Weege takes charge in BHS girls’ victory
Just when Tracie Weege's confidence was down, she bounced back with one of her best games all season.
On Feb. 5, the Baldwin High School junior had one of the worst games of her career at De Soto. Weege only managed to score two points in the contest.
However, she had redemption on her mind during the next game. Weege rebounded with 18 points as she led the BHS girls' basketball team to 53-49 victory over Louisburg at home Friday.
"That felt really good, because none of my shots were going in during the last game," Weege said. "This game was different, because the team was pumped up and ready to play better."
The victory avenged a loss earlier in the season for the Bulldogs, whose record is now 8-8. They were defeated 49-39 at Louisburg on Dec. 7. Weege also led the Bulldogs in scoring during that loss with 14 points.
After Friday's game it didn't take long to figure out which team won. The BHS players were excited to beat the Wildcats and win their first Frontier League game since defeating Paola on Jan. 11.
"It was really fun, especially after losing a really close game at De Soto and losing to Louisburg previously," senior Colby Heckathorne said. "Last game we came out flat. We were trying to win, but the motivation or something wasn't there. We were determined to be fired up for the entire game tonight."
The Jan. 11 game was also the Bulldogs' last home contest. Friday was winter royalty night at BHS and the gym was nearly packed for the girls' contest.
Coach Bob Martin said the home crowd and atmosphere helped the girls play well Friday.
"That's one thing we talked about before the game," Martin said of the atmosphere. "We haven't played at home very much this season. We knew it was going to be a big night with a big crowd. They came out and fed off all of that tonight."
Although they were ready to play, the Bulldogs didn't begin the game on a good note. The Wildcats rattled off nine straight points before BHS could get on the scoreboard.
"We got down 9-0, but we kept fighting through it and really turned it around," Martin said. "The girls gave a really great effort tonight."
Senior Callie Craig and Heckathorne helped BHS close the gap to 9-6. Weege drained a three-pointer with one second left on the clock to bring Baldwin within two points at the end of the first quarter.
"We had the mindset to come out and play well, but they ended up scoring points and we didn't," Heckathorne said. "We battled and tried to run them a little bit and it worked."
During the first five minutes of the second quarter, Baldwin went on a 13-4 run to open a lead of seven points. Senior Ashley Tucker scored six points during the spurt, while Weege added five.
Weege added five free throws before the half as Baldwin took a 30-22 lead into the break. She said Martin kept the girls fired up after the slow start, which helped them rally before halftime.
"Coach told us 'ladies, don't get down, because we have the rest of the game to catch up,'" Weege said. "He told us to keep playing well offensively and defensively and things will be fine."
Louisburg came fighting back in the third quarter and even took a 39-37 lead into the final eight minutes of action. Junior Clare Miles quickly regained the lead for BHS with five points to begin the fourth quarter.
With a 42-41 advantage, the Bulldogs finished strong and never relinquished the lead. Weege hit a pair of three-pointers late as Craig sank three free throws down the stretch to seal the victory.
"That was a pretty big win for us," Weege said. "We knew they were going to be a tough team. They came out really strong, but we just kept our composure and stayed on top of our game."
One of the biggest plays late in the game came from senior Heather Garcia. During the final two minutes, Garcia stole an inbounds pass right after a pair of Craig's foul shots. The steal nearly locked the game for BHS as Craig did soon after with her final free throw.
"That was a huge steal for us," Martin said. "She is probably going to set the season record for steals this year. She has gotten some big ones for us, like that last one."
After the win, Martin was praising three of his bench players for their performances.
"During the first half Callie Craig, Alex Zordel and Courtney Harris really came off the bench and gave us a boost when we were down," Martin said. "They helped us get back in it. Clare Miles really stepped up in the second half for us.
"Tracie Weege had a great game after having one of her worst games on Tuesday," Martin said. "She came back and one of her best tonight. I also thought Colby and Heather were solid all night."
The Bulldogs next play at 6 p.m. Friday at Spring Hill. Then they turn around and host Kansas City Turner at 3:30 p.m. Saturday. After a practice on Monday, they travel to Atchison to play at 5:30 p.m.
"We have three games next week with two of them on the road," Martin said. "It's going to be tough, but we'll take them one at a time and try to improve each night."