BHS girls hit road early in December
Bulldogs start Friday night at Central Heights
Although the Baldwin High School girls’ basketball team’s first opponent of the season is a small school, coach Bob Martin knows his squad can’t overlook its challengers.
Martin’s Bulldogs open the season at 6 p.m. Friday at Central Heights. A year ago, Baldwin defeated the Vikings 32-24 at home. This year’s game could be a battle as the Vikings enter the season ranked eighth in Class 3A and they are hosting the Bulldogs.
“We’re going up against a good team Friday,” Martin said. “They were picked eighth in 3A in the Kansas coaches’ poll. They are very experienced and they have two good post players, so it’s going to be a challenge for us.”
Despite the challenge, the BHS girls are ready to start their season Friday night. Senior Katie Brecheisen said Monday this week feels like another week of practice, but she’s ready to start.
“I’m ready to start playing games,” Brecheisen said. “Then we can see how good we are this season. We usually have this week off, so it’s coming up really fast. I figure by Wednesday, it will hit me that our first game is this week. Right now, it just feels like another week of practice.”
She also agreed with her coach that they can’t overlook the Vikings.
“We can’t look past them at all,” she said. “They have two big post players. If we can keep the ball away from them, we’ll have a good shot to win.”
Brecheisen is one of six seniors on the Bulldogs’ squad this winter. The other five are Anna Baughan, Taylor Brown, Rachael Enick, Julie Hill and Connor Twombly.
However, the only permanent starter from a year ago is junior Ramie Burkhart. Fellow juniors Allison Howard and Myranda Behrens will also contribute solid minutes.
“We only return one starter, but we return several lettermen,” Martin said. “We have several girls with experience and I think that’s going to be good. Our seniors have done a great job so far.”
Martin is certain depth will be one of the Bulldogs’ primary strengths this season. He also hopes their defense will once again be strong.
“I think we’ve got good depth,” he said. “I think we also have some more size this year, so we should be stronger inside and on the boards. Hopefully, we will be really sound defensively and very unselfish on offense. I hope we will be a very balanced team.”
The Bulldogs have several players near 6-foot tall, including Brecheisen and Burkhart. Freshman Monica Howard also gives the Bulldogs height inside as she stands at 6-0. Brecheisen hopes their height will be a factor this winter.
“We have some size this year, but maybe not as much as other teams in the league,” Brecheisen said. “We’ve kind of have a basic height. We’ve also got quickness and post players that can shoot outside. We have guards that can post up, too.”
One area of the game she doesn’t feel they should be concerned with is conditioning.
“We’re getting into shape,” Brecheisen said. “We’re not as tired during practice. We’re running and doing lines at the end of practice. We’re getting quicker on the court.”
After the Bulldogs begin the season at Central Heights, they will play three road games next week. On Tuesday, they will play Louisburg, followed by Anderson County on Dec. 10 and Burlington on Dec. 11.
All three games will be played at 6 p.m. in Burlington. The first two will be at Burlington Middle School. The trio of games in Burlington are each part of the third annual Bulldog/Wildcat Classic.
The junior varsity squad will play at 4:30 p.m. Friday with the freshmen starting around 7:30 p.m.
“I hope we’re ready,” Martin said. “We’re getting more ready every day. I hope we’ll be ready for Friday. It seems like it comes up really fast every year and we always have more stuff to put in, but it will be fun to play a game. Central Heights will be a tough place to play. The tournament in Burlington will be really tough, too. Those early tests will be good for us.”
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