BHS girls off to quick beginning
By Jimmy Gillispie
Signal Staff Writer
With its only defeat coming at the hands of Paola, the Baldwin High School girls basketball team likes how the season has gone, but knows its next game won't be easy.
"The season is going really well," coach Eric Toot said. "The girls have been working extremely hard. We've been rewarded with a 3-1 record at the break, and we're extremely excited about the progress that we have made."
The Bulldogs have defeated Santa Fe Trail, Maranatha and Eudora. In their three victories, the Bulldogs have averaged 46.7 points per game while holding their opponents to only 37.3 points.
Junior Denise Orloff said the team has done much better than many people thought they would do.
"We are doing a lot better than anyone has expected us to do," Orloff said. "We keep getting better every day, and are on our way to success."
Defensive pressure has been very successful for Baldwin as it is averaging 17 steals per game.
"Our defense is working well for us," Toot said. "It's probably won us two games that otherwise we wouldn't have won. We were so solid on the defensive end, we were able to pull those games out."
Toot said the team is further along defensively than any team he has coached, but the Bulldogs need to improve on the offensive side.
"Offensively, we have a long ways to go, but the girls know that and they are trying hard to improve that area of our game," he said. "We've struggled offensively shooting. We're getting good looks, but we're just not hitting our shots, and I think that will come."
In the first four games, Baldwin is shooting 28 percent from the field and 57 percent from the free throw line.
"Our offense has gotten better every day, but we need to get it going," junior Katelyn Miles said.
Toot said the team needs to improve on the offensive end during the break, and hopefully give them some confidence.
"The main thing is execution of our offense and having confidence in our shooting," Toot said. "We've got some girls that are good shooters that are struggling right now. So, hopefully, as we continue on through the break, we will build our confidence in our shooting and in our offense."
Orloff said the team has a few things to work on over the break.
"We need to continue to have a strong defense and a strong mindset," Orloff said. "We also need to improve our offense. It's not as developed as we would like."
Toot said the Bulldogs will have about eight or nine practices during the break. He hopes that time will help heal some injuries, which have plagued the team.
"We've really struggled with injuries this year as a whole," Toot said. "This is the most injuries we've had since I've been here. The break is going to be good for us. So, hopefully, we will get well and be 100 percent."
Baldwin's next game will be its first home game of the season. The Bulldogs will play at 5:30 p.m. on Jan. 4 at the junior high.
"It's the biggest one because it's the next one," Toot said. "It's our first home game and they are very good. It will be a tough challenge for us."