BHS girls hammer Trojans
Despite a slow start and cold shooting, the Baldwin High School girls basketball team put together a solid game and went on to a 66-33 win over the Osawatomie Trojans in the season opener Friday night.
"We played good in the first half," said senior Kalie Harris. "We just couldn't get our shots to fall. We played well on defense though, so we were okay."
Fourth-year head coach Eric Toot agreed.
"The only negative may have been our shooting percentage in the first half, but we were getting great shots so it's not a concern."
Toot also gave credit for the offensive performance to Harris.
"Kalie Harris did a great job of making sure we ran our offenses and the girls responded by executing," he said.
Harris played a key role in executing the offense in her first start as a Bulldog.
"I was a little nervous starting at point guard because it was the first time I'd started," Harris said. "We took good shots in the first half but couldn't get them to fall. We played good defense though, so it didn't hurt us."
Despite Osawatomie having several tall girls, the Bulldogs controlled the boards, with senior Jamie Lawrenz and sophomore Katelyn Miles each getting 10 rebounds.
"Defensively, we had very few breakdowns and were able to control the boards," said Miles. "In practice we have been struggling defensively, but against Osawatomie we had a very solid game.
"We still have a lot of room for improvement though," she said.
Toot was happy with how his squad performed in the opener. Leading scorers were Emily Brown with 14 points, Kari Garrison with 11 and Lawrenz with 10.
"I thought our execution on the offensive end was outstanding, especially when you take into account it was our first game," he said. "We did not shoot the ball very well in the first half, but we were getting a good shot almost every time. The girls are so unselfish that it makes teams very hard to guard us. Even with great scorers like Emily and Kari, teams can not concentrate just on them. They are so unselfish they will find the open teammate and a player like Anna Gillispie will make teams pay for doubling defensively.
"On the defensive end, that was the best we have been all year if you include practice," said Toot. "In practice we have not been very sound, but Friday we had few breakdowns. Rebounding was my biggest concern going into the game when considering Osawatomie's size. The have four girls 5-11 or better, but we were able to control the glass on both the offensive and defensive ends. Jamie Lawrenz and Katelyn Miles gave a tremendous effort on the boards."
Up next for the Bulldogs is the Paola Invitational which began with games Monday and Tuesday night with the finals on Friday. BHS opened the tourney by hammering Kansas City Turner 87-20.
Brown had 16 points, Garrison 12, Miles 11 and Lawrenz 10. Toot substituted freely during the onslaught and the younger players got some valuable experience.
"As a coach, it was a difficult game. You don't want games to get out of hand on the scoreboard, but at the same time you want your kids to continue to play hard and execute," he said. "It was a situation where everyone of our kids played well against KC Turner. When you score 87 points as a team and your high scorer has 16, that says a lot about the depth and talent we have on our team."
He knows the tournament will get tougher from there.
"It will be competitive," Toot said. "There are a lot of good teams in the tournament including Highland Park, who is considered one of the best teams in 5A. Also, it is at Paola so that will give Paola a big advantage playing on their home court."
After this week of tournament action, the Bulldogs will return home for the home opener against Anderson County on Dec. 19.