BHS to play Spring Hill fifth straight year in postseason
A win over Osawatomie Monday night set the Baldwin High School girls' basketball team up to meet Spring Hill for the fifth straight year in sub-state action.
The Bulldogs (16-5) and Broncos (9-12) will play in the sub-state semifinal round at 7:30 p.m. tonight in the Baldwin Junior High School gym.
"It's nice to have it here and we have Spring Hill," coach Bob Martin said. "That will be an exciting game. We are looking forward to it."
The Bulldogs beat Osawatomie (4-16) 44-33 at home Monday night in the first round of sub-state. The win advanced them to meet Spring Hill tonight.
"It's pretty exciting to advance," junior Kelsey Verhaeghe said. "It feels good to beat them, since we have played them close the last two years. It was nice to beat them by more than one point and to advance."
Earlier this year Baldwin won 39-38 at Osawatomie. Last season, the Bulldogs escaped with a 66-64 overtime victory over the Trojans at home.
"We were a little worried, because the last time we played them was so close," senior Katelyn Miles said. "But we knew we could beat them."
Verhaeghe led the Bulldogs with 20 points on Monday. She sank eight field goals, including three from behind the arc.
"It will be good to play on our home floor," Verhaeghe said of tonight's game. "It will be nice to have the home-court advantage."
Baldwin started Monday's game off 6-0 and led 10-5 at the end of the first quarter. Later in the second quarter, BHS expanded that lead to 13 on a three-pointer by Verhaeghe with 5:20 left in the half. Then the Bulldogs went cold and only led 18-10 at halftime.
"I thought we had a chance to run them out of the gym in the first quarter-and-a-half, but then we let them back in it," Martin said. "We went really flat in the third quarter. I was really proud of how we stepped it up when the game was on the line."
After halftime, the Bulldogs again built their lead to 12 when Verhaeghe hit a three-pointer and gave them a 27-15 lead. Then Osawatomie finished the quarter on a 9-0 run.
"We played really good for the most part," Miles said. "In the third quarter, we had a little slump. We had a lot of poise in the fourth quarter."
Baldwin used a 14-3 run in the fourth quarter to pull away after the Trojans closed the lead down to one point. BHS held on with free throws to win the game.
"We hadn't been shooting free throws really well lately," Martin said. "Tonight, we made them down the stretch. That was big for us."
In the second half, Osawatomie switched its defense to a box-and-one zone that followed Verhaeghe around. Despite the defense, Verhaeghe still managed to score 11 points in the second half.
"I was just trying to get open," Verhaeghe said. "The rest of the team stepped up and made some shots."
Verhaeghe said the team played well, especially early on and late in the game.
"We played really well I thought," Verhaeghe said. "We came out and got them, but we kind of lost our momentum in the third quarter. We picked it back up in the fourth quarter."
Martin said he was proud of how hard the girls fought to stay alive in the postseason.
"It feels really god to advance," Martin said. "We looked a little more like Baldwin tonight. I was really happy for our girls. They stepped up in the fourth quarter when things got tight. It's great to advance."
He was especially happy with how well the Bulldogs played after losing two games the week before against Eudora (16-5) and Wellsville (4-17).
"When you come into the postseason, it's a new season," Martin said. "I thought the girls did a good job of putting our problems from last week behind us and focusing on this game."
On Feb. 21, Baldwin lost to Eudora 54-38 on senior night. Then the Bulldogs traveled to Wellsville Friday night and lost 40-31 to the Eagles.
Baldwin only made eight of 39 shots from the field and 11 of 23 free throws against the Eagles.
"We just couldn't hit a shot and that started affecting us," Martin said. "We were in the game at 17-17, but we just couldn't buy anything. We couldn't even hit free throws. You can't shut a team out forever and they got us in a bad spot. We just weren't able to respond."
Both teams were tied 17-17 at the end of the third quarter, then Wellsville went on a 14-0 spurt to put the game away.
Verhaeghe was the only Bulldog in double figures as she scored 11 points.
Martin said the loss Friday may have helped the team out as it headed into sub-state action.
"I think that they were more frustrated from that more than anything else," Martin said. "They put the frustration behind them and come out with a pretty positive attitude here tonight."
If the Bulldogs win tonight, they will play at 6 p.m. Saturday at home against either Iola or Louisburg. Check the Signal's Web site, www.baldwincity.com, for updates on sub-state basketball action.
Frontier League Standings
Paola 12-0 18-2
Eudora 11-1 15-5
Baldwin 8-4 15-5
Gardner 8-4 11-9
Ottawa 8-4 10-10
DeSoto 7-5 11-9
Louisburg 6-6 12-8
Prairie View 6-6 12-8
Spring Hill 5-7 8-12
Central Hts. 2-10 4-15
Osawatomie 2-10 4-15
Wellsville 2-10 4-16
Anderson 1-11 4-16