bhs girls bball vs westside

Senior Nykeisha Thornton dribbles down the floor in Wednesday’s BHS win over Westside. Thornton finished the region game with 12 points and six rebounds, half of which came on the offensive end of the floor.

The Baldwin Bravettes kept their perfect record intact Wednesday by beating region foe Westside High School of Macon.

With the 55-40 victory, the Bravettes advanced to 10-0 overall and 4-0 in region play this season. The win over Westside was the second in back-to-back midweek games for the BHS girls basketball team. 

“I think the team did pretty well, but the girls were a little tired,” BHS girls head coach Kizzi Walker said. “We just played last night, so we weren’t as aggressive as we usually are because I had to try to rest their legs and give them a break.”

That decreased aggressiveness may have been apparent to the head coach, but her players still showed plenty as they often dove on the ground for loose balls and were very difficult to keep off the offensive boards. Baldwin totaled 23 rebounds in the game, and 10 of those came on missed shots by the Bravettes. 

Walker held a couple of players out of the starting lineup for disciplinary reasons, but once they hit the floor the Baldwin girls began firing on all cylinders. They had been trailing both on the scoreboard and in the turnover battle, but that all changed in a matter of minutes once the regular starters hit the floor. 

Freshman point guard Madison Ruff provided an early highlight when she snatched an offensive rebound and while still in the air passed the ball off to teammate Tamia Smith who laid the ball in for an easy 2. That helped the Bravettes carry a 14-8 lead into the game’s second quarter. 

The Baldwin girls’ advantage only widened from there, and the margin of victory would have been larger had Walker not put her reserves in with about five minutes to go in the fourth quarter. 

Smith led BHS in scoring Wednesday with 19 points on 50 percent shooting. Ruff and senior Nykeisha Thornton both finished with 12. A majority of Thornton’s scoring came down in the post, and Ruff did a good job distributing the basketball as she accumulated eight assists. 

The Bravettes are still looking for their first true test this season. Entering play Friday, their closest games ended as eight-point victories, and they have so far nearly doubled their opponents cumulative scoring.

“We really haven’t had a whole lot of competition, so I don’t even really know what to expect when we do go into the state playoffs,” Walker said.

Region opponent Spalding High School was expected to at least put up a fight, but that team is in quarantine almost through the end of the regular season. Region coaches have decided to seed for the state playoffs based on region records rather than risking a region tournament with all the teams in one location. So, Baldwin and Spalding will not meet this season unless they match up somewhere down the road in the postseason. If BHS and Spalding both go undefeated in region, the Bravettes will get the nod as the first seed due to having played more games, per BHS Athletic Director Dexter Ricks. 

The Baldwin girls are scheduled to play at Rutland Friday. Spalding’s boys are making the trip to Milledgeville Saturday without the girls due to the team quarantining. 

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