First quarter shooting helps Bulldogs beat Wildcats
After hitting 10 of 12 shots in the first quarter, the Baldwin High School girls' basketball team cooled its shooting down, but never lost its lead as it beat the DeSoto Wildcats 53-42 last Thursday night at home.
"I thought it was a good game," coach Bob Martin said. "The first quarter, offensively, is the best we have played all year. We were of course hitting really well, but we also did a lot of other things really well."
Sophomore Heather Garcia said the team came out ready to win after losing to DeSoto last year.
"We struggled against them last year, so we were determined to beat them this year," Garcia said.
The Bulldogs lost 55-47 last year at DeSoto.
Baldwin came out of the gates shooting red-hot and scored 23 points in the first quarter. DeSoto jumped out to a 4-3 lead, but Baldwin outscored the Wildcats 20-5 in the rest of the quarter to lead 23-9.
"We were just on," Martin said. "We were getting good shots and that's part of it. When you get good shots, you are going to make them, although sometimes you don't. We got good looks and we were able to hit them."
DeSoto slowly cut into Baldwin's lead in the second quarter and only trailed 33-26 at halftime.
In the third period, the Wildcats continued to cut Baldwin's lead until they only trailed 40-39 with 50 seconds left.
Martin said he expected a run from DeSoto, because it is a good team.
"I knew they would, because they really play hard," Martin said. "We went a little flat in the third quarter. There was a stretch in there where we had some chances to pull away, but weren't able to do it."
Then two big shots from sophomore Garcia gave Baldwin a 44-39 lead heading into the final quarter.
"I felt good about them," Garcia said. "I think they pumped us up going into the fourth quarter."
In the final quarter, Baldwin held DeSoto to only three points and it sank its free throws down the stretch to claim the victory.
"For the most part, I thought we executed well on offense," Martin said. "I was really happy with our fourth quarter, with the way we controlled the quarter. Those were the two keys to the game."
The Bulldogs next league game will be at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in Paola.