Salina So coach, how does the 1996 Class 4A state girls basketball championship compare to the school's first and only other title in '82?
"The first one is so special," said Baldwin coach Ted Zuzzio, following Saturday's 44-34 Bulldog victory over Sabetha in the title game. "But I've got a daughter (Stacy) here. She wasn't even as tall as our state trophy in '82."
Stacy, now a sophomore reserve for the Bulldogs, played several minutes against Sabetha. She scored three points to account for all the team's bench scoring.
Juniors Audrey Millstein, Mary Denning and Ann Martin combined for 38 of the Bulldogs' 44 points. Junior starter Trina Bierman had the other three points.
"We've got a close group of kids," Ted Zuzzio said. "A big key was their shoot-arounds every Sunday."
Holding on: Martin clutched the championship plaque for several minutes and had no intentions of letting it go.
"I can't believe this," Martin said. "This is great."
Not until the Sabetha coach unloaded his bench in the final seconds did Martin start to think win.
"I didn't realize it until they put in their subs," said Martin, who played all 32 minutes. "That's when I felt more comfortable."
Same time, next year?: Baldwin and Sabetha, the youngest teams at the state tournament, will likely be ranked in 1996-97 preseason polls and picked to return to Salina.
The Bulldogs and Blue Jays each had just two seniors on their rosters. Baldwin will return four starters and Sabetha will return all five. The only senior starter was Mandy Mundinger for Baldwin.
League of their own: The 4A state tournament was a showcase for the Frontier League's best. The Baldwin girls, the league champs, won state a couple of hours before Gardner-Edgerton, the Frontier boys champs, beat Augusta, 52-51, on the same court.