Bulldogs use second half run to beat Broncos
SPRING HILL -- A 13-2 run early in the third quarter, sparked by eight straight points from junior Kelsey Verhaeghe, helped the Baldwin High School girls' basketball team run away with a 53-37 victory here Thursday night.
"They really came out and competed well today," coach Bob Martin said. "We executed well all the way around tonight. This was something we really needed."
Senior Denise Orloff enjoyed beating one of Baldwin's rivals.
"It was a pretty big win, because they are kind of a rival to us," Orloff said. "We played really well and our shots were going in, which was a big key for us."
A four-point halftime lead by Baldwin turned into a quick 15-point lead with 3:49 left in the third quarter. In the first minute of the second half, Verhaeghe hit two three-pointers. Then she hit a jump shot to score Baldwin's first eight points of the second half.
Orloff completed a three-point play and fellow senior Ellie Meinen made a lay-up to cap off the 13-2 surge.
Senior Amy Craig wasn't sure why the Bulldogs played well in the third quarter, but thinks it was building up from previous games.
"During the past three games, we were kind of dead in the third quarter," Craig said. "I think we were all kind of tired of being killed in the third quarter."
After both teams traded baskets, Verhaeghe hit another three-pointer at the end of the quarter to give Baldwin a 42-24 lead.
"The third quarter was super," Martin said. "We came out and shut them down. Kelsey (Verhaeghe) got hot in the third quarter and that's what we wanted."
Early in the fourth quarter Craig drained a three-pointer to give the Bulldogs a 47-26 lead, which sealed the game.
"It felt good, because I don't usually make my shots," Craig said. "Tonight, they were falling, so it felt good."
With a comfortable 49-28 lead, the Bulldogs cleared the bench to give some younger girls playing time.
Junior Amanda Vander Tuig and sophomore Heather Garcia each scored a basket during the final moments.
"That was nice and we have bench players that can play well," Martin said. "We count on them a lot and it's always nice to get everybody in."
In the first half, both teams started out slowly on offensive. But midway through the first quarter, both offenses began making shots and Baldwin ended the quarter on an 8-0 run to lead 14-8.
"I think we were ready to play," Martin said of the first quarter. "We had a good practice the day before. I think they put all of the other stuff behind them and focused well tonight."
The Bulldogs held their lead until the Broncos made a quick 4-0 run to close the lead to 19-18. Then senior Ellie Meinen hit a three-pointer, giving Baldwin a 22-18 lead at halftime.
"In the first half, we played awfully well," Martin said. "There was a little 45-second stretch where they got a little run on us. Otherwise, we would have been up double figures at halftime."
Meinen scored 14 points for Baldwin, while Verhaeghe led the team with 17. Craig and Orloff each contributed five points in the win.
The Bulldogs shot 48 percent from two-point range and sank five of 11 three-pointers in the win.
Orloff was proud of how their offense played Thursday.
"I don't know, our offense just clicked," Orloff said. "We were running everything really well. We were making good cuts and playing sharp."
Craig enjoyed the victory, especially after losing to Prairie View two days earlier.
"I thought it was a really big win after we lost to Prairie View," Craig said. "It was really nice to beat Spring Hill."
Martin agreed, saying the Bulldogs needed a confidence booster after the loss.
"It was very big for us," Martin said of the win. "We have been struggling for a while and we were down after Tuesday night. We needed something to boost us back up."
The Bulldogs next game is at 6:30 p.m. Friday in Gardner.