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In pattern eerily similar to a game earlier this year in Ontario, Baker managed to hold off the Tigers for a 65-56 Greater Oregon League boys basketball win Tuesday at BHS.
Baker’s Jesse Brown battled Ontario’s Josh Mejia to a loose ball Tuesday in Baker’s Greater Oregon League win. (Baker City Herald/Kathy Orr)
Earlier, at Ontario, Baker led the entire game only to have Ontario make a late run before the Bulldogs clinched the win.
Tuesday, Baker led from the middle of the first quarter, but Ontario battled back to within 59-54 with 2:38 left in the game.
Baker kept its cool, and made 6-of-7 free throws down the stretch to improve to 4-0 in the GOL race.
“Ontario is the type of team that when they get on a roll it’s sometimes tough to stop them,” said Baker coach Craig Woods.
“We were not playing our game, but the kids didn’t get rattled.
“It shows that we have to go out and execute better. We’ve got to be prepared for that,” Woods said.
The difference in the outcome came at the free throw line. Baker finished 18-of-24, and Ontario just 3-of-4.
Baker shot 45 percent from the field, 22-of-49 and outrebounded the Tigers 39-30.
“We wanted to be plus 10 in rebounds, and wanted to get to the free throw line in the bonus,” Woods said. “We pretty much accomplished both of our goals.”
With Baker trailing 6-4 in the first quarter, six points from Kennan Richards, and two each from Derek Blankenship and Walker Kaseberg sparked a 10-0 Baker run.
A Kaseberg three-pointer, a dunk by Trace Richardson and two free throws by B.J. Quintana late in the quarter helped Baker post a 23-11 lead at the break.
Four points from Dekker Smith and three each from Blankenship and Richardson helped the Bulldogs maintain a 38-25 lead at halftime.
Smith added six points and Kaseberg five in the third period as Baker kept its lead at 53-42 at the break.
Ontario then outscored the Bulldogs 12-6 in the first 5:22 of the fourth quarter to pull within five points, 59-54.
But the Tigers were forced to foul to catch up, and Richards, Kaseberg and Blankenship each hit a pair of free throws in the final minute to ice the win.
Richards led Baker with 16 points. Smith and Kaseberg each added 13.
Baker travels to La Grande Friday.
Baker 23 15 15 12 — 65
Ontario (56) — Anzaldua 9 1-1 23, Heninger 1 0-0 2, Mejia 3 0- 06, Quintero, Turner, Christiani 5 0-1 10, Nicholson 2 0-0 4, Sanchez, Lang 1 0-0 2. Totals 24 3-4 56.
Baker (65) — Kaseberg3 5-6 13, Brown 1 3-5 5, Richards 6 4-4 16, Smith 6 1-2 13, Richardson 2 0-0 5, Quintana 1 2-4 4, Blankenship 3 3-3 9. Totals 22 18-24 65.
Three-point goals — Anzaldua 4, Kaseberg 2, Richardson. Fouled out — none. Total fouls — Ontario 18, Baker 11. Technicals — none.