Baylor's success on the football field has put the basketball team behind schedule, as they entered the Times Free Press Best of Preps tournament having played only three games. Head coach Austin Clark has found himself frustrated trying to install his system and getting players into playing condition and game shape.
Game No. 4 against Notre Dame provided a lot of reasons to smile and a lot of Reggie Upshaw.
The Baylor junior finished with 25 points, 10 rebounds and four assists, and the Red Raiders went on a 25-3 run to end the first half on their way to a 53-31 victory over the Irish at Arts & Sciences. Baylor (2-2) will face Tyner (9-0) tonight at 8:30 in the semifinals.
Upshaw provided excitement with a dunk in the early moments, and was unstoppable at times on his way to the game-high point total.
"I knew from the first dunk that it was going to be a good game," he said. "It kind of got the crowd into it, and felt great.
"We needed this win. We lost our last two games, and so now we feel a lot better and have a different type of confident going into our next game."
Baylor jumped out to a 6-0 advantage early, but Notre Dame responded, tying the game at 9. Stedmon Ford hit a 3 to make it 14-12 to start the second quarter, but the Red Raiders reeled off 20 points to end the half.
Red Raider coach Austin Clark thought the team moved the ball around well. Upshaw and Jeff Bowers led the team with four assists each; the team finished with 14 total.
"I thought we did a good job passing the ball. If we move the ball and we're not selfish, we're going to get good shots," he said. "We have to be patient and not take the first shot opportunity we have."
Baylor's defense locked down Notre Dame. Ford led the Irish with 13 points, but only got 18 points from his teammates.
"Defensively, I was impressed with how we played," Clark said.
Leo Born finished with nine points. His brother Clay had eight, while Wyatt McRae finished with seven. Kywaun Davenport scored six points for Notre Dame.