BHS girls lose three straight
The Baldwin High School girls basketball team dropped its fifth game out of the last six on against Paola Tuesday night at home.
The Bulldogs faced a tough opponent in Paola only three days after finishing fourth in the Top Gun Tournament in Wellsville. The Bulldogs were defeated by Paola 54-42.
"What really hurt us tonight was rebounding," coach Eric Toot said. "We just couldn't keep them off the offensive boards. They are too good of a team to give them second shots, and that's just too hard to overcome when playing a team of that talent."
Paola jumped on Baldwin 9-0 in the first three minutes of the game. Paola kept its lead for the rest of the game, despite many runs by Baldwin.
"We came out real slow," Toot said. "But they were fired up and took it to us. Then we threw a nice little run at them, but we just missed some easy shots and gave up some offensive rebounds to stay close enough."
Baldwin would make a small run at the beginning of each of the final three quarters, but Paola answered every run. Baldwin failed to score the final 7:27 of the second quarter as Paola went on an 11-0 run to lead 27-14 at halftime.
"Our defense kind of struggled in the first half," junior Amy Craig said. "I think we need to improve that like we did at the beginning of the season."
The closest Baldwin would get to Paola would be seven points midway through the third quarter.
Toot said the team needs to work on blocking out on the defensive end if it wishes to improve.
"We have to make a concentrated effort to have all five girls to block out on the defensive end," Toot said. "We just don't have the size or the strength to rely on our two people to get our rebounds."
Craig had a simple explanation on how the team can improve.
"We need to put the ball in the goal," Craig said.
The Bulldogs placed fourth in the Top Gun after losing to Eudora and Spring Hill. Baldwin fell to Spring Hill 65-60 in overtime on Saturday night in the consolation game.
Spring Hill went into halftime leading 31-14 after dominating Baldwin on the inside. But Baldwin applied full-court pressure and rallied back in the second half by using the bench a lot.
"It was a game of two halves, and the girls we started in the second half came in, relaxed and just played the game," Toot said.
Junior Ellie Meinen agreed the two halves were vastly different.
"In the first half, we came out a little slow and it was like we were on our heels," Meinen said. "But the second half, we came out fired up and came back and tied it."
The Bulldogs overcame an 18-point deficit to send the game into overtime, but were unable to get anything going in the extra minutes.
"It seemed like the first half again," Meinen said. "We lost a little intensity in overtime."
Senior Katie Krysztof said the team lost the energy in the overtime, but she was still proud of the team.
"I think it was a lack of enthusiasm again," Krysztof said. "We kind of lost our energy. But overall, it was a good effort and I'm really proud of the way we fought."
Toot said some of the players on the team are placing more pressure on themselves, especially at the start of games.
"I think our older kids and starters are putting way too much pressure on themselves, and are having a hard time relaxing and playing at the beginning of games," Toot said.
On Thursday night, Baldwin was defeated by rival Eudora in the tournament's semifinal round 40-35.
Baldwin was held scoreless in the final 6:07 of the game and only shot 21 percent from the field.
"I thought we played really well Thursday, we just didn't shoot the ball well," Toot said. "We shot 21 percent from the field. We got a lot of good shots, and if we shoot 30 percent, we probably win that game."
Baldwin currently sits at 7-6, after starting the season 6-1.
"I really believe right now we are better than when we were 6-1," Toot said. "We are just playing a lot better competition now. We've just got to keep believing in ourselves and work hard every day to get better."
Baldwin will try to end its losing streak against Anderson County at 6:30 p.m. on Friday at Garnett.
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