BHS girls beat Piper, fall to DeSoto
The Baldwin High School varsity girls basketball team dropped its second straight game to DeSoto on Friday, but came back to beat Piper on Tuesday to make its record 7-3.
"I thought we came out with much more focus than we did at DeSoto," Toot said. "We crashed the boards hard and we controlled the backboards all night."
The Bulldogs defeated Piper 54-35 in the first round of the Top Gun Tournament in Wellsville.
"We were trying to get back on a winning track," sophomore Amanda Vander Tuig said. "We came out fired up and got on them early. We had some let downs, but overall it was a good win."
The Bulldogs have won the tournament the last three years. They will play Eudora, who beat Wellsville 47-33, at 7:45 p.m. tonight in the red gym.
Junior Denise Orloff said the team played hard the entire game, which helped lead it to victory.
"We definitely came out and played as a 32-minute team this game," Orloff said. "We played hard from the beginning, and I think that's what won it for us."
The first quarter was tied at 7-7 with 4:10 remaining, when Baldwin went on an 8-0 run to close the quarter.
The teams fought back and forth throughout the second quarter, but Baldwin still led by 24-16 at halftime.
"In the beginning, I thought we came out with a lot of intensity," Toot said. "I thought in the second quarter, we were too timid on the offensive end."
The Bulldogs opened up their lead to 12 points in the third quarter, but Piper kept the deficit at only 11 heading into the final quarter.
The fourth quarter would prove to be the big quarter for Baldwin as it outscored Piper 17-9 on the way to its first-round victory.
Orloff said they always come out of the locker room playing hard and continue that throughout the second half.
"We always come out harder the second half, because we get pumped up in the locker room," Orloff said. "It just adds to the intensity."
Toot said the reason why the Bulldogs were able to pull away was simple.
"We quit giving up defensive penetration on the defensive end, and that forced them into some turnovers and some tough shots," Toot said.
Vander Tuig said the team played a lot better on the offensive end of the court.
"We executed our offense a lot better than we have," Vander Tuig said. "We had some more offensive rebounds and second chances."
Toot gave credit to his two post players, Orloff and junior Katelyn Miles.
"Denise was just too much for them to handle inside," Toot said. "I thought that was really one of the keys to the game. Denise and Katelyn played real well tonight. We controlled the inside on both ends of the court."
Orloff was the leading scorer for Baldwin with 15 points. Vander Tuig added 10, while Miles put up eight points. Junior Amy Craig and sophomore Kelsey Verhaeghe each contributed seven points.
On Friday night, Baldwin mounted a strong second half comeback against DeSoto, but it fell short as it lost 55-47, marking the second consecutive Frontier League loss.
"We didn't come out ready to play," Vander Tuig said. "We weren't clicking for some reason. We played better in the second half, but dug too deep of a hole to recover."
Baldwin jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead with a three-pointer by Vander Tuig in the first 12 seconds of the game. But DeSoto outscored Baldwin 20-6 in the rest of the quarter. Baldwin trailed 33-20 at halftime.
"It was a tale of two halves," Toot said. "In the first half, we just didn't come out with the focus we needed. We gave up too many offensive rebounds."
Baldwin couldn't close the gap until late in the fourth quarter. With 4:31 remaining and down 48-33, Baldwin launched a 14-3 run on DeSoto. The Bulldogs missed a three-pointer with 30 seconds left that would have closed the lead to only one point.
"In the second half, we showed as much heart and desire that I've had a team give when they were down at half like we were," Toot said. "We could have easily gotten blown out, but we actually got ourselves back in the game and even win the game at the end."
The Bulldogs continue play in the Top Gun Tournament tonight and Saturday night. They play host to Paola at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday night at the junior high gym.