BHS girls tame Cyclones
By Jimmy Gillispie
Signal Sports Writer
After jumping out to an early lead, the Baldwin High girls basketball team cruised to victory against Ottawa High School on Friday night, 57-32, in its first game after Christmas break.
The Bulldogs fell behind 2-0, but then went on a 22-1 run to end the first quarter of play. During that run, the Bulldogs were able to make layups off of their defense.
"We scored a lot of points because of our defense," coach Eric Toot said. "It allowed us to get into transition and get a lot of easy shots. From our defensive intensity, we got a lot of easy shots and a big lead early."
Senior Kalie Harris agreed with Toot about how the team's defense sparked the early lead.
"We played pretty well on defense in the first quarter," Harris said. "We shut down their ball reversal. We mostly focused on defensive transition."
Harris also said the fast start by the Bulldogs might have frustrated Ottawa a little bit.
"It made them kind of frustrated," Harris said. "It helped us slow down the game and run our offense."
After being shut down in the first quarter, Ottawa found a little life in the second quarter, and started cutting into Baldwin's lead. The Cyclones went on a little 6-0 run to start the quarter and eventually cut the lead to 25-16. But Baldwin would end the half with four straight points.
Toot knows the team played very well defensively throughout the game, but struggled a bit in the second quarter.
"I thought it was our best game defensively for the entire year," Toot said. "Our intensity was high for most of the game. We had one lapse in the second quarter, but besides that I'm very pleased with how we played."
The third quarter would seal the victory for the Bulldogs, as they held Ottawa to four points and extended their lead to 20. The fourth quarter would be much of the same, as Baldwin built on its lead once more, and eventually won the game 57-32.
Toot said the team showed more intensity than it had all season, and was thus able to get better ball pressure and get into the passing lanes.
"Defensively, everybody played well, because our defense is so much based on team," Toot said. "I thought everybody was where they were supposed to be today, and we haven't had that."
Senior Kari Garrison thinks that some of the increased intensity might have been due to the competition.
"We were just excited to play," Garrison said. "We were excited, because it was Ottawa. They are usually a good team."
Toot said during the break, the coaches were able to look at game film and try to work on aspects of the team's game that needed improving.
"As coaches, we really look forward to Christmas break, because it gives us a chance to improve," Toot said.
The Bulldogs were led in scoring by Garrison and senior Emily Brown, who each scored 12 points. Senior Jamie Lawrenz added seven, while junior Kara Tompkins dropped in six for the Bulldogs.
Baldwin shot 23 of 54 from the field, while grabbing 11 offensive rebounds.
The Bulldogs took on Paola High School Tuesday night at home, but the results were not available at press time.