Gerry Steele
The Baker City Herald

Baker boys basketball coach Joel Richardson says the Bulldogs have a stranglehold on the chase for the Greater Oregon League championship.

The Bulldogs' grip tightened another notch Friday with an 81-30 thumping of Mac-Hi in nthe Baker gym.

The victory gives the Bulldogs a 6-0 GOL record with three games remaining. Baker's Magic Number is 1 - one Bulldog win or one La Grande loss and Baker will repeat as league champion. Baker could clinch the league title Friday when the Bulldogs travel to La Grande.

Baker has swept Mac-Hi twice in the past week, and the play of the Bulldogs' big men has been a key factor.

In the first meeting Baker's trio of "big men" combined to shoot 20 of 27 from the field.

Friday, the Bulldogs outrebounded the Pioneers 39-18. Braden Phillips led Baker with a career-high 30 points and 13 rebounds (9 offensive). Phillips shot 12-of-15 from the field and 1-of-1 from three-point range.

Colten Richards added 19 points on 8-of-11 shooting with five rebounds.

Dillon Blankenship chipped in six rebounds and dished out eight assists.

"We really shared the ball," Richardson said. "Our guys were really looking for their teammates.

"And, with the big lead it gave us the opportunity for their teammates to come in, and having them find them with the ball as well," he said.

"Braden Phillips had a big night," the Baker coach said.

"Our bigs against Mac-Hi have had two great games. It has been really balanced."

Baker led just 8-5 midway through the first quarter, then went on a 10-0 run -six by Phillips - to build the lead to 18-5.

Baker led 21-7 at the break.

Phillips added 11 points in the second quarter, and Richards nine, as the Bulldogs outscored the Pioneers 27-9 to build a 48-16 halftime advantage.

Mac-Hi scored the first points of the third period, then went scoreless the rest of the quarter. Baker answered with 17 straight points to build its lead to 65-18. Phillips and Richards combined for 10 of those points.

Nine of the 11 Bulldogs who played scored.

MAC-HI (30)

Field 0 1-2 1, Ortiz 3 2-3 11, Sandoval, Shuler 2 0-0 4, Ley 0 2-3 2, Richwine 4 2-4 10, Williams 0 2-2 2, Hinton, Hendley. Totals 9 9-14 30.

BAKER (81) andshy;

Smith 1 0-0 2, Richards 9 0-0 19, Brooks 3 0-0 7, Hamilton 1 0-0 2, Dolby, Phillips 13 3-5 30, Blankenship 3 0-0 7, Grammon 1 0-0 2, Taylor 2 0-0 4, Cline, Curtis 3 0-0 8. Totals 36 3-5 81.

Mac-Hi 7



12 - 30



16 - 81

Baker andshy; 21

Three-point baskets - Ortiz 3, Richards, Brooks, Phillips, Blankenship, Curtis 2. Fouled out -none. Total fouls -Mac-Hi 10, Baker 16. Techincals -none.