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Imbler, Joseph girls head to championship

Top-seeded and top-ranked Imbler and Joseph advanced to the championship game of the District 7-1A girls basketball tournament Friday at Baker High School.

Imbler had an easy time with Wallowa 59-26, and Joseph upset Pine-Eagle 48-40.

Joseph stuns Spartans

Joseph’s Anna Bird let Pine-Eagle know what to expect early, hitting a trio of three-point baskets in the first quarter.

Bird’s long-range bombs helped the Eagles take a 14-5 lead at the break.

Joseph’s Mariah Warnock then added six second-quarter points to help the Eagles maintain a 25-17 halftime lead.

Joseph increased its lead to as many as 11 points in the third period before Pie-Eagle closed the gap to 35-29 entering the fourth quarter.

Cove, Imbler win district boys openers

Imbler and Cove advanced to the District 7-1A boys basketball semifinals with first-round wins Thursday at Baker High School.

Wallowa, Joseph girls win district openers

Wallowa and Joseph earned first-round wins at the District 7-1A girls basketball tournament Thursday at Baker High School.

Baker boys rout Ontario

Bulldogs clinch second place with 86-46 win

Baker secured second place in the Greater Oregon League boys basketball race Tuesday by burying Ontario 86-46 at BHS.

The win, the third by the Bulldogs over Ontario this season, means Baker will host a district second-round game Feb. 25. Ontario will host Mac-Hi Feb. 23 to earn the right to travel to Baker. The winner of the Feb. 25 game then travels to La Grande Feb. 27 to play the Tigers for Class 4A state seeding.

Baker did little wrong Tuesday against Ontario.

“Everything was clicking, attacking,” said Baker coach Craig Woods.

“Even at halftime we talked about playing a complete four quarters.”

Derek Blankenship and Taylor McEnroe each scored four points, and B.J. Quintana and Trace Richardson three each as the Bulldogs took a 20-10 lead after one period.

Ontario tops Baker to clinch crown

Baker needs win at Mac-Hi to take second

Baker’s last chance to finish second in the Greater Oregon League girls basketball standings will hinge on the outcome of the final two regular-season games Friday.

Ontario clinched the GOL regular-season title Tuesday by defeating the Bulldogs 49-41 at BHS. The loss dropped Baker’s league record to 4-4. However, Mac-Hi defeated La Grande 46-43, giving La Grande a 4-4 record as well.

Baker must defeat Mac-Hi Friday at Milton-Freewater and hope Ontario beats La Grande. That would give Baker second place.

If that happens, Baker would host a second round district game Feb. 25 against either La Grande or Mac-Hi. If Baker loses Friday, or La Grande upsets Ontario, Baker would host Mac-Hi in a first-round district game Feb. 23.

“We have to refocus and get back on track against Mac-Hi,” said Baker coach Tim Smith.

Baker has defeated the Pioneers in two previous meetings this season.

Baker sends small group to state swimming meet

Baker will send two individuals and a relay team to the Class 4A/3A/2A/1A state swim meet Friday and Saturday at the Mount Hood Community College Aquatic Center in Gresham.

Annie Martin advances to state in the 200 IM and 500 freestyle, and Kim Pointer in the 100 breaststroke.

Martin placed third in both events at the district meet last weekend at La Grande. Martin had a time of 2:29.66 in the 200 IM, and 6:02.36 in the 500 freestyle.

Pointer placed third in the 100 breaststroke at district with a 1:21.62 clocking.

That duo, along with Tonita Britt, Courtney Raley, Raven Shipsey, Marissa Ermovick, Aryel Fahrney and Jasmine Fillebrown, advanced in the 200 freestyle relay. Baker finished second at district with a time of 1:53.45.

Tickets are $8 adults and $5 students each session.

La Grande rallies to beat Baker — again

Talk about deja vu.

Baker had to be thinking along those lines Friday evening after La Grande rallied from 19 points down to defeat the Bulldogs 49-46 and earn the regular-season Greater Oregon League boys basketball title.

La Grande (7-0 in the GOL) has defeated the Bulldogs (4-3) three times during the GOL season. Last month at BHS, the Tigers rallied from 18 points down to top Baker 62-58.

Friday, at La Grande, the Tigers were held scoreless in the second quarter, and trailed 24-5 at halftime. La Grande then outscored Baker 44-22 in the second half.

Baker coach Craig Woods said it was a lack of rebounding by the Bulldogs that led to the turnaround.

“The thing that changed was offensive rebounds,” Woods said.

The Baker coach said La Grande outrebounded the Bulldogs by 13. The Tigers grabbed 14 offensive rebounds, 13 in the second half.

“We just can’t have that,” Woods said. “We shot better, had fewer turnovers, more assists, but they outrebounded us. I burned my timeouts trying to come up with an answer.”

Baker managed just seven total rebounds in the second half.

La Grande puts damper on Baker girls title hopes

La Grande threw a monkey wrench into Baker’s Greater Oregon League girls basketball title hopes Friday, rallying to defeat the Bulldogs 37-35 at La Grande.

The result leaves Baker and La Grande tied for second in the GOL with 4-3 records, a game behind Ontario (5-2) with two games left in the regular season.

“Tuesday is kind of a must win game for us if we still want to reach our goal of winning the league and getting a higher seed at district,” said Baker coach Tim Smith.

“If we can beat Ontario, Ontario can take care of La Grande on Friday and we can beat Mac-Hi we could still win the league.”

Friday, Baker led La Grande 31-24 after three quarters, but couldn’t hold the Tigers off.

Breanna Partney and Shayla Powers each scored four points to help La Grande regain a 34-33 lead with 3:10 left in the game. It was the Tigers first lead since midway through the second period.

Partney added a free throw with 59 seconds left to give La Grande a 35-33 edge.

Baker rallied to tie the game at 35-35 when Ashley Trees hit a shot with 33 seconds left.

La Grande then made two free throws down the stretch for the winning margin. Baker had one last chance to tie the game with less than five seconds left but Mackenzie Warner missed the front end of a one-plus-one free throw and La Grande rebounded.

Dawgs compete at Pendleton

PENDLETON — Baker’s middle school wrestlers competed at the Pendleton tournament last week.

All but one Baker wrestler won at least one match each.

“We wrestled really well,” said Baker coach Ray Uriarte.

Baker, Spartans shine at Pine-Eagle Invitational

Pine-Eagle wrestlers earned two individual firsts, and Baker one Saturday at the annual Pine-Eagle Invitational in Halfway.

Pine-Eagle’s Kyle Dennis (160 pounds) and Richie Gonzales (171) earned individual firsts for the Spartans.

Andrew Porter (130) was Baker’s individual champion.

Dennis drew two byes before pinning Ismahel Mendoza of Homedale in the semifinals. Dennis then won by 16-1 technical fall over Adrian’s Daniel Lode in the title match.

Gonzales drew a first-round bye before defeating Melba’s Fabian Medrano by 20-8 tech fall. Gonzales then defeated Baker’s Wyatt Duncan 7-1 in the semifinals before topping Middleton’s Lane Chadwick 16-9 in the championship match.

Porter also drew a first-round bye before pinning Melba’s Alex Webb in the first round. Porter also pinned Crane’s Cody Davis in the first round in the semis. Porter then defeated Middleton’s Joe Roseberry 9-0 to win the championship.

Baker had eight other wrestlers place in their weight, and Pine-Eagle seven.

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