Depth helps BHS girls
There was a challenge Friday night by the Prairie View Buffaloes, but the Baldwin High School girls responded and pulled away with a 52-38 win to set the stage for a Winter Sports Royalty sweep.
Prairie View didn't go away early and actually had a first-quarter lead at 14-8 before BHS tied it at 14 to end the frame. The Bulldogs added to that lead in the second frame, but were still only up 27-21 at halftime.
"They're a fairly good basketball team," said BHS coach Eric Toot. "They're .500 and have played a lot of teams in our league close. They like to slow it down and play zone.
"I think we did a good job adjusting to that," Toot said. "We were patient and got a lot of good shots."
Patience was the key against Prairie View, because that's what the Buffaloes do best. Luckily, the Bulldogs found that in their repertoire as well.
BHS matched Prairie View bucket for bucket into the second half. But a pair of Colleen Kivett free throws at the end of the third quarter gave the Bulldog's two more points on the lead at 35-27 heading down the stretch.
Then it was time to forget patience and go for the jugular. Kivett canned a 3-pointer just into the fourth quarter for BHS's first double-digit lead at 38-27. A Jodie Bacon layup quickly turned that into a 13-point margin and the Bulldogs were finally off to the races.
Baldwin High kept it up. An inside move by freshman Emily Brown, two more buckets by junior pair Kivett and Bacon, along with two free throws by Bacon put the game away with three minutes left.
But, really, it was the same old story for the BHS girls that really made the difference.
"I just think our depth eventually plays into our hands," said Toot. "Other teams just don't have that."
He also knew Kivett's 3 to open the fourth quarter sent a message.
"Colleen has just been stepping up and hitting clutch shots," he said. "She's been hitting the big shots the last couple of games. Overall, I was just pleased with how we played. Emily had some big rebounds. She was a big factor offensively and defensively. I thought we did a good job on the boards."
The statistics proved him right. Brown had 15 points, Kivett had 14 and Bacon had 11. Brown had eight rebounds and both Kivett and Anna Skaggs had six.
But what really caught his attention was the one problem that has plagued the Bulldogs all season turnovers. They cut the number down.
"We got it down to 11," Toot said of the turnovers. "We had quite a few early, but only had three in the second half. Our goal is 15 turnovers, so I was really happy with 11."
Next up for BHS is a Thursday game at Gardner and a Friday date at Eudora.