BHS girls blast past Paola
For a quarter, it was close. But from there, the Baldwin High School girls hung a heavy 48-34 loss on Paola here Friday night to remain unbeaten in league play and show that the New Year has at least one resolution holding firm.
Paola played tough in the early going and it was 8-8 at the end of the first quarter. After that, it was all Baldwin as the Bulldogs used a variety of weapons in the second quarter for a 20-6 surge which made a 28-14 halftime lead.
Then the Bulldog's 3-point shots started to fall in the third frame and it was watch out time. Senior Colleen Kivett and junior Kayla Pringle opened the third frame with back-to-back treys. An inside bucket by sophomore Emily Brown and another 3 from junior Erica Johnson and BHS was up 41-18 with 3:45 left in the quarter
"Our game plan going in was they were going to be in the zone and we went with our small lineup," said coach Eric Toot. "We shot 22 3s. I told them going into the game we should shoot between 20 and 30 3s. I wanted us crashing the boards, too. With 3s, you get long rebounds.
"And when the 3s start to drop, it's really good," said Toot. "We hit seven of 22, which is not bad when you consider we missed our first four. We have a good shooting team."
It's also a good rebounding team. Kivett had seven offensive rebounds which helped her get 12 points. Junior Anna Skaggs led the team with 14 points. It was balanced scoring from there.
Because of Brown being sick and senior Casey Millstein being gone, Toot went with the smaller starting lineup while the two 6-footers opened the game on the bench.
"They had missed some practices," he said of the twin towers. "I've got seven girls I'm confident in starting, so I went with the other five. Starting doesn't mean that much to me as a coach. I just tried to do the right thing."
It worked, too. Not only did it build the 20-plus-point lead, it also kept it. In the last game before the Christmas break, BHS saw a similar lead against Ottawa, the No. 1 team in Class 4A, melt away into an overtime loss. While Toot said it wasn't a New Year's resolution not to do that again, it sure turned out that way Friday.
"Over break, we talked a lot about being a great team," said Toot. "We are a good team, but we talked about being a great team.
"We learned a lot from that Ottawa loss," he said. "We lost our aggressiveness against Ottawa. We didn't do that against Paola. I think we learned our lesson."
The victory moved BHS's record to 5-2 overall for the year and, more importantly, to 3-0 in Frontier League play. The Bulldogs played at Osage City Tuesday night, but results weren't available by press time.
BHS will travel to Gardner Friday for another league contest. The Bulldogs then play host to Wellsville on a rare Monday night game. It's shown on the schedule at Jan. 17, but has been moved to Monday. Games on all of those nights start at 5 p.m.
After that, the Bulldogs will be off until the Wellsville Top Gun Tournament scheduled for Jan. 22, 24 and 26. Toot is looking forward to all the action.
"This is the time of year that counts," he said. "I really think we've improved and are ready to have a good second half. We've got a chance to accomplish some things in the tournament and the league. We're in a good position."
Toot is also pleased with the performance of his junior varsity and freshmen players. Both teams beat Paola Friday to move their records to 4-0 on the season.
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