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Baker girls basketball coach Tim Smith is not fond of moral victories, but he was happy nonetheless Saturday.
Burns’ Mattea Zabala goes up for a shot over the defense of Baker’s Dallas Defrees during Saturday’s girls game at Baker. (Baker City Herald/Kathy Orr)
Burns senior Courtney Toney scored on a short jump shot from the left baseline as the horn sounded Saturday to lift the Hilanders to a 39-38 victory over Baker in the non-league game at BHS.
Baker played a much stronger game than during an earlier 56-29 loss at Burns. In that game Toney and Mattea Zabala combined for 26 points. This time that duo tallied 16.
“We put a stop on them for the most part,” Smith said.
“Our defensive pressure tonight was as good as we can play.”
Baker trailed 34-29 with 1:04 left in the game, then kicked up the defensive pressure.
Mackenzie Warner and Whitney Phillips scored baskets to cut the deficit to 34-33 with 41.5 seconds left.
Then, after three Burns free throws boosted the margin back to 37-33, Warner’s two free throws pulled the Bulldogs to within 37-35 with 10.7 seconds left.
Burns then turned the ball over when the Hilanders couldn’t inbound the ball. The Hilanders then compounded their problem when they fouled Warner on a three-point attempt with 9.3 seconds left.
Warner calmly stepped to the line and sank all three free throws for a 38-37 Baker lead.
With no timeouts left Burns then rushed the ball downcourt. Baker defenders trapped a Hilander in the deep right corner, but the player somehow found an opening to a wide open Toney on the other side of the court.
“I thought our girls showed a lot of growth,” Smith said. “I was very, very pleased.
“We gave ourselves a chance to win,” he said.
“We wanted to keep it close in the first half, and we actually led 16-14 at halftime. Then we played well enough to compete with them in the second half.
“The girls were happy with the way we played. This is the time to find ourselves and peak toward the league season,” Smith said.
“It was a great team effort.”
Warner led Baker with 13 points. Tara Talbott added 10.
Baker travels to Emmett, Idaho, Tuesday. The Bulldogs then open Greater Oregon League play Friday at Ontario. Baker then travels to Grant Union on Saturday.
Baker 8 8 5 17 — 38
Burns (39) — Schouviller 1 2-2 4, Ribeiro 2 0-0 5, Higle 2 3-4 7, Zabala 4 1-3 10, Toney 2 1-2 6, Lee 3 1-4 7. Totals 14 8-15 39.
Baker (38) — Warner 3 5-5 13, Defrees 0 1-2 1, Ward, Shively, Phillips 2 1-4 5, Daly 2 0-0 4, Harlow 2 0-0 5, Talbott 5 0-0 10, Ogan. Totals 14 7-11 38.
Three-point goals — Ribeiro, Zabala, Toney, Warner 2, Harlow. Fouled out — Higle. Total fouls — Burns 12, Baker 19. Technicals — none.