Variety of woes continue for BHS
If it's not one thing, it's another. So it is for the Baldwin High School Bulldogs in this season of transition. That was illustrated clearly in their last two losses.
On Tuesday, BHS fell 54-51 to Osage City when cold shooting came calling. On Friday, the Bulldogs lost a 68-53 contest to Gardner when turnovers led to the demise.
Up until those two losses, BHS's biggest problem had been rebounding. The Bulldogs were consistently being out rebounded, but had gone to work on it in practice. It paid off, but then there were other problems.
"Tuesday against Osage City it was our shooting relative to their shooting," said coach Jeff Haas of the loss. "We've out rebounded our opponents the last two games. It seemed Friday it was turning it over off the dribble, which was a new one."
Osage City was 50 percent from the 3-point arc, while BHS could manage just 1 of 12 from 3-point land. Against Gardner, the Bulldogs had 23 turnovers, with 15 of those coming in the first half.
"It's been something every game," said Haas. "I suppose I'd rather have that than the same thing every game."
Another part of the game that's alluded BHS during its current four-game losing streak is an entire team on the same page. One game the guards will have a tear and in another it's the big guys inside.
"We haven't had the front court and the back court come together at the same time," he said, adding that there was yet another different factor in the last two losses, as well. "In both games, foul trouble got to us. We've had to try and get to half time with only two fouls apiece. First-half foul trouble has really hurt us."
On the positive side, there has been one constant the Bulldogs haven't given up.
"Again I thought we showed resiliency," said Haas. "We never quit."
In the Osage City game, BHS was up 18-13 after the first quarter, but saw a 19-9 surge in the second frame determine the game. The same thing happened against Gardner. There it was tied 13-13 at the end of the first quarter, but the Trailblazer put a 25-6 advantage fueled by those turnovers together in the second frame to take command of the game.
"It was a second-quarter ambush," he said of the Gardner game.
In the Gardner game, senior postman Hugh Murphy had a career-high 18 points and sophomore guard Andrew Hannon also reached double digits with 10. Seniors Eric Brown and Eric Black both had eight points. Against Osage City, junior guard Joe Gipp had 13 points, Brown added 10 and Hannon and Murphy both had eight.
The losses dropped BHS's record to 4-6 overall and 2-2 in Frontier League play. The Bulldogs played Jefferson County West in the first round of the 33rd Annual Baldwin Invitational Tournament Tuesday night, but results weren't available by press time. If they won that game, they play in the semifinals Friday at 6 p.m. in the junior high gym. If they lost, they went to the consolation round and play at 6 p.m. Friday in the high school gym.
Other first-round games Tuesday were Augusta vs. Anderson County in Baldwin's side of the bracket; Ottawa vs. Wellsville and Santa Fe Trail vs. Kansas City Turner on the other side of the bracket. Baldwin's next opponent is determined by the Augusta-Anderson County bout.
Baldwin's first-round opponent, Jeff West, had a 4-2 record when the seedings were made and stood at 7-2 going into Tuesday's game.
"There's an awful lot of good competition in this tournament," said Haas. "Jeff West is 7-2 and is a fourth seed. That's a pretty good record for a four seed. That says something about this tournament.
"I'm more familiar with the teams on the other side of the bracket," he said. "I intend to find out a lot about these teams this week. I think it should be a very good tournament."
As for what the Bulldogs need to do from here on out is keep heading in the right direction in learning what needs to be done. Haas has liked what he's seen in practice.
"I feel good about what we're doing in practice," he said. "I think the important thing for us to do is get better and get familiar with what's going on. It takes some time to get used to what I want and they are starting to get use to what they can do."