Baker hits 12 3s, scores 42 as Mundelein routs Wheeling
Trey Baker cooked up his own dozen Tuesday at the Class 4A Fremd boys basketball regional in Palatine.
Baker knocked down 12 3-pointers and finished with 42 points as Mundelein cruised past Wheeling 82-38.
Mundelein (28-4), which is seeded second in the Prospect sectional, will meet the winner of Wednesday's matchup between crosstown rivals Palatine and Fremd on Friday at 7 p.m. for the regional title.
Baker was the epitome of being on fire. He finished 12-of-16 from outside the arc and the four misses were all close as well. He tied the school record of 12 3-pointers set by Derek Parola.
The way Baker was shooting and with the distance on some of his 3-pointers, he may have been able to hit from the parking lot on Hawley Street in Mundelein.
"It was just one of those nights," Baker said. "I got hot early and my teammates just kept feeding me. It is one of those things that when you feel the rhythm early you just have to keep going with it."
Baker nailed 9 off his 11 3-pointers in the first half. Two of those were from what many call 4-point range, which is in the vicinity of 35 feet.
Baker saved his best shot for late in the first half.
After the ball swung to him just in front of the Wheeling bench, Baker unloaded another 3. Unfortunately, this one hit the back iron.
Chris Rooney rebounded the ball for Mundelein. As he passed the ball back to Baker, Mundelein assistant coach Noel De Le Mar sarcastically yelled from the bench "C'mon Trey, make a shot!"
And just as the final word trailed from De Le Mar, Baker complied, drilling his ninth 3-pointer of the first half as Mundelein took a commanding 48-23 lead at the break.
"I never heard him say that," Baker said. "He told me later in the huddle. I am just glad I could do that."
Mundelein coach Matt Badgley was not surprised by Baker's shooting performance.
"We hope he can always shoot better," Badgley said with a smile. "Trey does a great job with his preparation on a daily basis as that shows in a game like this. I was really proud of our kids that the hot hand kept getting fed."
Baker actually had an opportunity at a true "Baker's dozen" in the fourth quarter. But his shot from the corner rattled in and out.
"Maybe next time," Baker said.
Mundelein also got a huge performance from Scottie Ebube, who finished with 17 points, 7 rebounds and 4 blocks as well as Rooney, who had 7 points, including a pair of 3s.
Wheeling (14-19) actually had an early lead before Baker began his mixing.
The Wildcats, who won more games this season than they had since the 2007-08 season, were led by Christian McLaughlin and Javen Reid, who each had 10 points and Jaden Terrell, who had 8 points.
"We got of to a good start," Wheeling coach Michael O'Keeffe said. "We obviously had no answer for Trey Baker. We finished the year really well. We just ran into one of the top teams in state tonight."