Baldwin girls take third-place finish
The Baldwin High School girls basketball team hit the court hard last week, place third at the Eudora Invitational.
Match one of the tournament pitted Baldwin against Class 3A opponent, Maranatha. The Bulldogs came out strong, taking a 17-8 lead after the first quarter. Lack of an offense allowed Maranatha to make a come back. The Bulldogs hit the locker rooms with a 21-16 lead over their opponent. The Bulldogs came out blazing, outscoring Maranatha once again during the second half, ending the game with a 44-32 victory to progress to the next stage of the tournament. Sophomore Kelsey Verhaeghe led team scoring with 13 points and five rebounds.
The Bulldogs found league opponent Paola waiting for them in the second round. The game went back and forth during the first quarter. Paola barely had room to breathe as the Panthers went into the second quarter with an 11-9 lead over the Bulldogs. The second quarter proved to be a slump for Baldwin, letting Paola score 18 points before the Bulldogs finally managed to put up two of their own. The Bulldogs were trailing at half 11-29.
The gears began churning as the team struggled to catch back up. The Bulldogs found their offensive groove in the second half, scoring 22 points. It was too little, too late, however, as Paola kept pushing the score to give the Bulldogs their first defeat as they lost the game 58-33.
Baldwin suffered major problems by turning over the ball 23 times. The offensive factor was almost non-existent for the Bulldogs with a 23-percent field goal percentage. Junior Denise Orloff had a double-double, with 14 points and 12 rebounds.
"Defensively, we played really well," coach Eric Toot said. "We had a really difficult time running offense, which caused some problems."
The final game of the tournament paired the Bulldogs against rival Eudora. The Bulldogs found themselves trailing again in the first quarter after Eudora outscored them 12-10. The Bulldogs applied the pressure on defense to shut down Eudora in the next quarter, ending the half with Baldwin up 21-18.
The scoring continued on both sides of the court, but Baldwin edged out Eudora in the end with a 44-34 victory to claim the third place title. Junior Katelyn Miles led the team with 15 points and eight rebounds.
"We have a lot to work on," Miles said. "But we played really well for where we are at."