BHS girls continue to roll
Baldwin High School Bulldog girls put themselves in the driver's seat down the basketball season stretch with a pair of wins last week. Still, it wasn't all happy faces after the week concluded.
On Feb. 18, BHS knocked off long-time pain Spring Hill with a 58-53 victory at home. The Bulldogs followed that with a 52-49 win over pesky Paola at home to win their 14th straight game and keep their Frontier League record perfect at 9-0.
"We've got a chance to be No. 1 see in sub-state and win the league title outright Friday (at Louisburg)," said coach Eric Toot. "It was an up and down week to say the least. We had a real big win Tuesday and then there was the win Friday. But we also had the situation with Katelyn.
"It was from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows," Toot said.
Katelyn Miles, a freshman who had worked her way into a big part of the rotation, suffered a torn ACL in practice Thursday and is lost for the season. Miles will have surgery and then six months of rehabilitation, Toot said.
"I feel real bad for her with track and everything," he said. "Hopefully she'll make a full recovery. She's such a great kid. It just kind of puts a damper on the week."
She was a part of the Tuesday win over Spring Hill though, as the Bulldogs beat the team that has been responsible for four of BHS's five losses in the last two years. BHS was up 15-13 after the first quarter, but trailed 27-26 at halftime. An 18-12 surge in the third frame finally got the Bulldogs past the Broncos.
Junior Kari Garrison led the way for BHS with 15 points, including a pair of 3-pointers in the first quarter. Also in double digits were seniors Anna Skaggs and Kayla Pringle with 12 points and junior Emily Brown with 11.
"It's something we've been focusing on," Toot said of beating the Broncos. "We knew they were the team to beat. We raised our game to a higher level. We were aggressive, attacked and played to win."
It was a much better showing than the last time the Bulldogs squared off with Spring Hill in the Eudora tournament in December. The Broncos won that won 46-27, which is the only loss the Bulldogs have suffered.
"I thought that game told us we had a lot of improving to do," he said. "I didn't think they were 20 points better than us. I think that game helped us in the long run. Ever since the Christmas break we've got something done in practice every day and we've gotten after it hard."
They needed to do that in Friday's game against Paola. The Panthers jumped out 15-7 in the first quarter, but BHS answered with a 20-7 rally in the second frame for a 27-22 halftime lead. The Bulldogs added another seven points to the margin in the third and would need every one as Paola stormed back with a 17-8 run. But Pringle hit a big 3 down the stretch and Kalie Harris hit two free throws with 10 seconds left to seal it.
BHS improved to 17-1 with the 14th-straight win and the 9-0 league mark. Brown was the lone player in double digits with a dozen tallies.
"Paola plays us tough," said Toot. "It was a tough week coming off the Tuesday win and then the Katelyn thing. We made some defensive stops when we had to. Paola played well against us. They were ready for us."
Monday's scheduled game with Bishop Ward was canceled because of snow. That leaves Friday's bout at Louisburg as the season finale. The Bulldogs can wrap up the league title with a win.
"We've got a lot to play for Friday. To go unbeaten in this league is an accomplishment," he said. "We don't want to share it. That's what makes it exciting to still be playing for championships at the end of the year.
"They are about middle of the road with a .500 record," Toot said of Louisburg. "They lost to Prairie View in overtime. They are a scrappy bunch and much improved from last year. Plus, it's their home court and it's senior night, so they'll be fired up."