BHS girls take third at Top Gun
WELLSVILLE It wasn't exactly what they wanted, but the Baldwin High School girls came home with a third-place trophy from the always tough Top Gun Tournament here Saturday.
BHS righted its ship against St. Marys in the consolation finals to win 50-42 to nab third. The Bulldogs had opened the tournament with a 40-29 win over Gardner, but fell in Thursday's semifinal to Kansas City Piper 55-52.
All in all, coach Eric Toot was pleased.
"We played three good teams," said Toot. "Our goal was obviously to win it. But going 2-1 against three good teams is good.
"I was happy with our play Saturday night coming back from a loss," he said. "It's shows something to be able to bounce back like that."
BHS had dug an early hole against Piper and trailed 29-21 at halftime. The Bulldogs fought back in the second half with 16-14 and 15-12 advantages, but it wasn't enough as they fell by three points.
That wasn't going to happen in the third-place game Saturday. BHS jumped out to an 11-9 lead in the first quarter against St. Marys and was up 20-19 at halftime. The Bulldogs used three three-point plays late in the third quarter to start taking charge. First, junior Colleen Kivett drilled a 3-pointer. Then sophomore Anna Skaggs banked in a 5-footer, was fouled and hit the free throw for an old-fashion three-point play. Kivett nailed another 3-pointer and BHS was up by 10 at 33-23 with 1:30 left in the quarter.
BHS maintained a healthy lead from there on out, never letting it get closer than three points, and keeping a margin of at least six for the most part. The Bulldogs salted it away from the free throw line, with some help from a stick-back by Kivett on an errant free throw.
For the game, Kivett had 19 points, 6-foot-1 freshman Emily Brown added 13 and Skaggs had nine. Against Piper, Kivett had 18 points, Brown 10 and Skaggs nine. In the Gardner win, Kivett had 13 points and Jodie Bacon 11. Kivett was the lone player for Baldwin on the all-tournament team.
The victory moved BHS's record to 10-3 on the season and came against the winner of the last two Top Gun tourneys. BHS still hasn't managed to bring the first-place prize back from the tournament, but they've always had success.
"We've been in the winner's bracket every year," said Toot.
But even more important, the tourney again provided top-flight competition. It gave hope to the squad which has had a good run all season long, but just needs to come up with an answer for its lone weak spot turnovers.
"We're playing good basketball, we're just making a lot of mistakes," he said. "We're having trouble with turnovers. We shot the ball well and played good defense.
"If we could just cut down on the turnovers, I think we'll have a good season and be there in the end," said Toot.
Next up for the Bulldogs is Friday's Winter Sports Festival (i.e. homecoming) tilt against Prairie View. All three teams varsity, junior varsity and freshmen will be back in action with games at 5 p.m., 6:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. The JV and freshmen teams were off during tournament week. The JV also has a tournament Saturday at home which starts at 10 a.m.