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Defense leads Baker girls to win over Kuna

Baker’s Whitney Phillips goes up for a rebound over a Kuna defender Saturday in the Bulldogs’ 38-25 non-league victory. (Baker City Herald/Kathy Orr)
An old saying in most team sports is “the best offense is a tough defense.” Baker proved that Saturday in a non-league girls basketball game against Kuna, Idaho, in the Baker gym.

The Bulldogs’ offense struggled in the first half, but their defense prevented Kuna from taking advantage. Baker then broke the game open in the fourth quarter on the way to a 38-25 win.

“I thought our defense kept us in the game when our offense struggled a little in the first half,” said Baker coach Tim Smith.

“We led at halftime, built on it in the third quarter, then kind of let them back into it.”

Pendleton rolls past Baker girls

Sloppy ball handling hurts Bulldogs

Baker’s Dallas Defrees goes up for two points over the defense of Pendleton’s Kristen VanCleave during Tuesday’s non-league girls basketball game at Baker High School. (Baker City Herald/Kathy Orr)
Baker girls basketball coach Tim Smith wants his Bulldogs to get up and down the floor quickly this season. But the Bulldogs have to take care of the ball.

Baker didn’t do that very well against Pendleton Tuesday in the Baker gym. The result was a 65-47 Pendleton win.

“We want to get up and down the floor, but tonight we were just a little bit above our comfortable pace,” Smith said. “We were a little bit on the reckless side.”

That recklessness allowed Pendleton to build a 22-10 lead after quarter. Many of the Bucks’ points came as the result of Baker turnovers. Guard Sam McCloud tallied 12 points in the first quarter, and post Kristen VanCleave added eight. Both players finished the game with 22 points.

“We have to focus on being more patient on offense, and more patient rebounding,” Smith said.

Talbott on 4A all-state second team

Baker senior Tara Talbott was named to the The Oregonian Class 4A all-state volleyball second team last week by a vote of the state’s coaches.

Talbott, the Greater Oregon League player of the year, led the Bulldogs to the Class 4A state playoffs and a second-place GOL finish this past season.

Talbott also is a member of Baker’s softball and girls basketball teams, and was crowned homecoming queen in October during the Bulldogs’ football season.

Joseph meets Imbler for 1A title

Grant Union vying for 3A crown

HILLSBORO — It will be an all-Old Oregon League matchup Saturday when Joseph and Imbler meet for the Class 1A state football championship.

Kickoff is set for 11 a.m. at Hillsboro Stadium. Spectator admission is $8 for adults and $5 for students.

Joseph (11-1) enters the title game coming off a 54-48 upset of previously undefeated Perrydale last week in the semifinals. In that game, Joseph’s Grant Marcum, formerly of Baker, ran for 165 yards and four touchdowns. He was named Qwest player of the game for his efforts.

Imbler (10-1) advanced to the title game by defeating Dufur in its semifinal matchup.

Riley Motocross Racing Team has winning tradition

The Team Riley Motocross Racing Team has only been around since 2006. But, Richard Riley, one of the team’s mainstays, has been racing since 1999.

“My first race was in 1999 when I was 10 years old,” Riley said recently.

“I’ve raced most of the time through high school, except for when I had a couple of bad injuries with broken bones.”

Riley said the feeling he gets before a race is beyond description.

“The feeling you get when you’re sitting at the gates, when they hang the flag out and say you have 30 seconds, I can’t explain the feeling.

“Then when you get the 5-second flag the butterflies start. When the gate drops it’s down to business.”

Riley said he started riding at an early age because he loved to ride the bikes.

“I’ve been riding so long now that I just can’t quit,” he said.

Flying high — without wings

Few sports can match motorcross racing for pure adrenaline production

Motorcross is not a sport for the weak of heart.

Or the weak of pocketbook.

“Motorcross is competing with motor bikes on a track with obstacles,” said Richard Riley, a member of the Riley Racing Team in Baker City.

“You get a chance to test your skills on cornering, hills, and other racing areas.”

The size of bike usually depends on the size of the individual, Riley said. Smaller riders are more comfortable with motorcycles in the 50cc to 80 cc engine size range. Teenage riders are more accustomed to riding 125cc to 250cc bikes. Older riders chose bikes in the range of 250cc to 450cc.

Bulldogs come up just short

Baker’s potential game-winning drive stalls five yards from the end zone

Baker football coach Dave Johnson looked at the end of the Bulldogs’ season Saturday philosophically. He was looking at the overall big picture and not just what happened at Bulldog Memorial Stadium.

What happened on the field was a 26-21 loss to Banks in the Class 4A second round playoff game. What Johnson was looking at afterwards was what had brought the Bulldogs to that point.

“I’m sure the fans will remember the game, and that we lost, for a while,” Johnson said. “But for us the growth that the kids have made in the past year stands out. We’re very proud of these kids.”

Hidden Valley spikes Baker

Senior Savannah Daly, shown during a regular season match with La Grande, and her Baker teammates saw their postseason come to an end Saturday, losing in three games to Hidden Valley in the opening round of the Class 4A state playoffs. (Baker City Herald file photo/Kathy Orr)
GRANTS PASS — Hidden Valley ended Baker’s volleyball season Saturday, defeating the Bulldogs 25-16, 25-22, 25-17 in the opening round of the Class 4A state playoffs.

Baker entered the match as the Greater Oregon League runnerup.

No other information was available on the match.

The Class 4A state tournament is Friday and Saturday at Lane Community College.

Pine-Eagle outguns Powder, 74-60

Pine-Eagle sophomore Kyle Dennis had  a career afternoon Friday, scoring seven touchdowns and rushing for 463 yards in the Spartans’ 74-60 Old Oregon League football season finale over Powder Valley at Halfway.

“I had to go back and recheck the numbers,” said Pine-Eagle coach Blake Dennis, Kyle’s father. “I knew Kyle had a good day, but I didn’t know he had those kind of numbers.”

The younger Dennis scored on runs of 30, 65, 28, 58, 61, 31, and 1 yard. He also threw a 35-yard halfback TD pass to Justice Walker.

“We had some good blocking and Kyle had a lot of big, long runs,” said Coach Dennis.

Baker girls host Cottage Grove in playoff soccer

Baker will host Cottage Grove in the second round of the Class 4A/3A/2A/1A state girls soccer playoffs Tuesday at 1 p.m. at the Baker Sports Complex.

Baker, coached by DeeDee Clarke, enters the playoffs 12-1-1 and champions of Special District 7.

Cottage Grove earned the right to play Baker after edging Western Mennonite 1-0 in the opening round of the postseason Saturday.

Spectator admission is $6 adults and $4 students. No regular season passes will be accepted.

Class 4A/3A/2A/1A

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