BHS girls rout Vikings in 37-point blowout
CENTRAL HEIGHTS Â-- What began as an ugly game, ended up being a Bulldog blowout here Friday night.
A quick 5-0 lead turned into a 59-22 victory in favor of the Baldwin High School girls' basketball team. The win over Central Heights moved Baldwin to 3-1 on the season.
"I thought we played well and did a lot of things soundly Friday," BHS coach Bob Martin said. "Our defense was good. It's nice to get a win like that."
BHS senior Kelsey Verhaeghe sparked the Bulldogs early with an offensive rebound, layup and a three-pointer all within the first 90 seconds of the game.
Verhaeghe went on to score 12 points in the Bulldogs' rout.
"We played well and meshed well as a team," Verhaeghe said. "Everything just clicked."
Senior Becca Stroman was pumped about winning by 37 points and collecting the first Frontier League victory of the season.
"It was nice to get a blowout victory because we did a lot of things right," Stroman said. "We really worked on our game and improved a lot. It was also good to go 1-0 in the league. That is exciting."
After the quick 5-0 lead, Baldwin sputtered a bit offensively, while the Vikings began to catch up. BHS led 8-6 before closing the first quarter with a 4-0 run.
Then the game began to get out of control as Baldwin outscored the Vikings 20-4 in the second quarter. Baldwin sank three long distance shots and eight girls scored in the quarter.
"I thought we were doing things pretty well offensively in the first quarter, but we weren't making all of the shots," Martin said. "We started making a few in the second quarter and we got some turnovers. We got a little spurt there that helped us put some distance on them."
The Bulldogs carried their momentum right into the third quarter. They continued to pour on the offense while forcing turnovers and bad shots from the Vikings.
Baldwin again dominated in points, as it outscored Central Heights 16-3 in the period. Sophomore Tracie Weege contributed five straight points for Baldwin within a two-minute span.
"We moved the ball fast and made shots," Verhaeghe said. "We still could have made more free throws."
Midway through the final quarter, Baldwin cleared its bench, allowing several younger players to play on varsity. Sophomore Clare Miles drained a three-pointer as time expired Friday.
"It gave us a chance to play everybody," Martin said of the margin of victory. "We played 14 girls and that is always nice. It was a reward for some of those girls that have been practicing really hard. It gave them a chance to get on the floor on the varsity level and show what they can do. It was a nice Christmas present."
Martin was very pleased with the rebounding effort by his team Friday.
"One of the things I've been really happy with, and I think we did this well Friday, was rebound," Martin said. "For our size, we have been rebounding pretty well. I am happy with that."
Verhaeghe said it was nice to win a game in that fashion before the team takes a few weeks off for winter break.
"It was good to have that as our last game before break, because we were able to work on our offense and see where we need to improve," Verhaeghe said.
The Bulldogs will be working on several things during the next two weeks, especially situations late in a game.
"We are going to work on a lot of last minute stuff where we are either up or down late in the game," Stroman said.
Martin said he will have the girls practice game situations, but he also wants to improve the team free throw percentage.
"We've been talking about that a little bit," Martin said. "We shot free throws really well the first night and we haven't been hitting them the last couple of nights. That's something we are going to concentrate on over Christmas."
The big win was the last of the '06 portion of the schedule. Next up for the Bulldogs will be their first home game of the season. They will host Paola at 6:30 p.m. The junior varsity Bulldogs will play at 5 p.m. and the freshmen will play at 8 p.m.