Baldwin girls turn in defensive gem to earn road win at Louisburg
LOUISBURG — The Baldwin High School girls methodically pulled away Tuesday from Louisburg in the second half to earn its second Frontier League road victory of the season.
Baldwin won handily, 44-28, but the game appeared early to be a repeat of Baldwin’s home victory last month against the Wildcats, in which Baldwin had to come back from a 39-20 halftime deficit to earn a 67-57 victory.
Once again, Louisburg got off to a hot start, taking a 10-3 lead at the end of the first quarter. Doing most of the damage for the Wildcats was senior Natalie Moore, who scored six of her game-high 16 points in the first quarter.
“The defense was definitely keying on her,” said Baldwin junior guard Kyna Smith. “I was supposed to cover her. I think I did alright, eventually.”
The entire Baldwin defense stepped up after the first quarter, allowing Louisburg just 18 points the remainder of the game. The Bulldogs started righting the ship in the second period, outscoring the home team 13-9 during the eight-minute span.
Baldwin coach Bob Martin praised Smith’s defense on Moore, and that of junior Madeline Neufeld on Louisburg senior Kristin Lowry, who connected on five three-pointers when the two teams met in January, but only scored two points Tuesday.
“We really turned up the defense from the second quarter on,” he said. “We were especially good in the second half. We got enough offense to get it done.”
Trailing 19-16 at the start of the second half, Baldwin quickly got the upper hand when senior Maddie Ogle scored two quick baskets. Baldwin would score 15 points in the quarter despite the Wildcats zone slowing the pace of the game. Maddie Ogle would give Baldwin its first six-point lead at 26-20 with a basket in the lane on a pass from Neufeld from the top of the key. Freshman Abby Ogle drove the length of the floor for a layup to re-establish the six-margin at 28-22. Louisburg fought back with four-straight points before Baldwin sophomore Taylor Cawley connected on a momentum building three-pointer with 1 minute to play in the third quarter, giving the Bulldogs a 31-26 advantage at the end of the period.
The Baldwin defense never gave the Wildcats a chance to get back in the game in the fourth quarter, shutting out the home team until 1:25 remained in the contest. During that time, Baldwin scored 11-straight to put the game out of reach. Smith’s three-pointer with 5:46 to play gave Baldwin a double-digit lead at 36-26.
With the win, Baldwin improved to 15-2 on the year and 7-2 in Frontier League play. The team travels Friday to Ottawa in what Martin said would be a challenging game. Baldwin defeated Ottawa 30-20 in a defensive grinder last month.
Bhs 44, Lhs 28
BHS 3 13 15 13 - 44
LHS 10 9 7 2 - 28
Baldwin scoring: Abby Ogle 8, Taylor Cawley 3, Kyna Smith 10, Corey Valentine 2, Alexia Stein 3, Maddie Ogle 12, Madeline Neufeld 6
Louisburg scoring: Madisen Simpson 3, Natalie Moore 16, Kristin Lowry 2, Kallie O’Keefe