FREEPORT — Baker’s Brooks Taylor scored 15 points on five second-half 3-point baskets to lead the Gators to a 46-38 come-from-behind win over Freeport in District 2-1A play Friday night.
Prior to the opening tip the Bulldogs (2-19, 1-9) honored seniors Caleb King, Kenny Burgess and Cody Yelvington.
Burgess led the way scoring seven of Freeport’s 10 points in the first quarter as the Bulldogs led 10-8 after one.
Freeport led 10-4 halfway through the first quarter, but was unable to score in the final 4:19 of the period.
Baker (7-12, 3-7) closed the gap to two points on a slam dunk by Justin Morgan and a nifty layup by Austin Hicks.
Burgess continued to have a hot hand in the second quarter as he scored eight more points on his way to a 22-point effort.
The Bulldogs led 25-17 at the half, but the second half was a different story.
Morgan scored for Baker cutting the Freeport lead to 25-19. That’s when Taylor took over scoring nine of Baker’s next 11 points by way of the 3-ball.
Baker coach Mike Martello said Taylor got hot at just the right time.
“On offensive end he certainly was the difference maker,” Martello said of Taylor. “We couldn’t do much to stop them defensively and lucky for us, Brooks was able to step up and hit those big 3s that he did in the second half.
“We were down by eight at halftime and we talked about getting some stops defensively. We were letting them score way too easily. And lucky for us, not only did we get a couple of stops, but our shooting got hot too.”
A Taylor 3-pointer with 4:29 left in the third quarter gave the Gators their first lead of the game at 27-25 and they wouldn’t trail again.
Burgess scored for Freeport to tie the game at 27-27 and Taylor drained another 3-ball to make it 30-27 in favor of the Gators with 2:08 left in the half.
A King basket and a free throw by Ryan Newman tied the game at 30-30 at the end of three quarters of play.
Taylor and Freeport’s William Morrison traded 3-points in the first 40 seconds of the fourth quarter.
Taylor’s final score of the night, naturally, a 3-pointer, put the Gators in front for good as they outscored the Bulldogs 13-5 down the stretch to take the win.
Morgan joined Taylor in double figures with 14 points for the Gators.
Bulldog coach David Burke could only shake his head over another loss in a long season.
“We came out with lot of emotion in the first half and then we just went cold after the halftime,” he said. We missed some shots we should have made. And if we had made those shots we might have had a chance to win.
“It was typical Baker-Freeport game. I don’t think Baker played their best. We played a good first half, but he second half got a little rough for us.”
Randy Dickson is the Crestview News Bulletin’s sports editor. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, tweet him @BigRandle, or call 682-6524