Shooting woes lead to league loss
SPRING HILL -- Maybe it was Friday's full moon or maybe it was not having school. Whatever it was caused a dismal shooting night here Monday.
The Baldwin High School girls' basketball team (10-4) made 29 percent of its field goals in its 66-55 loss to the Broncos.
"We did a lot of things right in the game," coach Bob Martin said. "Offensively, I thought we executed really well. We had a lot of open shots, but we just didn't hit them. Sometimes you just don't hit them."
Baldwin's leading scorer, senior Kelsey Verhaeghe, only managed seven points, as opposed to her 14.9 points per game average.
Verhaeghe struggled shooting as she made two of her 20 field goal attempts Monday.
"We were open and got good looks, but couldn't get anything to fall," Verhaeghe said. "It was frustrating all game long."
Fellow senior Becca Stroman also shot 10 percent from the field as she made one of 10 shots. She finished with seven points.
A three-pointer by Verhaeghe and another by sophomore Tracie Weege helped BHS cut the lead to seven points in the fourth quarter. Then the Broncos went on a quick 4-0 run to widen the gap and finish off Baldwin.
"We knew our shots would eventually fall," Verhaeghe said. "At times we had some good spurts, but they weren't long enough."
BHS had a chance to cut Spring Hill's lead to nine points before halftime, but missed a layup and ended up trailing by 13 at the break.
The Broncos led by 19 in the third quarter, until the Bulldogs went on a 12-2 surge. The spurt was halted as the Broncos continued scoring.
"We did a great job of getting ourselves back in the game," Martin said. "It was just one of those nights where things didn't go well. We got in foul trouble bad. They kept fighting and that's all you can ask of them."
Although he was happy with the effort, Martin wasn't too pleased with the Bulldogs' defense Monday. Spring Hill senior Amanda Dittmer scored 19 points, while junior Jennifer House added 16.
"I wasn't particularly happy with our defense, but anytime you give up 65 points, you can't be too happy," Martin said. "In the second half, we were having to scramble and do some things, so you're going to have a lot more possessions.
"In the first half, we had some breakdowns and they got some stuff off of it that we normally don't give up," Martin said. "So, it wasn't a great defensive performance from us. I can't fault our kids, because they played really hard."
Monday's game was the third Frontier League loss for Baldwin this season. BHS has also been defeated by Paola and Gardner-Edgerton.
"Going into it, we felt like we had a chance to win," Martin said. "It was just a game where a lot of things didn't go right for us and that happens in basketball every now and then. We had been playing pretty well the last couple of weeks and I guess we were due for something like that."
Since the Gardner loss, Baldwin had won five straight games, including one over rival Eudora.
The Bulldogs beat the Cardinals 47-38 last Thursday in Eudora.
"It was a hard fought battle," Martin said after the Eudora game. "I am really happy with them right now. They played hard tonight and knew they were going to have to. It was two teams really going after each other, but I am happy to get the win."
Stroman came up big during the fourth quarter of the game. She missed a late free throw, but her hustle for the rebound sealed the deal.
After rebounding her attempt at a three-point play, Stroman passed the ball to junior Heather Garcia, who found Verhaeghe wide open in the corner.
Verhaeghe drained the three-point basket to give the BHS girls' a 43-35 lead with 2:45 left in the game.
"That was a big play," Martin said. "Becca had a pretty big game tonight and that was a big bucket for us."
Baldwin held its lead to win the contest.
"It was really exciting," Verhaeghe said. "We were fired up and we kept it up all game. In the fourth quarter, we really turned it on and played good defense."
Verhaeghe led Baldwin with 19 points in the victory. Garcia and Stroman each added eight.
"I thought Kelsey really rose to the occasion in the second half," Martin said. "They were giving her a lot of trouble offensively and she had to work to get her shot off. She ended up with 19 points and they were a good 19 points."
The two teams exchanged the lead 12 times during the game. Baldwin gained a one-point advantage with 7:36 left in the game and never lost the lead again.
"It was ugly and I know we struggled on offense, but a lot of that was because of them (Eudora)," Martin said. "You have to give them credit for playing hard."
The Bulldogs may have struggled a bit offensively, but their defense held Eudora to single digits during three of the periods.
"Good defense will stop good offense," Martin said. "I was really happy with our defense and the effort that we gave."
Baldwin hosted Santa Fe Trail Wednesday night, but the results were unavailable at press time. The results will be available on-line at www.baldwincity.com. The BHS players knew they had to shake off Monday's loss quickly.
"We just need to play like we know how to play and not even worry about last night," Verhaeghe said Tuesday.
The BHS girls will next host Osawatomie at 6:30 p.m. Friday. Then they will host Ottawa at the same time Tuesday.
"The good thing is we don't have long to think about it," Martin said of the loss to Spring Hill. "We have to look ahead to our next two games. We don't have a lot of time to dwell on it, which is good. I think we will bounce back."