BHS girls grab Frontier League crown
LOUISBURG -- There was no doubt Friday night. The Baldwin High School girls took care of business and capped an unbeaten Frontier League basketball season here by clobbering Louisburg 55-33.
"It feels very good," said coach Eric Toot. "Coming into the season I thought that would be difficult to attain. Our team has been able to meet every challenge to this point and they deserve it.
"I think going undefeated in this league is an amazing accomplishment for any team in any year, but especially with a team like Spring Hill and other good teams in the league," said Toot. "It shows how hard our players work not only during the season, but in the off season as well."
The Bulldogs didn't waste any time, either, quickly showing they meant business with a 15-4 first-quarter run.
"We talked about jumping on Louisburg early," he said. "We knew they weren't as talented as us, but sometimes if you let a team like that stay close they gain confidence. But we were able to get up and get out of the game healthy and move on to this week."
BHS was a little wary after losing teammate Katelyn Miles to a knee injury last week and seeing Ellie Meinen go down in the junior varsity game with a sprained knee.
"The girls were nervous when Ellie hurt her knee in the JV game," said Toot. "That floor is where the Spring Hill girls got hurt, too. After they saw that, they thought the floor was jinxed."
It wasn't. BHS went on to a 31-16 halftime lead, then put it far out of reach with a 12-6 surge in the third quarter.
Junior Emily Brown topped the scoring with 16 points. Joining her in double digits were senior Anna Skaggs and junior Kari Garrison, both with 12 tallies. Skaggs was a force on the boards, pulling down 11 rebounds.
The victory was BHS's 16th in a row as the Bulldogs improved their overall record to 19-1 and kept the league slate perfect at 10-0.
Now it's onto playoff time. Sub-state play opened Tuesday night with a home game against Kansas City Piper, but results weren't available by press time. If the Bulldogs won that game, they advanced to the semifinals Friday at Spring Hill. The finals are scheduled for Saturday at 6 p.m.
"Should we get past the first round, it's going to be a challenging week," said Toot. "I think which ever team comes out of the sub-state will contend for a state title because that's how strong this sub-state is."
BHS is the No. 1 seed, followed by Spring Hill. Bishop Ward (12-6) and DeSoto (15-5) are also top teams.
"Kansas City Ward is legitimately one of the best teams in the state," he said. "They've played us twice and have been playing Class 6A schools. They were undefeated in their league and beat Ottawa twice."
BHS beat Ward last week 69-56 on the Wednesday before the Louisburg game. Brown had 20 points in that one, with Skaggs close behind with 17 and senior Katie Martin with 13.
The entire Bulldog team is looking forward to what lies ahead.
"So far this season we've met every challenge, so hopefully we'll continue to play well," said Toot. "It's been a great season so far and the kids have been a delight to coach."
He's also pleased with what he sees in the future from what the junior varsity and freshman teams have accomplished.
"Our freshmen finished 15-5 and the JV was 15-1. Both were undefeated in league also," he said. "I'm very excited about the future. I think we've got some very strong kids coming up and they will do nothing but get better."
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