Bulldogs set to meet Broncos
LaCYGNE -- Despite not scoring a single point in the first six minutes of the game, the Baldwin High School girls basketball team advanced to the sub-state semifinal round by defeating Prairie View here Tuesday night.
The Bulldogs defeated Prairie View 57-55 in overtime on its homecourt in the first round of sub-state.
"I think we played our hearts out and we just aren't ready for our season to be over yet," junior Ellie Meinen said.
Baldwin fell behind 10-0 in the first quarter before putting any points on the scoreboard.
"We were getting good shots, we just weren't knocking them down," coach Eric Toot said. "We just had to make sure we didn't panic, and we didn't. We started to hit some shots and our press got us back in it. I was proud of how we kept fighting."
Freshman Colby Heckathorne gave Baldwin its first points with a three-pointer with 1:47 left in the quarter. Baldwin was only behind 12-6 after the quarter.
Junior Amy Craig said the team was getting good shots, but just not making them.
"We were getting the shots off, but we just weren't getting them in," Craig said. "We finally took charge and got some in."
The Bulldogs rallied back in the second quarter with 13 points coming from Craig and Meinen combined. They went into halftime tied at 24-24.
"I thought Amy Craig kept us in it the first half," Toot said. "She kept us in it when we were down 10."
Baldwin jumped out to a six-point lead early in the third quarter with threes from sophomore Kelsey Verhaeghe and Meinen. But Prairie View caught up and battled back. Baldwin led by one with one quarter left.
Both teams fought back and forth during the fourth quarter, with neither leading by more than three points. With the game tied at 49-49, Baldwin used the final 1:06 to win the game, but was unable to make its shot and headed into overtime.
"In the second half, we just kept battling them," Toot said. "We never lost our composure. Katelyn (Miles) had some huge plays tonight. Ellie did also. Everybody did, it was a team effort."
The Bulldogs made the first basket of overtime and never relinquished the lead. They hit a few free throws down the stretch to keep the lead and hang on to win 57-55.
"It feels great, because we were the big underdog coming into this game," Meinen said. "We thought we could pull it off if we played as hard as we could."
Craig said the team is happy to win because of all the hard work they have put in.
"After all these practices, we finally showed up and played as hard as we could," Craig said. "It feels really good and like we're accomplishing something,"
Toot agreed because the Bulldogs have been through some losing streaks this season.
"It's so good for these girls to have this success, because we went through a hard time there for about a month," Toot said. "They worked hard everyday in practice. They could have easily folded and not showed up, but they continued to battle and work hard. Tonight we were rewarded for that hard work."
Leading the way for the Bulldogs was Meinen with 19 points. Junior Miles added 12, while Craig contributed nine points of her own.
The Bulldogs, now 10-11, will meet Spring Hill in the semifinal round at 7:30 p.m. on Friday in Eudora. Spring Hill has knocked Baldwin out of sub-state the past three years.
"At this point, I don't care who we play, I just wanted to play," Toot said. "I didn't want it to end tonight."
Meinen said she is ready to play Spring Hill again in sub-state.
"I'm very excited to play them," Meinen said. "We've been knocked out by them the past few years, and we're looking to change it."