Gerry Steele
The Baker City Herald


Baker's season came to an end Saturday after the Bulldogs dropped a 69-40 contest to No. 2 North Valley in the first round of the Class 4A bys basketball playoffs.

The Bulldogs fell behind early 7-1, then battled back to pull within 18-14 after one period. Dane Bachman's three-pointer at the buzzer cut the deficit to four points.

"We had some great looks our first three or four shots, but they just didn't go down," said Baker coach Joel Richardson.

The Baker coach said the Bulldogs also forced three North Valley players to the bench in the first quarter and early second quarter with foul trouble. But, the Knights' bench picked up the scoring slack.

"We had some of their kids in foul trouble, but their bench did a nice job scoring," Richardson said.

Baker trailed 33-19 at halftime, due in part to scoring just five points in the second quarter.

"You can't score just five points in a quarter in the Sweet 16 round," Richardson said.

"They did some things to make us not look good."

Richardson said the Bulldogs committed more than 20 turnovers, and many of those were converted into points by the Knights.

"The turnovers were basically because of slow passes. And, North Valley made some asy baskets off some of them," Richardson said.

He said the Bulldogs picked up their play early in the second half, but by that time it was to late.

"We got it going a little bit in the second half, but North Valley did a nice job of runningn their offense and forcing us to spend a lot of energy and time playing defense," Richardson said.

Baker's cause also was hur by a 4-for-18 effort from three-point range.

"We hit a few more of those and it would have been a lot closer game," Richardson said.

He said North Valley's size also contributed to a 37-24 Knight rebounding edge.

"The Chirnside kid did anice job of keeping the rebounds on their boards. He kept a lot of balls alive," Richardson said.

He said it wasn't always the fact that JJ Chirnside stands 6-foot-8, but that he also ways considerably more than 200 pounds.

Richardson tried to look at the positive side of the Bulldogs' 15-9.

"I told th ekids that we had a great season," he said.

"We got off to slow start in December with all the injuries and some other distractions. But the kids did a good job of dealing with those distratctions. Then we went through the GOL season undefeated and reached the Sweet 16.

"I think that's a true attribute to this team's toughness. I'm very, very proud of these kids."

Jordan Curtis led Baker with 11 points and seven rebounds. Braden Phillips added 10 points and seven boards.

BAKER (40)

Curtis 4 1-2 11, Phillips 5 0-0 10, Blankenship 2 3-3 7, Richards 3 0-0 7, Bachman 2 0-0 5, Broks, Baxter, Taylor, Cline, Hamilton. Totals 16 4-5 40.

NORTH VALLEY (69) andshy;

Chirnside 7 1-6 15, Brazille 6 1-3 13, Lyon 4 1-2 10, Herklotz 5 0-0 10, Mooney 3 2-2 8, McCue 2 0-0 5, Rust 1 0-0 2, Dean 1 0-0 2. Totals 29 9-17 69.

Baker andshy;14



7 - 40

North Valley andshy;18



18 - 69

Three-point baskets - Curtis 2, Richards, Bachman, Lyon, McCue.