BAKER — Paxton's No. 3, Dustin Geoghagan put on a 3-point shooting exhibition Monday night as the Bobcats beat 62-27 in boys basketball play.
Geoghagan hit four 3-pointers in the first quarter and eight in the game, all in the first half on his way to a 32-point performance.
As a team the Bobcats (17-6) finished the night with 12 3-pointers, 10 of which came in the first half.
Bobcat coach Jeff Bradley said he wasn't sure how the game might have turned out if not for his team's ability to drain the long ball.
"That was it for us (hitting the 3s) in the first half," he said. "If it hadn't been for his shooting I don't know where we would have been at the end of the game.
"When he (Geoghagan) shoots like that it helps us a lot down the stretch. Hopefully we can keep shooting the ball well and stay injury free. That's what I'm hoping for right now."
Geoghagan wasted no time in hitting his first bomb 20 seconds into the game. That first 3-pointer gave the Bobcats a lead they would never relinquish.
Baker's Justin Morgan answered the Geoghagan 3-pointer with a 2-point score to get the Gators on the board. Paxton's Austin Carnley then hit the first of his three 3-pointers and the tone was set for the rest of the half.
The Gators (8-12) didn't play poorly, but while Paxton was hitting 3-pointers Baker was scoring by way of 2-point baskets and free throws.
Paxton hit six 3s in the first quarter in jumping to a 22-13 lead. Josh Hartzog scored six points for Baker in the first quarter to keep the Gators within striking distance.
The big problem for the Gators was they had no answer to shut down Geoghagan no matter what coach Mike Martello tried. By the end of the first half Geoghagan had 28 points and the Bobcats had the game well in hand with a 38-19 lead.
"I thought at times we had a hand in Geoghagan's face, but when he's shooting like that there's not much you can do," Martello said. "We tried a couple guys guarding him and we tried a couple of different schemes -- hedging over the top and fighting around the back side of the pick.
"There's just not much you can do when they are on fire like that and they put on a shooting clinic here tonight."
Whatever hopes the Gators getting back into the game in the second half faded quickly as Baker managed just one point in the third quarter on a Garrett Sanders free throw.
Paxton led 49-20 at the end of the third quarter.
A basket by Paxton's Desmond Moore with 5:58 left in the fourth put the Bobcats up 58-22 and started the running clock the remainder of the game.
Geoghagan was the only Bobcat player in double figures. He was followed in scoring by Carnley's nine points and Moore's eight points.
Sanders topped the Gators with 11 points. Hartzog scored nine points for Baker.
Randy Dickson is the Crestview News Bulletin’s sports editor. Email him at email@example.com, tweet him @BigRandle, or call 682-6524