Archive for Thursday, January 10, 2008

First, fourth quarter slumps doom Bulldogs

January 10, 2008

— Half of the game here Friday went in favor of the Baldwin High School girls' basketball team.

Unfortunately, it was the beginning that went well, while it was the ending of the Frontier League contest that went poorly for the Bulldogs.

Baldwin lost the game 57-31 to fall to 3-4 on the season. It was the first league game of the season for BHS.

"We didn't play very well Friday," senior Colby Heckathorne said. "We had our moments, but I think we definitely got outplayed by Eudora. We didn't play very offensively as a team at all."

The Bulldogs struggled from the start of Friday's contest. They failed to score until 3:16 was left in the first quarter. By that time, the Cardinals had racked up 11 points.

Baldwin only managed one field goal during the first quarter as it trailed 15-3 after the first eight minutes.

"We just let the first quarter get away from us," coach Bob Martin said. "We turned the ball over some and missed some shots, but we had trouble stopping them inside. They scored on their first four possessions of the game and hurt us pretty badly on the inside. We dug ourselves too big of a hole that we couldn't climb out of."

Heckathorne said the Bulldogs fell behind too far during the first quarter.

"That was big, because we got down really far," Heckathorne said. "We had to work really hard to try to get back into the game. That first quarter was the difference in the game."

The struggles continued into the second quarter for BHS. Eudora opened the second quarter with a 10-0 run during the first three minutes. However, BHS responded with a run of its own.

During the final 5:05 of the half, the Bulldogs outscored the Cardinals 13-2. Junior Tracie Weege drained a three-pointer to start the run, before adding two free throws later. Senior Ashley Tucker contributed seven points to the spurt.

"We struggled for the first 12 minutes of the game," Martin said. "We missed some easy shots and allowed them too many easy baskets. After those first 12 minutes, we settled down and didn't play too badly."

Baldwin trailed 27-16 at halftime, but could never cut the lead during the second half. Both teams traded baskets during the third quarter, but Baldwin still trailed 37-24 heading into the final period.

After a quick basket by freshman Allison Howard to begin the fourth quarter, the Bulldogs once again found themselves in trouble. Eudora rallied to finish the game on a 20-5 spurt.

Baldwin struggled offensively in the final quarter with turnovers and missed shots.

"We fought back hard, but then we lost it again in the fourth quarter," Heckathorne said. "I think our offensive execution was our biggest problem. We were looking to shoot the first shot we got, which wasn't always the best shot we could have taken. Plus, shots weren't falling either."

Although the Bulldogs didn't finish the game well, Martin was proud of his players' effort Friday.

"Certainly we were disappointed in the way we played, even though we played a really good team," Martin said. "We didn't come out very well and dug ourselves into a pretty deep hole right away. I thought the girls fought back very well and got us back into contention, but we couldn't really close the gap on them.

"Our girls played hard all night," Martin said. "We finally got the ball inside a little bit late in the first half and we were able to be a bit more effective there. We settled down defensively in the second and third quarters, too."

Baldwin will have a chance to get back to .500 Friday when it hosts Paola at 6 p.m. in the Baldwin Junior High School gym.

"We are looking to rebound this Friday," Martin said. "We need to see the things we are doing in practice carry over to the game. I think in time it will, but we would sure like to get it turned around on Friday."

Heckathorne is hoping the Bulldogs learn from Friday's loss and find a way to play better at home.

"We are hoping to have a really good game Friday, especially offensively," Heckathorne said. "We will also be trying to get the ball inside more. It will be nice to have another home game and, hopefully, get another win."

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