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Balance brings Baldwin its basketball success

Baldwin head coach Darius Burton, Jr. hoists the

Baldwin head coach Darius Burton, Jr. hoists the championship plaque after his team's win against Uniondale in the Nassau Class AA boys final basketball game. (March 3, 2012) (Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke)

There’s a small chance MiKing Richardson will score more than 20 points per game this season.

The Baldwin guard/forward has the potential to score 30 in any given game, said head coach Darius Burton, but there’s a better chance he won’t approach those totals.

When it was recently brought to Burton’s attention that Baldwin seems to have yearly success without one player averaging more than 20 points, the coach laughed and said, “and we really prefer it that way.”

Richardson, a slick passer and one of Nassau County’s top players, however, doesn’t mind. He’s fine with racking up assists instead of points if it means Baldwin continues its winning trend this season.

“If a guy gets hot, he gets hot and we’ll keep feeding him, but I kind of like when Coach says that we won’t have anyone leading the county in scoring,” Richardson said. “It balances us out and it keeps our chemistry well. No one’s ego gets big on this team.”

It’s been a successful formula. Baldwin completed the back-to-back title runs in Nassau Class AA last season -- the first time in school history. The Bruins have made seven straight county title appearances (Baldwin won the title in 2008)

A two-year varsity player, Richardson was named a captain heading into this season and is expected to lead a team predicated on unselfish play.

“Some guys feel controlled but when they see the wins coming, they start to realize what’s best,” the senior said. “Coming from the JV team to varsity, I thought I was going to score a lot of points. I realized it wasn’t going to work out like that. Taking a lot of shots will give you a seat right on the bench next to coach.”

Baldwin will be somewhat undersized, Burton said, but captain DeMarco Barnes is a solid guard and guard Marvin Chartelain is expected to provide offense off the bench. Baldwin will open the season at 7 p.m. Friday against Plainview JFK at home.

“Every day coach reminds us that we got a target on our back,” Richardson said. “It motivates you every time you step on the court.”

Tags: boys basketball , baldwin , miking richardson , darius burton , demarco barnes , marvin chartelain

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