BHS girls open roundtrip route with rout
With four games in about a week's time in Wellsville, the Baldwin High School Bulldog girls started the roundball, round trip saga off right Thursday with a 62-29 win over the Eagles.
The three trips this week Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday won't find the going so easy. The annually tough Top Gun Tournament started Tuesday with a game against Gardner. BHS coach Eric Toot knows the going will be rough.
"It's going to be a tough tournament," said Toot. "There are six teams that can win it. But, it's the time of year when you need games like that."
No. 1 seeded Ottawa and No. 2 seeded Kansas City Piper are tied in the Class 4A state rankings at No. 5. BHS is the third seed, followed by Anderson County, a team the Bulldogs lost to earlier in the year, St. Marys the defending Class 3A state champs and back-to-back winners of the Top Gun tourney and then there's Gardner, which has improved. Rounding out the tourney field are Wellsville and Eudora.
The tournament is always tough and BHS has never won it. It's been the same teams over the years, with one exception, and that spot was filled by St. Marys. Toot likes the challenge.
"It's usually the same schools and most of them have had good girls teams," he said. "You not only have quality teams, but quality programs year after year.
"It's a tournament we've never won, even with our state teams," said Toot. "It would be nice to get it this year."
That's where he's hoping Thursday's warm-up with host Wellsville will fit in. Playing on the floor where the tourney will be played will help, he hopes.
"Yeh, it is nice," Toot said of getting the warm-up. "I thought it was a pretty good advantage to get to play in their gym early. Hopefully, it will be an advantage for us."
BHS used the game to knock off a few kinks in the offense. The Bulldogs jumped to an 11-6 first quarter lead, then poured it on with a 22-5 second quarter that left a 33-11 halftime advantage. BHS then went on to outscore the Eagles 29-18 in the second half for the lopsided win.
"I thought offensively we finally played a good game," said Toot. "We had been struggling offensively. Defensively we played well again, but we've been doing that all year."
Freshman Emily Brown led the way with 16 points, followed by junior Colleen Kivett with 12.
If BHS won Tuesday's game against Gardner, the second tourney game will be Thursday at 7:40 p.m. The tourney concludes Saturday.