Wellsville It was a case of "Always the bridesmaid, never the bride," in Saturday's championship game of the Wellsville Top Gun Tournament between the Baldwin and Eudora high school girls basketball teams.
Baldwin came in having lost in two previous tournament-championship games this season, while Eudora has been runner-up in the Top Gun Tournament the last two years.
"We've been in two straight championship games, and this is our third straight one, and we lost the last two, and we just talked about that we wanted to get this one," said Baldwin coach Bob Martin following the Bulldogs' 33-30 victory over the Cardinals.
It seemed neither team could claim a firm hold on the championship, even though the Bulldogs led Cardinals by as much as 11 points.
Eudora went on a 9-2 run in the fourth quarter to earn its first lead.
"We dig ourselves a hole, and then we realize it," Cardinal sophomore Nikki Snider said. "But we couldn't tell you what we do to come back, but we play hard when we get down."
It wasn't until Baldwin's Katelyn Miles, who was named to the all-tournament team, hit two free throws with under 10 seconds that the Bulldogs were safe.
"She's such a great kid and such a competitor," Martin said of Miles. "(She) shot those two free throws, got on the boards - she's a good one."
For the most part, Baldwin's defense held Eudora in check until the Cardinals were able to put a run together under the lead of Snider. She had 11 points for the game, nine of them coming in the second half.
"She played hard tonight, and she's athletic enough that when she plays at a great level of intensity, she's going to make things happen," Eudora coach Ryan Luke said. "I thought she was maybe one of just a few that hustled their butts off tonight, and that showed up with her because she started making plays."
Snider, along with teammate Michelle Deluna, was named to the all-tournament team.
The sharp shooting of Baldwin's Kelsey Verhaeghe - who had a game-high 13 points, shooting 45 percent from the field and 3-for-7 behind the three-point arc - was difficult for the Cardinals to contain.
"I really wanted to play hard tonight because it was a big game," said Verhaeghe, another all-tournament team selection. "I hit some shots, so it was a good win."