Baldwin girls easily handle Anderson Co.
The Baldwin High School girls' basketball team jumped out to an early 3-0 lead against Anderson County on Friday night, and never looked back as it won 68-37, to improve its record to 4-1.
"I thought overall we played very well," coach Eric Toot said. "But we've got to do a better job of taking care of the ball. But, overall, I was very happy with how we played."
Baldwin took a 7-1 lead in the first two and a half minutes, but then saw Anderson County make back-to-back shots, closing the lead to two. Baldwin ended the first quarter leading 15-8.
Toot said his team comes out with too much energy early and makes mistakes because of that.
"I think sometimes we come out and we're too wound up and we don't relax," Toot said. "After we get in the flow, we start to relax and play our game. Sometimes I think we try too hard to make the great play instead of the easy play, and that hurts us sometimes."
The second quarter belonged to Baldwin, as it outscored Anderson County 19-4. Baldwin was able to get more inside shots and draw fouls on Anderson County.
Toot believes that the team picked up its defense in the second quarter, especially on Anderson County senior Rachel Rockers.
"I think we were letting 21 (Rockers) get open too often in the first quarter, and we really wanted to limit her touches," Toot said. "Defensively, I thought we did a better job of that in the second quarter. We got some easy baskets and that always helps, too."
Baldwin also expanded on its lead in the third quarter with a couple 3-pointers from seniors Anna Gillispie and Kari Garrison.
Garrison said the team has special plays for people to get open, which was part of the reason for the good shooting.
"We get open through set plays that we run or from people driving to the basket," Garrison said.
In the fourth quarter, Baldwin emptied its bench, allowing everybody to get some minutes. Baldwin still outscored Anderson County 17-11, giving the Bulldogs their first home victory.
"As a team, we played well on offense and played strong team defense," Gillispie said. "If we can minimize our turnovers, we can have more opportunities to score."
Turnovers were the one aspect that the Bulldogs did not do well on Friday, as they committed 22 of them. Garrison also knew they committed too many turnovers.
"We did pretty good," Garrison said. "We had quite a few turnovers, which Mr. Toot wasn't very happy with. But overall, we did good."
Baldwin shot 25 of 50 from the field, while holding Anderson County to shoot only 12 of 55. Baldwin also made six of nine 3-pointers and 12 of 18 free throws. Senior Emily Brown and sophomore Katelyn Miles both grabbed 10 rebounds.
Garrison led the team with 12 points, but was followed closely by Gillispie, who put up 11. Brown also scored 10 points, giving her a double-double. Senior Kalie Harris was the other Baldwin player to score in double figures, as she added 10 points.
Toot said he saw some signs of improvement from the previous week's performances.
"We had a good week of practice," Toot said. "Last week we didn't get to practice at all, because of the weather and the games. Our conditioning is behind, but I thought we were a little bit better tonight. And defensively, this was probably the best game we've played."
Baldwin's next game is at 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 2 at home against Ottawa High School.