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Bulldogs roll past Burns to end skid

Baker ended a two-game losing streak Saturday by bolting to quick lead and stopping Burns 61-50 in a non-league boys basketball game at Burns.

Baker led 16-5 after one period, and had leads as large as 20 points in the first half.

“We jumped out on them, and used our defense well,” said Baker coach Craig Woods. “We defensed their posts really well.

“Overall our kids played a lot better, more consistent,” Woods added.

Dekker Smith led the Bulldogs with 12 points. Kennan Richards added 10.

Baker opens Greater Oregon League play Friday at Ontario. The Bulldogs then host Idaho power Fruitland on Saturday.

Baker swimmers earn three firsts

Charlotte Bowers leads Bulldogs with a pair of wins

Baker’s Gus Hansen finished third in the boys 200 freestyle event Thursday. The Bulldogs hosted La Grande in a dual meet at Sam-O Swim Center.(Baker City Herald/Kathy Orr)
Baker and La Grande swimmers must be getting pretty used to each other. The two teams squared off Thursday at Sam-O Swim Center in a dual meet. The same two teams swam another dual five days earlier in La Grande.

Thursday, Baker varsity swimmers earned three first place awards.

Charlotte Bowers won the girls 200 freestyle (2:09.75) and 50 freestyle (27.39). Bowers, Kim Pointer, Annie Martin and Kim Countryman teamed to win the girls 200 medley relay in 2:09.80.

Last week, at La Grande, the Bulldogs earned four firsts.

Bowers again won the girls 200 freestyle (2:11.16) and 50 freestyle (27.67). Pointer won the girls 100 breaststroke (1:21.0).

That duo again joined Martin and Countryman in winning the girls 200 freestyle relay in 1:57.05.

Too many turnovers doom Baker girls

Bulldogs commit 35 turnovers in 60-55 loss to Grant Union

Tara Talbott, shown earlier in the season, and her Baker teammates lost a non-league girls basketball game to Grant Union Thursday in the Baker gym.(Baker City Herald/Kathy Orr)
Baker girls basketball coach Tim Smith is looking for an answer to his club’s current losing streak.

The frustration continued to build Thursday after the Bulldogs’ streak grew to four straight with a 60-55 loss to Grant Union in the Baker gym.

“I’m puzzled as to what the answer is,” Smith said. “That’s what I told the girls.

“We had 35 turnovers. If we don’t take care of the basketball we’re going to struggle to win,” he said.

“We’re not comfortable in our game situations right now. We’re not transferring stuff from practice to game situations.”

Thursday’s result wouldn’t have been as close as it was had the Bulldogs not scored 23 points in the fourth quarter. Baker managed just 32 points in the other three periods.

The Bulldogs fell behind 5-0 in the first quarter before scoring seven of the final eight points for a 7-6 lead at the break.

Bulldogs top Weiser in OT

Baker outscores Wolverines 8-4 in extra period

Sophomore guard Jesse Brown and his Baker teammates needed overtime to subdue Weiser 60-56 Tuesday in the Baker gym. (Baker City Herald/Kathy Orr)
“We keep it exciting.”

That’s what Baker boys basketball coach Craig Woods said shortly after the Bulldogs nipped Weiser, Idaho, 60-56 in overtime Tuesday night in the Baker gym.

“Basketball is a game of momentum,” Woods said.

Woods was referring to a stretch in the third and fourth quarters when Baker held a 38-29 lead only to have Weiser battle back against the Bulldogs’ bench to knot the game at 48-48 with 3:49 left in regulation.

“We kind of gave (the momentum) up during that stretch,” Woods said. “But I wanted to see what those kids would do and they responded.

“The preseason is a learning tool. I’m still working on our rotation. Obviously if this had been a league game, say with La Grande, I wouldn’t have played it the same way.”

The overtime began knotted at 52-52. After the teams traded baskets, Dekker Smith’s free throw with 2:13 left gave Baker the lead for good at 55-54. Derek Blankenship then boosted the Baker lead to 57-54 after a nice assist from Smith on a cut to the basket.

Fruitland defeats Baker

Grizzlies outgun Bulldogs for non-league win

Kennan Richards and his Baker teammates suffered their first loss of the season Saturday at Fruitland, Idaho. (Baker City Herald file photo/Kathy Orr)
Baker was wishing the snowstorm that passed through the area Friday night had closed the freeway to Fruitland, Idaho, Saturday.

The Bulldogs suffered their first loss of the young season, 62-45, in the boys non-league basketball game in the Fruitland gym.

“Fruitland is a very aggressive team,” said Baker coach Craig Woods.

“They outhustled us at both ends of the floor. They hustled for every single loose ball in the first half, and we didn’t.”

That led to a 33-19 halftime deficit for the Bulldogs.

Bulldogs surge past Burns

Baker uses 14-0 second-half run to break game open

B.J. Quintana goes up for a short jump shot over a Burns defender Thursday in Baker’s 67-56 win over the Hilanders.(BakerCityHerald/Kathy Orr)
Baker used a strong third quarter to break away from Burns Thursday on the way to a 67-56 win in a non-league boys basketball game at BHS.
Deadlocked at 27-27 at halftime, Baker (4-0) outscored the Hilanders 26-16 in the third period to build a 53-43 advantage.
The Bulldogs then scored the first eight points of the fourth quarter to complete a 14-0 run.
“This is just a good group of kids,” said Baker coach Craig Woods. “They’ll make mistakes, but they don’t get their heads down. And we’re not making the mistakes we were a couple of weeks ago.”
Dekker Smith came off the bench to score 10 of his 17 points in the third period. Derek Blankenship added eight of his team-high 18 in the quarter.
In fact, Baker’s posts scored 36 points in the game — Walker Kaseberg added 11 points, and Kennan Richards eight — most coming after assists from Blankenship and Jesse Brown.

Baker boys hold off Bucks

Baker makes 3 of 4 free throws late to thwart Pendleton’s rally

Walker Kaseberg, No. 1, went up for a rebound over Pendleton’s Spencer Sundin and teammate Matt Gorrell Tuesday night. Kaseberg led Baker scoring with 19 points, including a breakaway dunk. (Baker City Herald/Kathy Orr)
Baker used an all-around team effort and kept its composure down the stretch to edge Pendleton 69-64 in a non-league boys basketball game at Baker High School.
“It was a great effort all the way around,” said Baker coach Craig Woods.
“Pendleton played us tough. But we made some shots and kept our composure. We rebounded well, and got a lot of second shot opportunities. It was fun.
“This kind of game isn’t going to win us a championship. It just gives us a better idea of what we’re capable of,” Woods said.
After leading the entire first half, Baker fell behind 48-47 with 2:16 left in the third period when Pendleton’s Devon Polhamus hit a fade away jumper from the left baseline.
Polhamus scored 11 of his 15 points in the third quarter to help the Bucks take a 57-54 lead at the break.
“Our posts were in foul trouble and weren’t going out to guard their big guys,” Woods said.

Baker girls earn moral victory in loss at Pendleton

It’s not often a coach is pleased after losing a game. But that’s exactly what Baker girls basketball coach Tim Smith was Tuesday evening in Pendleton.

Yes, his Bulldogs had just lost to Pendleton 50-47. It was the second time Baker had lost to the Lady Bucks this season. But, Smith said, the Bulldogs played a much better game this time around.

“We played a similar game to what we did a week ago in the first half,” Smith said. “We were kind of helter skelter.

“Then, we were a totally different team in the second half. We dominated at the defensive end of the floor.”

Baker grapplers shine at Enterprise

Bulldogs finish second in tournament

Baker wrestlers earned three individual firsts Friday on the way to a second-place team finish at the annual Enterprise Kickoff Wrestling Tournament.

Dillon Steele (130 pounds), Andrew Porter (135) and Ted Shaw (215) each garnered first place in his weight division.

Zack Valentine (103), Sam Pearson (140), Andrew Gettle (145), Anthony Constantine (152) and Jake Shukle (215) placed second.

Parker Warner (125) and Lane Gray (171) took third, and Keifer Mespelt (160) fourth.

“It was a good tournament for us,” said Baker coach Dee Gorrell.

“We came here to make a statement after winning this tournament last year. The kids, even though we’re young, did a really good job.

“I was impressed with their wrestling. Some of the kids got their first introduction to high school wrestling,” Gorrell said.

Baker finished with 209 points. Mac-Hi won the tournament with 263.

Baker travels to La Grande Friday and Saturday for the annual Muilenberg Tournament.

Bulldogs slip past Wolverines

Blankenship leads Baker with 18 points

Baker jumped to a quick lead, then held off a Weiser rally in the second half to post a 48-44 victory over the Wolverines Saturday in a non-league boys basketball game.

After a 6-6 deadlock in the first quarter, Baker went ahead 20-12 at halftime.

“We kind of jumped out on them,” said Baker coach Craig Woods. “We were running the floor well.”

The Bulldogs held Weiser to no field goals in the second period, allowing just six free throws.

“We played pretty well defensively,” Woods said. “We just have to be more consistent. And, we still have to find our outside shooting game.”

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