By Charles Chaney BCTG Sports Editor
Going to Baldwin every year has been good for the Augusta men’s basketball team, and that success continued on Saturday.
Augusta needed overtime but knocked out Girard, 55-49 to win the BIT championship for the eighth time. The tournament featured six schools this season, putting the tournament into a round-robin bracket to find a group winner who would progress to the championship game.
The Orioles have been going to Baldwin since 1994 and have finished third or better 24 times out of the 29 years they have been there.
Augusta will go into Tuesday’s game with El Dorado on a four-game hitting streak and winning five of their last six games.
McDaniel, Kiser and McClanahan were all named to the all-tournament team.
CHAMPIONSHIP: AUGUSTA 55, GIRARD 47 OT
They needed overtime, but the Orioles clinched the Baldwin Invitational title with a win over Girard behind another double-double from Mc-Daniel.
They never stopped fighting while trailing 34-31 in the fourth quarter when McDaniel got on top of two defenders to unload a three at the buzzer. They managed to take it to overtime, where they held Girard bucketless in the overtime period.
Girard’s Aiden Damman hit an open three-pointer to go up 46-37 over Augusta with 4:19 remaining in regulation.
The Orioles made their move in just over a minute. After Girard missed two free throws, McDaniel brought him back under Kiser, who hit the e-one, cutting the deficit to six. Then, Girard threw it out on the next possession. McDaniel found a sharp Ruddle on the field goal to lay up and force Girard into a timeout as the Orioles led 46-42 with 3:11.
Out of the timeout, McDaniel stole a pass and went coast to coast for the dunk, putting Augusta within two. McClanahan put Augusta up 47-46 with 1:55 remaining in regulation in three on another Mc-Daniel assist.
In overtime, McDaniel fought his way through the Girard defense for the lay up with 2:58 remaining for the lead.
Augusta would never go back. In the final four minutes of regulation and into overtime, the Orioles defense only forced Girard to make a single bucket. Girard didn’t help himself as they went 1-of-4 from the free throw line. They were 1-for-6 from the field the rest of the game, with four turnovers.
McDaniel, who was part of three championships under Baldwin, finished with 16 points and 12 rebounds for Augusta. He was one of three Orioles named to the all-tournament team. He also had four assists in the win, including three in the final four minutes of the game as the Orioles made their comeback. Kiser had 14 points and two steals for Augusta. He went 6 of 6 on the free throw line in the title game. McClanahan had 12 points on his four 3’s made. Although he didn’t score, Blackwell had three rebounds, two assists and three steals. He also took a charge.
Augusta;11;12;8;17;7;—63 Girard;10;12;11;15;1;—57 Augusta: McDaniel 16, Kiser 14, McClanahan 12, Ruddle 7, Haskell 2, Martin 2, Price 2 .
FIRST ROUND: AUGUSTA 63, OLATHE HERITAGE 57 After trailing 32-28 to Olathe Heritage at halftime, they closed the gap by two in the third quarter. Then, they made their move in the fourth.
Augusta;12;16;14;21;—63 Heritage;11;21;12;13;—57 Augusta: Kiser 19, McDaniel 15, McClanahan 14, Ruddel 10, Blackwell 3, Martin 2.
SEMIFINALS: AUGUSTA 63, WELLSVILLE 57
Again, Augusta trailed at the half, 29-27 against the Eagles. However the Orioles outscored Wellsville, 36-28 in the second half, to secure the win.
Augusta;12;15;19;17;—63 Wellsville;15;14;16;12;—57 Augusta: Kiser 16, McDaniel 12, McClanahan 9, Ruddle 9, Blackwell 8, Haskell 7, Pfeifer 2.