Gardner Baldwin High girls basketball coach Mike Berg has a strange definition of beauty.
Strange, at least, in regards to the sport of basketball.
Although he watched his team shoot an abysmal 14 of 58 from the floor for the game, Berg could take consolation in his team's defense, which propelled Baldwin to a 47-32 victory over Gardner-Edgerton at the Gardner-Edgerton Invitational Tournament Friday night.
"I wouldn't really call it winning ugly," Berg said of the effort, which pushed Baldwin's record to 4-0. "We certainly didn't play ugly on the defensive end. I thought we gave a tremendous effort on defense and it shows that you win by playing defense even when your shots aren't falling."
Baldwin's full-court pressure defense proved to be a deciding factor. The Bulldogs forced 30 Trailblazer turnovers.
It more than made up for a slow start, which saw Baldwin hit just one of 15 field goal attempts in the first quarter and score three points.
"It's a lot colder than anything I expected," Berg said of his team's shooting. Baldwin shot just over 24 percent for the game and hit three of 25 shots in the first half. Just two of Baldwin's 14 makes came from more than five feet out.
"But there are always going to be games where the shots don't fall. We just have to able to keep our composure and keep shooting," Berg said.
Despite its slow start, BHS was able to take its first lead with 2:28 left in the second quarter when Jodie Bacon scored a layup to put the Bulldogs up 12-11.
Following a put in by G-E's Sheena Shore, junior Kristen Wessel gave Baldwin a 14-13 halftime lead by canning a pair of free throws with 1:44 left.
Tied 17-17 with 4:06 left in the third quarter, Baldwin went on 7-0 run. That momentum carried over into the fourth as BHS pushed its lead to 10 points on Crystal Tutschulte's three-point basket with 5:24 remaining. From that point on, Baldwin outscored G-E 15-10 to claim the victory.
Tutschulte led Baldwin with 14 points. Amber Frost added 10. Danielle McNaney led Gardner-Edgerton with eight points.
Baldwin will open up Pioneer League play Friday by hosting Anderson County.
"They're going to be a very good basketball team," Berg said. "They're one of the teams along with us that should be in the mix for the league title."
Baldwin 47, Gardner-Edgerton 32
Mandy Trigg 1 4-4 6, Danielle McNaney 3 2-7 8, Whitney Trigg 1 0-0 3, Shore 1 1-2 3 Amber Nonamaker 1 0-0 2, Christen McCullough 4 2-4 10. Totals: 11 9-17 32
Amber Frost 3 4-6 10, Christie Wingert 1 1-4 3, Crystal Tutschulte 5 5-5 14, Kristen Wessel 1 4-5 6, Colleen Kivett 1 0-0 2, Tarin Troth 1 2-2 4, Jodie Bacon 1 0-0 2, Mandy Moore 2 0-1 4, Jennifer Wingert 0 1-2 1, Suzie Weege 0 1-2 1. Totals: 14 18-27 47.
Gardner-Edgerton 9 4 4 15 -- 32
Baldwin 3 11 10 23 -- 47
Three-point goals: Gardner-Edgerton 1 (W. Trigg); Baldwin 1 (Tutschulte).