The BHS girls gained momentum during its second half against Gardner.
It's been an on-again, off-again January for the Baldwin High School girls. The inactivity showed early Friday before they gathered enough offense to down Gardner, 59-51.
"We kind of came out flat," said head coach Mike Berg. "I think the 10-day layoff hurt us. We're getting into the busy part of our schedule, and I like that."
The No. 2-ranked Bulldog girls hadn't played for 10 days, and the rust showed in the first half. They were only able to take a 14-9 first-quarter lead and were only up 26-23 at halftime.
Gardner used an inside power game to stay close throughout and eventually tied it at 34 in the third quarter. Baldwin managed to get the lead back, 38-35, heading into the final quarter and started pulling away.
Tarin Troth capped an 8-2 run with a layup to open the stretch run, and Baldwin took control at 46-39 with 5:30 remaining. BHS pushed that edge to nine points down the stretch using inside play, an outside touch and timely free-throw shooting.
"In the second half I was happy with our ball movement and we were getting good shots," said Berg. "But it took us too long to get there. They were very physical. They hurt us on the offensive boards. It hurt us, and we got into foul trouble early.
"We had some great play off the bench," he said. "Becky Skaggs, Tarin Troth and Suzie Weege did a great job."
Crystal Tutschulte topped the scoring for BHS with 19 points, and Amber Frost had 14.
"Amber did a great job for us tonight," he said.
The victory moved the Bulldog's record to 6-1 on the year. They'll play Wellsville Thursday, Ottawa Friday and then head into the Wellsville tournament Jan. 26.
"I'm ready to play more than one game every two weeks, and I think our players are too," said Berg, adding that they'll be working on rebounding after Gardner had twice as many boards as they did Friday.
"It wasn't that we weren't hustling, it was just one of those nights," he said. "We're going back to the drawing board to get things corrected."
Both the junior varsity and freshman BHS teams beat Gardner Friday, too. The junior varsity won 50-28 with 13 points from Colleen Kivett and 12 from Troth. The freshmen won 55-24 with Jodie Bacon tossing in 21 points and Casey Millstein adding 11.