Bulldogs’ resiliency shined on Saturday
If the Baldwin High School girls' basketball team hasn't shown its resiliency this season, it sure did this past weekend.
Less than 24 hours after suffering a one-point loss at Spring Hill, the Bulldogs returned home to stomp Kansas City Turner. The 67-19 rout came just hours after the 57-56 defeat.
"It was good to play at home again and get a win, especially after losing such a close game the night before," senior Colby Heckathorne said. "It was good to get some of our younger girls playing time, too."
The Bulldogs (10-9) controlled Saturday's game from the opening minute. They jumped out to an early lead and rolled with it. After one quarter of action, they lead 22-2 over KC Turner.
Baldwin continued to pour it on during the second quarter. Although it only scored 10 points during the period, it held Turner to only two points - again.
"They gave an awful lot of themselves Friday night and I wasn't sure how much they had in their legs," coach Bob Martin said. "I was hoping to play a lot of people because of that. But, they responded and came out well."
The second half didn't fare any better for Turner. Baldwin kept the accelerator floored, outscoring its opponent 35-15 during the second half. Every BHS player that suited up Saturday scored during the game.
Senior Ashley Tucker led the Bulldogs with 12 points. Junior Tracie Weege also managed to score in double figures with 10. Seniors Callie Craig and Heather Garcia each added eight to the winning cause.
"I was really happy with how they came out and played," Martin said. "Everybody got to play and score. It was a fun night."
Although the game was enjoyable, Martin was proud of his team for rebounding from Friday's tough defeat to win at home.
"That was a very nice win for us, especially after the tough loss the night before," Martin said. "They bounced back really well and played with a lot of determination."
Friday's game didn't start well for Baldwin and for most of the game it looked like BHS would suffer a 10 or 15-point defeat. The Broncos controlled the game from the beginning and maintained that for about 28 of the 32 minutes.
Baldwin fell behind 9-1 early in the game. After a few baskets, Baldwin was still trailing, but only 15-9. However, Baldwin's failure to score for most of the second quarter helped the Broncos build a 30-19 lead at halftime.
"We weren't as active defensively in the first half," Martin said. "We struggled a bit, too. We did a lot of good things offensively early, but we just weren't making shots."
The Bulldogs began to close that gap during the second half for a while. Spring Hill had an answer for every run Baldwin tried. The lead was even down to eight heading into the final quarter, yet Spring Hill remained in control.
"We picked things up in the second half and put some pressure on them," Martin said. "We played pretty well for the third quarter, but we didn't ever make a run on them. Then we made a really strong run on them during the last four minutes."
The Broncos held a comfortable 52-39 lead with less than four minutes remaining in the contest. Then Baldwin went on another one of its spurts.
Weege sparked it with a three-pointer and a pair of free throws. Craig then hit a long-range bomb 30 seconds later to cut the lead to seven points. Spring Hill then scored its last field goal of the game on its next possession with 2:01 remaining.
Two more Weege free throws and another Craig three-pointer closed the lead to four points. With 1:14 left in the game, Spring Hill's Jennifer House sank one of two foul shots. Then the game got a bit crazy.
"I was really proud of how the girls fought back," Martin said. "We were down the entire game, but we never quit. We made a really strong run at the end and had a chance to win it at the end. That's about all you can ask. I was really pleased with how we fought back in the second half."
Spring Hill's Ashley Miller missed a pair of free throws with 50 seconds remaining. Weege came down and hit a shot with 30 seconds left. Two seconds later, the Broncos' Courtney Swope missed two free throws.
On Baldwin's next possession, Weege missed a three-point attempt. Then junior Alex Zordel stole a Spring Hill pass and was fouled, sending her to the foul line. Zordel sank both free throws, cutting the lead to one point. The only problem was just 8.6 seconds were left in the game.
On the following inbounds play, the Broncos' player that caught the pass, traveled right after receiving the pass. This gave BHS one last shot with 8 second left and the ball under its own goal.
Garcia found junior Clare Miles open for a 10-foot jumper. The shot bounced off the rim twice into the hands of Weege. She then threw up a shot as she fell to the ground. That attempt fell short as Spring Hill rebounded the ball, only to be fouled immediately.
Miller again missed both foul shots. Weege caught the rebound and heaved the ball 90 feet. The toss bounced off the backboard ending the game.
"One thing you can say about these girls is they don't have much quit in them," Martin said. "They will fight all the way through the game. We have shown in a couple of games this year that we are able to hang in there really well. They have a lot of fight and determination in them."
Craig led BHS in scoring with 19 points. Weege added 14, while Tucker scored 10 points.
The Bulldogs host Ottawa at 6 p.m. Friday for their final home game of the season. It will be senior night at BHS.