STANTON — The Big Rapids guard tandem of Nick Baldwin and Dario Williams proved to be to much for the Central Montcalm Green Hornets.
Baldwin (20 points) and Williams (24 points) led the Cardinals to a 74-45 CSAA win over the Hornets on Tuesday night.
Coming off a poor shooting night in their last game the Cardinals began the night slow, but settled in and led 18-8 after the first quarter.
“We played man-to-man and had a couple of guys out tonight and that made us smaller,” Central Montcalm coach John Kearney said. “Our kids worked hard, but that the first quarter we were getting the second rebound, but couldn’t finish it.”
“We are still young with two sophomores and eight juniors out there,” Big Rapids coach Kent Ingles said. “We only had two seniors out there after the injury (Dillon Schuberg). Dillon is our heart and soul and only starter back from last year.”
Schuberg injured his shoulder on a rebound attempt early in the game. He did not return to the court and is expected to miss some time.
In the second quarter, the Cardinals outscored the Hornets just 16-12 and led 34-20. Big Rapids’ guard tandem accounted for 14 of the points.
“We have a pretty good guard combo and they are both juniors,” Ingles said. “We kind of go with them. We are not very big and our guards have to push the ball.”
Central Montcalm’s Jared Cilibraise scored scored 10 of his team-high 19 points in the second quarter. He finished a perfect 9-for-9 from the free-throw line.
“He came off the bench and penetrated well,” Kearney said of Cilibraise. “We’ve been working on our free throws a lot. Jared played well coming off the bench giving us good things off the wing.”
Overall, the Hornets went 15-for-19 from the free-throw line.
Big Rapids extended their lead to 48-25 with four minutes remaining in the third quarter courtesy of a Williams three-pointer. Williams scored 11 points in the third as the Cardinals put the game out of reach with a 58-32 lead.
“We are just trying to find out what our kids can and can’t do and try to form them,” Kearney said. “That’s one of the things for a new coach. The score doesn’t indicate really how well we played. We will get better as the season goes along.”
Trevin Nemeth added 10 points for the Hornets.
Big Rapids (1-2, 1-1) will host White Cloud on Friday.
Central Montcalm (0-3, 0-2) will travel to Hesperia on Friday.