BHS girls clobber Cardinals
Despite having won 11 straight games, Baldwin High School girls basketball coach Eric Toot was concerned with the Bulldogs. That melted away Valentine's Day as BHS destroyed Eudora 69-22 to run the streak to an even dozen.
"I was very excited with how we played Friday night," Toot said of the rout. "We had been struggling in practice. We talked about it and I think the girls put together one of their best performances of the year.
"We were very aggressive and I think it started in the junior varsity game," he said. "Our girls who play on varsity and JV played with intensity and I think that carried over into the varsity game. Jamie Lawrenz dominated the JV game and that carried over. We were just all over them all night."
It started early and never stopped. BHS had a 25-0 run that started in the first quarter and didn't end until the third. At halftime, the Bulldogs were up 37-8 and Eudora hadn't scored in the second frame. About all the Cardinals got done in that quarter was turning the ball over. They had a dozen turnovers to help fuel BHS's onslaught.
Heading into the game it looked like the mismatch it was. The Bulldogs were 14-1 and riding the 11-game winning streak. Eudora was 5-11 and had lost five straight. It took a jump-start in intensity for BHS to get the most out of the game.
"We talked a lot about not overlooking that game since we had been struggling in practice and the last two games," said Toot. "We had been struggling since the St. Mary's game. This was a big game for us to get our confidence back."
The Bulldogs certainly got that. They also had balanced scoring and a boat-load of 3-point shots. Seniors Anna Skaggs and Kayla Pringle topped the scoring with 12 points apiece and a total of nine Bulldogs scored.
"The most amazing stat was we scored 69 points and our leading scorers had 12 points. That shows the balance we have," he said. "A game like that can get out of hand because we have 12 girls that can play. It didn't matter who I put in. There was no drop off.
"When most coaches sub out in a game like that there's a drop off. We don't have that. The intensity level was the same. You can't ask them not to play."
And the 3-pointers weren't just from the same player, either. Not by a long shot.
"We had seven 3s from different players," said Toot. "I'd say most teams don't get that in a season, much less a game."
The third-year coach did pick up his second technical of the season midway through the third quarter. He felt like the rout was effecting how the officials were calling the game.
"That's why I got frustrated with the officials," he said. "No matter what the score is, you want it to be called the same."
The same official who called the "T" later came up with an intentional foul against BHS. It was pretty odd for a game that was completely over and had been for some time, he said.
The victory upped BHS's record to 15-1 overall and 7-0 in Frontier League play. Friday's game served as a final tune-up for yet another showdown with BHS's nemesis, Spring Hill, which is also 15-1 and 7-0. The Broncos are the only team to beat BHS this season and they also beat the Bulldogs in the finals of sub-state last year.
BHS played host to Spring Hill Tuesday, but results weren't available by press time. Chances are the outcome will determine the league title and sub-state pairings.
"The main thing is we're excited for the challenge to see where we're at," Toot said of the Spring Hill game. "We've improved a lot since the last time we played them, so it will be a good test for our team."
BHS and Spring Hill squared off in the finals of the Eudora tournament earlier this season. The Broncos easily handled the Bulldogs on the same floor where BHS dismantled Eudora Friday.
"That's right, we played them at Eudora the last time," he said. "I think they'll be very excited to play us, too. I don't think they'll be looking past us. I'm sure they've got it circled on their calendar, too."
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