GARWIN — There was no first-game letdown this season.
One year after opening the 2017-18 season with what turned out to be a crucial two-point loss to GMG, Baxter’s boys’ basketball team pounded the Wolverines on the road on Nov. 27.
Senior Will Clapper had 20 points and 10 rebounds and junior Cole Damman finished with 16 points and six assists as the Bolts cruised past GMG 66-48 during Iowa Star Conference play.
Last year’s loss ended up costing Baxter the Iowa Star South Division title. This year, the Bolts begin the season with a win despite not shooting particularly great from the floor.
“We played hard on defense and had high energy all night,” Baxter coach Zach Hasselbrink said.
“We didn’t shoot it overly great, but we got the ball to our strengths.”
The game was won in the first and third quarters. Baxter (1-0 overall, 1-0 in the conference) outscored GMG in all four quarters, but had a 20-12 advantage in the first and a 16-11 surplus in the third. The Bolts led 30-18 at halftime.
Clapper made 9 of his 13 shots from the floor. Five of his 10 rebounds came at the offensive end.
Damman hit three 3-pointers in the win. Overall, the Bolts were 5-of-19 from long range but shot 43 percent from the floor overall. They were 17-of-22 from the free-throw line.
Senior Brendyn Padget tallied eight points and nine rebounds, junior Carter Nelsen had seven points and eight boards and sophomore Kael Johnston added seven points and three assists. Padget and Nelsen made their first career starts.
Senior Ian Thomson did not score but had five assists.
GMG (0-1, 0-1) was led by Braydon Peterson’s 17 points and Aaron Fleming’s 14 points.
The Bolts hosted Meskwaki Settlement School on Dec. 5. Baxter hosts Madrid in non-conference play on Dec. 6 and hosts Iowa Star Conference rival Collins-Maxwell on Dec. 7.
The girls games start at 6 p.m. and the boys games begin at 7:30 p.m.
GMG 55, Baxter 40
GMG used two big second-half runs to defeat the Baxter girls’ basketball team during Iowa Star Conference play on Nov. 27.
The Bolts led 6-5 after one quarter and went up 18-14 at halftime, but the Wolverines used a 10-0 run to start the third and a 12-0 spurt to begin the fourth to pull away.
The 55-40 home win pushes GMG to 2-0 for the first time in more than 10 years. Baxter is 0-3 on the season and 0-1 in conference play.
Senior Sydney Schmidt had eight points, nine rebounds and two steals to lead Baxter. Her first three buckets of the game came off putbacks.
Junior Caitlyn Bruntz had seven points and four rebounds, sophomore McKenzie Eslinger tallied six points, five rebounds and two steals and junior Sadie Meyer added four points, five rebounds and two steals.
Junior Holly Jessen finished with six points, and seniors Kaylin Van Ryswyk and Brenna Thomson both had six boards and two steals.
The Bolts led a close contest during a nip and tuck first half. Jessen’s 3-pointer made it 8-all early in the second quarter before Schmidt’s putback gave the Bolts a 12-10 lead. They stayed in front on a bucket by Bruntz and a 3-pointer by Thomson.
GMG’s 10-0 run to start the third put the Wolverines up 24-18.
An Eslinger basket cut Baxter’s deficit to two, and the Bolts trailed 31-28 after three quarters.
The Wolverines put the game away with a 12-0 run to start the fourth. The Bolts sored the game’s final six points, three each from Bruntz and Meyer, but couldn’t get any closer than 15 late in the game.
GMG (3-0, 2-0) outscored Baxter 24-12 in the fourth frame.