Bulldogs unselfish in victory
In what might have been its best complete team game of the season, the Baldwin High School girls' basketball team defeated Central Heights 55-21 at home Friday night.
The Bulldogs (5-1) didn't have any player score in double figures, but did have 11 of the 12 players score in the game.
"I think it was a great team win," senior Jessica Hill said. "Everyone did their part. Everyone chipped in and played hard. It was a good win for us."
Coach Bob Martin was pleased with the team's performance.
"I was very happy with Friday's game," Martin said. "I thought we executed very well. Everybody played well and we used the entire bench."
For the second straight game, the Bulldogs jumped out to an early lead against their opponents. The Bulldogs took a 9-2 lead with 5:44 left in the first quarter on a basket from senior Katelyn Miles.
A three-point basket by sophomore Colby Heckathorne gave BHS an 18-10 lead at the end of the first quarter.
"We scored a lot in the first quarter, but we probably gave up more in the first quarter than we did the rest of the game," Martin said. "We executed really well in the first quarter and I thought it carried over into the entire game."
In the second quarter, Baldwin outscored Central Heights 12-4. Five Bulldogs scored in the quarter as they took a 30-14 lead into halftime.
In the first half, junior Becca Stroman made her first appearance of the season. Stroman transferred to BHS from Williamsburg and Friday's game was the first varsity game she was eligible for.
"It went pretty good, but I was a little nervous at first," Stroman said. "I didn't play well in the first quarter, but I eventually settled down a bit and did a better job."
To open the second half, the Bulldogs outscored Central Heights 11-3 midway through the third quarter.
Martin said the team has been focusing on playing well early in the second half, which was exactly what it did.
"I thought we played really good for the first three or four minutes of the second half," Martin said. "That is one thing we talked about at halftime. I thought they did a very nice job of doing that."
Baldwin headed into the fourth quarter leading 41-17. In the final period, BHS was able to give several young players more playing time.
The younger squad also played solid defense as it only allowed Central Heights to score four points.
Hill said the team played well in all areas of the game Friday.
"We were hitting shots and we were working well together," Hill said. "Our defense was great. It was an all-around great win."
Martin said the team is improving, partly because it is focusing harder during the game and at practice.
"We have been talking about the mental part of it and trying to get better every day and every week," Martin said.
Senior Ellie Meinen, sophomore Callie Craig and Miles each scored seven points for the Bulldogs. Junior Amanda Vander Tuig and Hill both added six points for Baldwin.
Six other players scored for Baldwin. Senior Denise Orloff was the only Bulldogs not to score. Orloff left the game early in the first quarter with an ankle injury. Orloff's status is a game time decision for Friday's game, according to BHS trainer Gary Stevanus.
Stroman was impressed how evenly the scoring was for the Bulldogs.
"I think we played pretty well," Stroman said. "We held them to only 21 points. We didn't have anybody that scored a lot, but a lot of people scored, so it was evenly distributed."
Miles led the Bulldogs in rebounds with eight, while sophomore Ashley Tucker and Stroman each grabbed six boards.
Martin has seen the Bulldogs' offense improve throughout the season and become a lot better than it was last year.
"I think they are getting more relaxed and more comfortable with it," Martin said. "They are starting to see some things. I think that is the biggest part of it, because for a lot of them, it is their second year on varsity."
Hill agrees about the team becoming more familiar with playing on varsity and adds that some confidence in the last two games has helped.
"Everyone is becoming more comfortable and relaxed," Hill said. "Everyone is gaining a little bit more confidence and making more shots. It is starting to fall together."
The Bulldogs played Osawatomie Wednesday night, after the game was postponed Tuesday. The results were unavailable at press time. Check the Signal's Web site at www.baldwincity.com for results. The next BHS game is at 6:30 p.m. Friday at home versus Kansas City Turner.
Hill likes where the team currently sits.
"It's a good start to the New Year and we are 2-0 in (Frontier) league play," Hill said.