BHS girls survive, advance in Top Gun
WELLSVILLE -- What started out looking like a blowout, soon became a struggle for the Baldwin High School girls' basketball team Tuesday night in the opening round of the Top Gun Tournament here.
The Bulldogs jumped on top of Wellsville 10-2 midway through the first quarter. Then they battled for the next two quarters, before once again taking the lead and winning the game 49-38.
"It feels good to get the win," BHS coach Bob Martin said. "Every game of this tournament could have been an upset. Wellsville always give it their best shot in this tournament."
Senior Katelyn Miles agreed about not wanting to get beaten by a lower seeded team in the opening round.
"It felt very good, because two other teams got upset," Miles said. "We knew it was going to be tough to beat them."
The Bulldogs are the No. 1 seed in the tourney. Eudora (No. 2 seed) needed a late three-pointer and overtime to beat Piper (No. 7 seed).
St. Mary's (No. 6 seed) defeated Ottawa (No. 3 seed) while Anderson County (No. 5 seed) beat Spring Hill (No. 4 seed).
Junior Kelsey Verhaeghe was glad the team could get the win.
"It was a good win," Verhaeghe said. "It showed how hard we wanted to play to get the win."
Verhaeghe helped Baldwin jump out to a 10-2 lead by scoring eight of the 10 points with two three-pointers and a lay-up. Then Wellsville finished the quarter with an 11-0 run to lead 13-10.
"We started off strong and got a little too confident," Verhaeghe said. "We then backed off a bit."
The Bulldogs never regained the lead in the second quarter and trailed 26-21 at halftime.
"Maybe we came out so good, that we relaxed a little bit," Martin said of the first half. "We let them back in and they got the momentum. We started struggling and we were forcing things."
Verhaeghe said the Bulldogs weren't taking their time on offense and hurried their shots and passes.
"We were really rushed," Verhaeghe said. "I don't think we were patient on running our offense all the way through."
Baldwin continued to struggle after halftime, but did tie the game at 30-30. Then the Eagles made two baskets to lead 34-31 heading into the final period.
Baldwin opened the fourth quarter with a 13-0 run before Wellsville finally scored with 2:15 left in the game.
The Bulldogs held their lead in the final minutes to collect the win.
Martin was proud of how his team battled back in the fourth quarter.
"You have go give our girls credit for coming back and rising to the occasion," Martin said.
"You have to give our defense credit," Martin said. "Amy Craig did a great job of pressuring their guards our front. Katelyn and Kelsey really stepped up and hit some big shots for us."
Verhaeghe led Baldwin with 19 points. Miles chipped in 13, while fellow senior Ellie Meinen added eight points.
The Bulldogs will next play Anderson County at 6:15 p.m. Thursday in the red gym in Wellsville. If they win that game, they will play at 7:45 p.m. Saturday for the championship. A loss to Anderson County will make Baldwin play at 6 p.m. Saturday.
"It feels really good to advance, but it's going to be a tough one on Thursday," Martin said.