Baker boys fall to North Bend

By Gerry Steele, The Baker City Herald

NORTH BEND - Baker dug itself too deep of a hole in the first quarter and could never quite crawl all the way out against North Bend Friday.

Baker (20-5) ended up on the losing end of a 57-52 contest in the Class 4A state boys basketball playoffs.

North Bend (21-3), the Far West champion, used 10 points from Jake Lucero and six from Kai Johnson to build a 19-15 lead after one quarter.

Back-to-back three-pointers by Lucero and Johnson got North Bend off to a uick 6-0 start.

"That first couple of minutes, North Bend got into a rythm," said Baker coach Craig Woods.

"It was hard to overcome. We ran into a good team. They had to rebound and shoot well to take us out of what we do and they did.

"Lucero hit some big shots early, and couple of their role players stepped up. That first quarter got us," Woods said.

Then, after Jordan Curtis hit a "three" and Dillon Blankenship a two-pointer to cut the deficit to 6-5, North Bend went on an 8-2 spurt to build its lead to 15-8.

Will Barr scored the next five points, and Taylor McEnroe two, to pull Baker back to a 15-15 tie with one minute left in the first quarter.

Neither team mounted much offense in the second quarter, with North Bend holding a 25-21 advantage.

Lucero's cousin, Logan Lucero, picked up the slack in thethird period, scoring all seven of his points.

North Bend led 39-29 entering the fourth quarter.

Baker thenmade one final surge. Curtis scored 13 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter. That helped the Bulldogs pull within 49-46 with 1:30 left in the game.

But, North Bend hit 8-of-10 free throws in the final minute to keep Baker away.

"We just made some mistakes we haven't typically made," Woods said.

"We didn't play as aggressively as we have in the last few games."

Curtis finished with 22 points. Barr added 11.

Jake Lucero finished with 14 points, Johnson 13 and Aaron Mateski 12.

Baker 15 6 8 23 - 52

North Bend 19 6 14 18 - 57

Baker (52) - Brown 3 0-0 6, McEnroe 1 1-2 3, Barr 4 0-0 11, Everson, Lay 1 0-0 2, Blankenship 2 4-5 8, Curtis 8 1-1 22. Totals 19 6-8 52.

North Bend (57) - L. Lucero 2 3-4 7, Mitchell 2 0-0 4, J. Lucero 6 0-0 14, A. Mateski 4 4-4 12, Johnson 5 1-2 13, H. Mateski 0 1-2 1, Stump 3 0-1 6. Totals 22 9-13 57.

Three-point goals - Barr 3, Curtis 5, J. Lucero 2, Johnson 2. Fouled out - none. Total fouls - Baker13, North Bend 11. Technicals - none.

The Baker City Herald
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