Early three-pointers propel BHS to victory
LOUISBURG -- Five shots behind the arc and tenacious defense in the first half helped the Baldwin High School girls' basketball team win its season-opening contest.
Baldwin (1-0) defeated Anderson County 46-30 here on Monday night. It was the first game of the Bulldog/Wildcat classic, which also includes the Louisburg and Burlington teams.
"It was a fairly typical first game," coach Bob Martin said. "The first half was very good, especially the first quarter. We came out a little flat in the third quarter, but we got it back together. It was a good start."
BHS began its first game of the season on fire from long range. Senior Callie Craig and junior Clare Miles each rang in a pair of three-pointers during the first half. Junior Tracie Weege sank the other long-range shot for BHS.
"That helped relax us for a bit," Weege said. "We were nervous, but that lead helped us play better. Then we started playing better after that."
Senior Colby Heckathorne said the Bulldogs were focused early in their season-opening game.
"We were really motivated and ready to play in the first quarter," Heckathorne said. "That lead really helped us."
Those five three-pointers helped Baldwin jump out to a 28-6 halftime lead over Anderson County.
"We made a couple of threes and that always makes you look good," Martin said. "We were also sound defensively in the first half."
Baldwin also used its quick, scrappy defense to create turnovers during the first half. BHS tallied 17 steals, which turned into points.
Martin was proud of his team's defense in the first half, which held its opponent to six points during the first 16 minutes of the contest.
"That's going to be a big key to our success," Martin said. "I don't think we were as good at it as we are going to be, but that's going to be a big part of it."
The 22-point BHS lead at halftime began to dwindle during the third quarter. Anderson County started the second half with a 12-2 run. However, BHS seniors Ashley Tucker and Heckathorne scored the next five points to help Baldwin maintain a double-digit lead.
"I think sometimes you take the break and then come out not ready to play," Heckathorne said. "The other team was ready to play and we weren't."
Once the BHS players gathered their composure, they finished off Anderson County to win the contest.
"It was really nice to get the first win," Heckathorne said. "Before you play anyone, you never know where you're going to be against other teams. It was a good win."
Weege agreed with her teammate, saying the win helps build confidence for the rest of the season.
"It's always nice to get that first victory because it gets our confidence up and starts our season off in a good way," Weege said.
Baldwin shot 36 percent from the field and 60 percent from the free throw line. It also committed 20 turnovers. Martin said he expected some of those mistakes, because the team can now fix those problems.
"There were a few signs of the first game," Martin said. "We were a little ragged on offense. We aren't sure of ourselves yet. We made some mistakes that are correctable."
BHS played Burlington on Wednesday night, but results were unavailable at press time. The outcome will be available on the Signal's Web site at www.baldwincity.com. BHS will finish off the Wildcat/Bulldog Classic by playing host Louisburg at 6 p.m. Friday.