Girls tune up for opener
A sloppy, turnover-filled scrimmage Tuesday was the final tune up for the Baldwin High School girls' basketball team before its first game of the season.
Baldwin will begin its 2006-2007 campaign at 5:30 p.m. Monday night at the Cardinal Invitational in Eudora.
"I told them afterwards that now we are concentrating on next week," coach Bob Martin said. "We will be ready to go, so it ought to be a good week."
Senior Becca Stroman is anxious to play the first game.
"I am really excited and ready to play," Stroman said. "We've been practicing really hard and we're really looking forward to it."
Tuesday's scrimmage was the final warm up before the season-opening game. All three BHS girls' teams played during the night, with the varsity and junior varsity squads combining to form two evenly divided teams.
After the scrimmage, Martin was pleased with the effort of his team, but knew mistakes were going to be common.
"There was a lot of enthusiasm, but not a lot of execution," Martin said. "There were some good things. That's the way scrimmages are. It was a bit rough, but I am pretty happy with it."
The BHS players were excited to finally play some up-tempo basketball.
"It was fun, but we make it more competitive because we are playing against each other," Stroman said. "If we play that good against each other, hopefully it will be even better against our opponents."
Stroman, who was a member of the white team, felt her team should have won the scrimmage, but instead came up on the losing side.
"It was pretty good," Stroman said. "We've been working really hard to get ready for it and I think it went pretty good. I thought it was going to be the white team that came out on top, but I guess we were in for a bit of a surprise.
"I think the white team had an advantage, but we just didn't take advantage of it," Stroman said. "We just didn't capitalize. We had some sloppy passes and we just weren't running things right."
Many of the Bulldog players committed numerous turnovers or missed many shots during the scrimmage. Martin expected miscues during the contest, so he wasn't concerned about the high number of errors.
"At this time of the year, we just have to work on execution as much as anything else," Martin said. "You want to be familiar and comfortable with what you are doing. It just takes time, because it's early in the year."
Heading into the first game next week, Martin said his team has several things to work on, mostly on the offensive side of the ball.
"Normally, at this time of the year, your defense is ahead of your offense and I think that's true with us," Martin said. "In practice, we have been really solid on defense and offense just takes time, but we will be there."
One area where the Bulldogs might struggle offensively this year is in the post, because of a lack of height.
"We have a disadvantage inside, because we are the shortest team in the league, so we need to work on that a little bit," Stroman said. "We also need to work on not being so sloppy."
Martin said the Bulldogs are continuing to add offensive schemes and plays before the first game.
"We still have a few things to put in, because you are putting new stuff in almost every day," Martin said. "It takes a while for them to learn everything and get comfortable with it. Right now, it's about making sure we have enough in for our first week and trying to execute it."
Baldwin will play Highland Park High School at 5:30 p.m. Monday in Eudora. The Bulldogs are an experienced team with five seniors and four juniors, most of which have had significant varsity playing time.
"I think the experience will definitely help," Martin said. "We have lots of girls that have a lot of experience. That's going to go a long ways for us."