BJHS eighth-grade JV girls finish season undefeated
The Baldwin Junior High School girls' varsity basketball teams finished their 2011 campaigns this past Saturday at the Frontier League Tournament, while the eighth-grade junior varsity team ran the table and went a perfect 10-0 for the season.
Starting in October, coach Dane Jorgensen’s eighth-grade JV team started its string of impressive wins to post an unblemished record of 10-straight wins. The Bulldogs scored 23.4 points per game this year, while giving up a meager 10.4 to their opponents.
“I thought it was a great season and we all played well,” Mackenzie Russell said. “I can’t believe we made it all the way.”
Jorgensen was quite pleased with the season.
“We were a successful team, because the girls knew that everyone had a role on the team and their role was important,” he said. “Each girl tried to become better at their team role each and every day. They were great to coach and often sent me home smiling each night.”
Balwin’s eighth-grade varsity team entered the Frontier League Tournament as the No. 2 seed. The squad faced Pioneer Ridge in the first round and won 29-18. Fayth Peterson led the Bulldogs with 10 points, while Kelsey Kehl pulled down eight rebounds in the contest.
In game two, Baldwin faced the Wheatridge Mustangs and secured a place in it’s fourth-straight tournament final with a 33-25 win. Kyna Smith recorded 14 points and went 4-of-5 from the free throw line. Kehl once again paced the rebounding attack with 12 boards.
In the tournament title game, Baldwin faced a Paola team that had edged the Bulldogs in November by three points. Field goal shooting for Paola was the key to the second match up between the teams and Baldwin fell 36-22. Smith led the team with 10 points and four steals with Courtney Douglas adding four points in the loss. Kehl and Douglas posted four rebounds apiece in the effort.
The squad finished the season 13-2 and 6-1 in league play, winning the Spring Hill and Baldwin Invitational tournaments.
“This was a very enjoyable team to coach. They worked hard and competed to the best of their abilities,” coach Ted Zuzzio said. “Most importantly, they played together as a team all year and that was nice to see.”
In seventh-grade action, the junior varsity ended its season with a 19-14 win over Ottawa on Dec. 5 and finished with a final record of 3-7.
“We’ve come a long way since the beginning of the season until now,” coach Susie Martin said. “The girls played with a lot of energy and hustled and I was extremely proud of the kids for how they were always trying their hardest.”
The varsity squad went into the league tournament as the No. 7 and lost to the No. 2-seeded Paola Panthers 37-10. Meghan Venable recorded four points for the Bulldogs and led the team in rebounds with five.
BJHS faced Spring Hill for the second time this season in round two of the tournament and escaped with an exciting 22-20 win. Taylor Cawley paced the Bulldogs with 12 points, while Hannah Upton added six points and led the team with seven rebounds.
The fifth-place game was another rematch against the fifth-seeded Pioneer Ridge Jaguars. Baldwin cruised to an 11-4 halftime lead and won the game 21-13. Cawley once again led all scorers with eight, while Riley O’Rourke and Daelynn Anderson added five and four points, respectively.
O’Rourke and Upton shared highest rebound honors with six apiece with Cawley adding five. The team finished the year at 8-7, finishing third at the Spring Hill Tournament and won the Baldwin Invitational Tournament.
“I was wondering how we’d respond in these games after we had such a tough loss against Paola in the first round of the tournament,” coach Brenda Shawley said. “I was super pumped for the girls and excited to give that kind of effort out on the floor against Spring Hill and Pioneer Ridge. I had a lot of fun teaching them about the game and it’s so rewarding to see them improve throughout the season.”