed out well. When we can do that and run the floor like we are capable of, we can get some easy baskets."

Willard led, 55-26, after three quarters. Polachek scored, Triplett threw down an alley-oop dunk from Parrott, and Parrott pulled up with a bucket for a 61-26 lead just over a minute into the fourth quarter.

"We really talked about trying to wall up," Bedingfield said. "We tried to block off the ball, so we are not blocking on the ball. We were able to establish ourselves on the inside."

The Flashes recorded double-digit blocks, affecting many shots the Flyers took.

"I am not surprised by it," Smith said. "It was not only the interior — they affect your perimeter shots. Our guys were just looking to toss up a shot."

Nick Winslow paced St. Paul with 11 points. The Flyers made just 15 of 59 shots.

"We got it handed to us tonight," Smith said. "All the credit goes to Willard. These non-league games are for us to get better and learn something from it."

Willard returns to action on Friday when they host Margaretta, who the Flashes lost to, 66-65 on Dec. 20. St. Paul is also back at home on Friday, hosting Ashland Crestview.

St. Paul won the junior varsity game, 62-58, behind a 28-point outburst from Jordan Shepherd. Adam Baker added 13 for the JV Flyers, while Trey Paxton had 17 for the Flashes. 


ST. PAUL (8-5)

Jake Griffin 1-0—2, Nick Winslow 4-0—11, Nate Winslow 2-1—5, Ian Kashian 1-4—6, Justin Hammersmith 1-0—2, Alex Kashian 2-0—4, Noah Good 3-0—6, Spencer Myers 1-0—3. TOTALS 15-5—39.

WILLARD (11-3)

Brevon Polachek 4-0—8, Terry Baldridge 6-2—16, Myles Pinkston 6-2—14, Davon Triplett 4-0—8, Cooper Parrott 5-0—11, Joey Holida 1-0—2, Micah Dawson 1-0—2, Trey Paxton 2-0—4, Austin Adelman 2-0—4. TOTALS 31-4—69.

St. Paul 3  8  15 13 — 39

Willard 14 18 23 14 — 69

3-point FGs: (STP) Ni. Winslow 3, Myers; (W) Baldridge 2, Parrott

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