Baldwin advances to sub-state finals with 47-43 victory against Ottawa
Ottawa — The Baldwin girls Friday defeated Ottawa for the third time this year, 47-43, advancing to the finals of the 4A sub-state in Ottawa.
But like the earlier two games between the two teams, it was a hard-found contest, which wasn’t decided until late in the fourth quarter. Ottawa erased a 12-point halftime deficit, taking its first lead of the game on senior guard Paige Weidner’s 3-pointer with 6:20 remaining in the ball game.
“As good as we played in the first half, and we played very well, I knew they would make a run at us,” said Baldwin coach Bob Martin. “They are too good and proud a team not make a run.
“I thought we great job of answering the challenge and playing well at the end of the game.”
Baldwin jumped out to a 9-0 lead in the game and had a 25-9 lead with 1:53 to play in the half as the Bulldog offense picked the Cyclones apart for easy baskets at the rim.
But Ottawa adjusted at halftime and Baldwin scored only four points in the third quarter.
Helping the Bulldogs keep their fourth-quarter composure was junior guard Katie Jones, who scored 10 of her game-high 24 points in the final period. After the teams see-sawed back and forth through the start of the final quarter, Jones put Baldwin back in front for good, 36-35, on a baseline drive with 2:30 to play and added a traditional three-point play that gave the Bulldogs a 43-37 lead with 53 seconds in the game.
“I had a rough couple of games,” Jones said. “My shot hasn’t been going down. Coach told me to drive the ball to the basket. That’s what it did. It felt good to get shots down.”
Jones’ drives and those of her teammates got the Bulldogs to the free throw line 19 times in the second half. Baldwin coolly cashed in, hitting 16 free throws in the half and 12 of 15 in the last eight minutes.
“We did the things we had to do to win the ballgame,” Martin said.
Baldwin had to play the second half without senior forward Jessie Katzer, who injured her Achilles tendon in the first half. Martin praised the play of seniors Kelsey Dighans and Callie Enick in filling in for Katzer and the work of Katie Kehl on defense and on the boards.
“That what you expect of seniors in those situations,” he said. “Katie was big out there. I don’t know how many rebounds she got but it was a bunch.”
Baldwin, the sub-state’s third-seeded team, how will play top-seeded Paola in the title game at 8 p.m. tonight in Ottawa. Paola has defeated Baldwin twice this season and the Panthers’ 6-4 sophomore center presents a matchup problem for the shorter Bulldogs.
“Their a talented team, who can score points in a lot of ways,” Martin said. “It will be a big challenge for us.”
Baldwin 47, Ottawa 43
Baldwin (14-7) 11 14 4 18 – 47
Ottawa (10-11) 5 8 14 16 – 43
Baldwin: Kelsey Dighans 2, Maddie Ogle 5, Kaitlyn Jorgensen, 1, Katie Jones 24, Kailyn Smith 4, Jessie Katzer 2, Katie Kehl 7, Hailey Cope 2
Ottawa: Cydney Lewis 10, Kylie Kischer 9, Tyra Lyday 11, Corie Fischer 8, Paige Weidner 3, Brette Moore 2