BHS girls ready for Top Gun after Turner victory
After jumping out to a quick 5-0 lead Friday, the Baldwin High School girls' basketball team never looked back as it beat Kansas City Turner for the second time this season.
The Bulldogs improved to 7-1 by defeating the Golden Bears 51-31 at home. The Bulldogs also beat Turner 35-25 at the Panther Invitational Dec. 5.
"It was really a struggle the first time we played them," coach Bob Martin said. "We didn't shoot well. We are more patient and disciplined on offense now."
Senior Katelyn Miles said the Bulldogs' offense has improved in the month since their last meeting.
"I think shooting was a problem the first time and we improved on that," Miles said. "We also didn't let it be such a close game."
Martin thought the team's effort was great Friday night.
"I thought it was a really solid effort," Martin said. "I thought we were pretty solid defensively and offensively. We are not shooting as well as we would like right now, but we are doing the right things on offense."
BHS seniors Ellie Meinen and Miles scored the first three baskets for Baldwin. Fellow senior Amy Craig contributed one free throw as BHS took an early 7-2 lead.
"I think it always helps a little bit," Martin said of the early lead. "But we did the same thing against Osawatomie and let them back in it. It was important to get off to a good start."
Sophomore Colby Heckathorne drained a three-pointer to give BHS a 10-6 lead after the first quarter.
Baldwin started the second quarter with a 5-0 run. After Turner closed the lead to 15-12, the Bulldogs went on an 11-4 run of their own. At halftime, Baldwin led 30-19.
Miles said the team's goal is to come out of the locker room playing well and shutting down its opponent.
"Coming out of halftime, no matter what the score is, we just want to make sure we want to outscore our opponent in the first three minutes of the second half," Miles said.
In the third quarter, Baldwin outscored its opponent 11-4 to take a 41-23 lead into the final period.
The Bulldogs maintained their lead in the fourth quarter and never let Turner make a run at them.
"I thought we played very well," Miles said. "It was a big improvement from our game against Osawatomie. We shot a lot better on Friday."
Meinen and Miles each scored nine points to lead the Bulldogs. Junior Kelsey Verhaeghe added seven points, while senior Denise Orloff added six. Three Bulldogs also added five points each.
The victory was the seventh for the Bulldogs and the second in three days.
"It felt really good, especially since we didn't play well a couple days ago and in practice," Craig said. "I am glad we could pull through and win. It was one of our better games as a team."
BHS played Osawatomie Jan. 11 after the game was postponed a day, because of several inches of snow Jan. 10 in Osawatomie.
The Bulldogs won the game 39-38, when the Trojans attempted its last-second shot just inside the three-point line.
Martin said the team didn't play awful, but it just shot poorly that night.
"Things weren't going very well for us, but we played with a lot of poise," Martin said. "I don't think we played bad, we just couldn't hit anything. Almost every shot we took was a good shot. We just couldn't buy any."
The Bulldogs shot 37 percent from the field and made only two of 18 three-pointers. They also only hit 11 of 18 free throws.
Verhaeghe led the team with 14 points, Meinen added eight and Craig chipped in six for the Bulldogs.
Craig said the Bulldogs have to improve their defense for the rest of the season.
"I hope our defense becomes stronger like last year and we can get the ball into the low post more," Craig said.
Martin said the main thing for Baldwin is playing consistent each game.
"Consistency is always something we need to work on," Martin said. "We have been able to play a lot of girls, so I feel good about our depth right now. Consistency is the big thing right now and just to keep improving."
The Bulldogs play host to DeSoto tonight at the Baldwin Junior High School gym. The freshman team starts the action at 5 p.m. The junior varsity should start around 6:30 p.m. with the varsity beginning at 8 p.m.
Starting Tuesday, the Bulldogs begin the annual Top Gun Tournament in Wellsville. Baldwin plays host Wellsville at 7:45 p.m. in the red gym Tuesday.
"It's always one of the highlights of the year," Martin said. "The girls are very much looking forward to it. We are hoping to perform well there."
Miles said the tournament is fun, particularly because each year has a theme, which is jungle related this year.
"We are really looking forward to it," Miles said. "We think we are going to have a pretty high seed. We know that the competition will be pretty good. It's always fun, especially with the theme for the team photo."