Bulldogs win three of four games in five days
On Tuesday night, the Baldwin High School girls basketball team was all about surviving with a victory, even if execution wasn’t the prettiest.
Four games in five days wore out the Bulldogs, who won three of the four games in the span from Friday to Tuesday.
“It ended up being a good weekend for us,” coach Bob Martin said. “We ended the four games on a positive note by winning the last two. I’m pretty happy with it.”
Fatigue began to show Tuesday night as the Bulldogs held on to a large lead over rival Eudora. A strong first half helped the Bulldogs cruise to victory.
They won 47-33 to cap off the four-game stretch with their third Frontier League win. The Bulldogs are 12-4.
“We played pretty good in the first half,” Martin said. “We were good defensively the first half. I kind of feel like four games in five days caught up to us in the second half. We were a little lackadaisical at times. We were in good position, but I think we relaxed a bit in the second half.”
The Bulldogs swept the regular season contests with Eudora.
Senior Allison Howard agreed with her coach.
“I think we showed how tired we were in the second half,” she said. “But the first half was really good, and that gave us a nice cushion. That’s what we needed tonight.”
Baldwin was outscored 27-22 in the second half. The Cardinals benefited from a trio of three-pointers in the third quarter. It wasn’t enough as Eudora was only able to cut the lead to 13 points late in the game.
“They started hitting some shots and tried some new things,” Howard said. “We went into our zone to change something in the fourth quarter.”
The Bulldogs led 25-6 at halftime as they held the Cardinals to two field goals during the first 16 minutes. Baldwin’s Ramie Burkhart scored 10 of her game-high 18 points in the first half.
Baldwin opened the game with a 9-1 run with Burkhart scored seven of the first nine points. BHS outscored the Cardinals 13-2 in the second quarter to build the large halftime lead.
“In the first half, I thought we played really well defensively,” Martin said. “I thought we got back on our heels in the second half, and they made some shots.”
On Monday, the Bulldogs survived a foul-plagued game against De Soto. There were 49 personal fouls called in the game.
Despite missing 21 of 40 free throws, the Bulldogs were able to beat the Wildcats, 43-36. De Soto made 9 of 17 free throws.
“I told the girls after the game, ‘That wasn’t the prettiest win in Baldwin history, but it was one of the grittiest ones,’” Martin said. “We really battled tonight. We struggled in a lot of areas. We were missing shots and turning the ball over at times. Then we struggled with free throws. We stepped up and hit enough to win at the end. I think our defense carried us tonight.
“I think our confidence was shaken a bit on the free throw line. The law of averages will catch up to us. We are a good free throw shooting team.”
On Saturday, the Bulldogs traveled to Ottawa to play the Cyclones for the first time all season. The Bulldogs led most of the game, but the Cyclones came back and took the lead during the final minutes. Ottawa won 44-42.
“We played so well for basically 30 minutes of the game against a very good team,” Martin said. “Then things got away from the last two minutes.”
The first game of the four-game stretch was a road game at Paola. Baldwin jumped out to a 7-0 lead and never trailed as it won, 53-46.
Baldwin will now rest a week before its final four regular season games. BHS will play at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Louisburg before returning home for senior night Feb. 18.
“It should be a really good game,” Howard said. “Hopefully it won’t go into overtime again.”
Martin will be happy to have his team practicing. The Bulldogs last full practice was Jan. 28, and the only practice since then was a short one Sunday.
“We get a chance to get our legs back and get some practices in this week,” he said. “We’ve got two week ahead of us of pretty tough basketball. Then we have to get ourselves ready for sub-state.”