Baldwin girls score victory over Northport

BALDWIN — Marissa Kelly and Alex Torres formed a dynamic duo Tuesday night in leading Baldwin to a 45-36 non-league girls basketball victory over Northport.

It was Baldwin’s first actual win on the court this season, although school officials said four games — two by Pentwater, one by Traverse City Christian and one by Covert — were forfeited to Baldwin because the respective schools dropped their program for a lack of numbers.

That would officially put the Panthers at 5-6.

“It was a lot more teamwork,” said Baldwin coach Antoinette Rewa. “This was the first time we had a lot of girls touch the ball and shoot the ball instead of having just Alex as the main shooter. We had a lot of girls shooting the ball. Everyone shot at least once.”

The Wildcats, who had defeated Baldwin last December to open the season, fell to 3-12 despite a game-high 29 points from Nina Muller, who also grabbed 13 rebounds.

“It went by really fast,” Kelly said. “It feels good. Our team came together. We were cohesive.”

For Baldwin, Kelly scored 20 points while Torres added 19. Torres also had five steals compared to three for Kelly.

Torres brought down nine rebounds while Brittney Grant and Kelly had eight apiece.

“We improved our defense a lot with our man-to-man and stopping the ball in the paint,” Rewa said.

Torres scored six points in the first quarter, which ended in an 8-8 tie. It was 14-14 halftime. Kelly scored two straight baskets late in the third to give Baldwin a 27-26 lead.

Kelly netted two free throws with 5:03 to play for a 32-28 lead. Muller kept the Wildcats close and scored at 2:56 to tie the game 34-34. Torres sank two free throws at 2:39 and Kelly had a putback a minute later for a 38-34 Baldwin lead.

Torres drove for a basket with 1:18 to play and scored again with 32 seconds left for a 42-34 lead. Muller connected with 15 seconds to play to make it 42-36. But in the game’s final seconds, Torres added a free throw and Kelly had a putback.

In the final quarter, Torres scored nine points while Kelly had eight.

“We’re understanding each other more as a team,” she said. “I think this win is going to help us. It will help us stay positive.”

“We played together as a team and stopped the ball and made more shots,” said Brittney Grant. “This (win) was very important for us.”

Grant has been making key contributions for the Panthers in recent weeks.

“We’re playing our best,” she said.

Baldwin plays at home Feb. 7 against Walkerville.