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Fishermen can't land Bulldogs
Baker has had a habit of hovering at or near the 100-point mark in recent games. The Bulldogs might have had an opportunity to get there again Saturday if not for cold shooting in the first quarter.
After the slow start, the Bulldogs kicked their offense into gear and rolled past Astoria 91-34 in a Class 4A boys basketball play-in game at BHS.
Baker (20-4) has scored 82 or more points in five of its last nine games, including 100 against Mac-Hi, and 101 against Ontario in Greater Oregon League games.
Saturday, Jesse Brown gave Baker the lead at 2-0 with a driving basket off the opening tip. But Baker led just 3-2 until Taylor McEnroe scored off a pass from Brown with 4:48 left in the first quarter.
It wasn’t that Baker didn’t have its chances. In particular McEnroe. The 6-foot-5 post had numerous shots inside, but couldn’t get them to drop.
“We’ve been hounding Taylor to use the backboard and back in those shots,” said Baker coach Craig Woods. “Once he did that they started falling.”
McEnroe’s teammates weren’t having much better success.
“In that first quarter we were tight,” Woods said.
Then, leading 5-4, Baker went on a 17-0 run that ended any Astoria hopes.
Two free throws by Ty Everson and baskets by Coleman Lay and McEnroe ended the first period with Baker on top 11-4.
Jordan Curtis got things rolling in the second quarter, scoring seven of the first nine Baker points.
Back-to-back baskets from Brown and McEnroe boosted Baker’s lead to 24-4 with 4:45 left in the first half.
Brown then added nine points the rest of the half as Baker led 42-18 at halftime.
Dillon Blankenship then took the lead in the third period, scoring nine points as Baker increased its lead to 67-31 entering the fourth quarter.
The Bulldogs then outscored the Fishermen 24-3 in the final eight minutes. Braden Phillips came off the bench to lead the way with seven points. Blankenship added another six.
Brown led Baker with 20 points. Blankenship added 18, McEnroe 14, and Curtis 13.
“Four guys in double figures. That’s great,” Woods said.
“We can just wear guys down because we’re so darn deep.
“Coleman Lay provided a huge spark in the first half. He came in and made some big plays. Ty Everson made a couple big free throws, and Dillon finally got going. It took him a half, but he played hard.
“It was a good overall team effort,” Woods said.
“We’re just happy to have a chance to keep playing.”
The Bulldogs will do just that Friday when they travel to North Bend in the first round of the Class 4A tournament.
North Bend (20-3) defeated Hidden Valley 74-44 Saturday.
The winner of the Baker-North Bend game then will play the winner of Friday’s Sweet Home-Roosevelt game at 6:30 p.m. March 8 at Gill Coliseum in Corvallis.
Baker 11 31 25 24 — 91
Astoria (34) — Davis 5 0-2 10, T. Fox 2 0-0 5, Olsen 0 3-4 3, Johnson, Poyer 4 0-1 8, C. Fox, Whisler 1 0-0 3, Harber 2 0-1 4, Samp 0 1-2 1, Fick, Prom. Totals 14 4-10 34.
Baker (91) — Cripe 1 1-2 4, Brown 9 1-2 20, McEnroe 6 2-4 14, Barr 1 2-2 4, Everson 1 4-4 6, Lay 1 0-0 2, Phillips 2 2-2 7, Blankenship 5 5-6 18, Howard 1 1-2 3. Richards, Durflinger, Curtis 5 0-0 13. Totals 32 18-24 91.
Three-point goals — T. Fox, Whisler, Cripe, Brown, Blankenship 3, Curtis 3. Fouled out — T. Fox. Total fouls — Astoria 18, Baker 13. Technicals — Fick, Whisler, Astoria Coach.