Turnovers doom Baldwin girls in tournament
EUDORA -- If shooting 36 percent from the field and 45 percent from the free throw line wasn't bad enough; add numerous turnovers and you have a recipe for disaster.
Committing 25 turnovers only added to the problems for the Baldwin High School girls' basketball team here Tuesday.
The Bulldogs (1-1) lost to Paola 64-53 in the second round of the Cardinal Tournament.
"I thought we did a lot of things awfully well," coach Bob Martin said. "I thought we gave great effort all night. I told them that as good as that team is, we beat ourselves tonight."
Baldwin began the game by committing 10 first quarter turnovers, but only trailed 16-12 at the end of the quarter.
"A lot of it was that we were pretty tight and they put a lot of pressure on us," Martin said. "Many of those turnovers weren't necessarily things that they forced."
Paola opened up its lead in the second quarter as the Bulldogs struggled offensively with missed shots and more turnovers. At halftime, Baldwin gave the ball away 15 times and trailed 31-22.
"If we cut those turnovers in half, we have a chance of being ahead at halftime," Martin said.
The Panthers began putting Baldwin away in the third quarter with free throws and layups.
"We didn't get anything to drop in the third quarter and they pulled away from us a little bit," Martin said.
With its lead at 20 points late in the game, Paola let its second wave of five players enter the game.
Trailing 61-41, Baldwin made one last run at the Panthers. BHS scored 10 points in 1:30 to cut the Paola lead. The Panthers then returned their starters to the game with a minute remaining to secure the victory.
"We hung with them and battled pretty good," Martin said. "We never gave up. We just weren't able to respond as much as we wanted to. All in all, it wasn't a bad effort for early in the year."
Paola scored most of its points from layups, something that Martin wasn't happy with after the game.
"We were giving up way too much penetration, especially in the middle," Martin said. "Those are things that we work on a lot, but just didn't do a very good job of tonight. We've got to get better at that."
Despite the high number of turnovers and points in the paint allowed, Martin did see some good things in Tuesday's loss.
"Like I told them, we saw enough things tonight to have an idea about how good we maybe could be," Martin said. "There were some positives that came out of it."
Senior Becca Stroman led Baldwin with 11 points. Junior Heather Garcia scored 10, while senior Kelsey Verhaeghe added nine. The Bulldogs did sink six three-point shots Tuesday.
On Monday night, Baldwin played its first-round game of the tournament against Highland Park. BHS won 47-32 in another sloppy game.
"We were a little rough at times, but we improved during the second half," Verhaeghe said. "We just need to clean it up a little bit and maybe slow down, take a breath. We just need to relax and play ball."
It took the Bulldogs more than four minutes to score their first point of the game, but once they did, they couldn't stop for a few minutes. Baldwin led 15-3 after the first quarter.
"We didn't score for the first four-and-a-half minutes of the game," Martin said. "Then we got a couple of steals off of the press and we hit a couple of threes. We put on a nice little run for the last three minutes of it."
Baldwin led for the rest of the game, despite several runs by Highland Park during the second and third quarters. In the final quarter, Baldwin put the game out of reach with several baskets and free throws.
"We got better as the game went on," Martin said. "I think we were pretty tight coming out and we made a lot of mistakes early, but I was really happy with the second half. I was pretty happy with it for a first game."
He also said the girls were happy to begin the season with a victory.
"I think they all feel good about that," Martin said. "It's always good to start off that way. It's important that we just keep getting better every game, though. We've got some challenges ahead but it's nice to start off good."
Verhaeghe agreed with her coach.
"It was really exciting," Verhaeghe said. "We were all very excited for the game, because we've just been playing each other all of the time. So, it was nice to start off with a win."
Verhaeghe was the high scorer Monday with 14 points. Junior Colby Heckathorne added 10.
Baldwin will now play in the third-place game against Bishop Ward at 7 p.m. tonight in Eudora.
Martin said a win tonight would benefit the team greatly.
"To win two games in this tournament would be a good accomplishment, because it is a good tournament," Martin said.