BHS girls’ offense returns for home wins
One way to recover from a poor-shooting night in basketball is to win consecutive home games, one of which was a 43-point blowout.
After a dismal shooting performance at Spring Hill on Feb. 5, the Baldwin High School girls' basketball team nailed down two wins last week.
The Bulldogs (12-4) beat Santa Fe Trail 52-47 on Feb. 7 before routing Osawatomie 75-32 Friday night.
"That was a nice one to have," coach Bob Martin said of the win Friday. "We've had a long stretch where we have played a lot of games in the last three weeks. We've had a lot of really tough games, so it's nice to have one like that where we can get everybody a chance to play."
Against the Trojans, Baldwin jumped out to a quick 7-2 lead, but the Trojans hung tough early. Baldwin only led 14-10 after the first quarter. Then the game got ugly in a hurry.
The Bulldogs outscored Osawatomie 26-5 in the second quarter. Senior Kelsey Verhaeghe hit a trio of three-pointers, while five other girls contributed points during the period.
Junior Ashley Tucker scored six points in the third period as BHS expanded its lead by six points. In the fourth quarter, Baldwin emptied its bench, allowing several younger girls to play significant varsity minutes.
"It was a fun win," Tucker said. "We needed that, because we haven't been playing well. We needed a fun win like that."
Sophomore Alex Zordel scored four points in the final minutes, while sophomore Calleigh Durr added three.
"It was nice to get them all in," Martin said. "It's also nice to play well and enjoy the game."
Martin was pleased with the Bulldogs' offense.
"We moved the ball and ran the floor really well tonight," Martin said. "We got the ball inside and were able to find each other all night. We missed some layups early, then the game got out of hand in the second quarter."
Tucker said the Bulldogs played as a team offensively.
"We were hitting all of our shots tonight and we got the ball to the open people," Tucker said. "Our offense worked really well tonight."
Two nights earlier, the Bulldogs battled a tough Santa Fe Trail team. BHS jumped on the Chargers early and it looked like the rout was on.
Verhaeghe came out on fire as she drained her first three long-range shots, only two nights after her worst shooting night of the season. She helped BHS to a 12-2 lead, which expanded to a 27-12 lead at halftime.
Then, the Chargers began chipping at the lead as they began the second half with an 8-0 run. The BHS lead was down to seven points heading into the final quarter.
"We couldn't have played any better in the first half," Martin said. "We caught them back on their heels a little bit, but then they kind of caught us back on our heels. We came out in the third quarter and had four short jump shots or layups and we didn't get any to fall. All of a sudden it was back to a ball game."
The Bulldogs held a nine-point lead with 4:02 left in the game, before the Chargers sparked a 9-2 spurt in the next three minutes. BHS made six of 10 free throws during the final minute to maintain its lead and win the game.
"We made some free throws, but if we would have made more, it wouldn't have been as close," Verhaeghe said. "We kept our composure and had patience."
Martin said the Bulldogs needed to win a close game where their lead was being challenged down the stretch.
"We really needed to play a game like that," Martin said. "We needed some confidence that we can handle that kind of stuff. At times we struggled a bit, but it was a good win."
Verhaeghe was glad to see their offense improve after the previous loss.
"This was really good for us after a loss," Verhaeghe said of the win. "That really helped our confidence."
Martin was thrilled to see his team rebound with a win after the loss at Spring Hill. He was even happier to watch the Bulldogs sink shots.
"The fact that we did shoot a lot better makes us look better," Martin said. "We have been running our offense pretty good, but we just haven't gotten shots to fall. Tonight we shot like we normally shoot. We had a lot of players really bounce back well."
Baldwin was scheduled to play Ottawa Tuesday, but the snow canceled school and moved the game to Wednesday night. The results of the game were unavailable at press time, but will be posted on the Signal's Web site at www.baldwincity.com.
BHS will next play at Kansas City Turner at 6:30 p.m. Friday. Then the Bulldogs will host De Soto on Tuesday at the same time.
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