Gerry Steele
The Baker City Herald

By Gerry Steele

Solid defense and balanced scoring propelled Baker to a 59-45 Greater Oregon League boys basketball win over Ontario Friday at Ontario.

"The story of the game was our defense," said Baker coach Joel Richardson.

The Baker coach noted that Ontario made seven three-point baskets, but just seven other hoops.

"Without those seven threes its a 25-30-point win for us," Richardson said.

He added that the strong effort was made despite the Bulldogs continued battle with sickness.

"We're still battling the flu," Richardson said.

"We're just weathering the storm. We've got a lot of guys who still aren't 100 percent."

Jake Grammon dominated Ontario inside in the first quarter, scoring all six of his points and grabbing seven rebounds in the period.

Baker led 12-7 after one quarter.

Dillon Blankenship chipped in five of his 18 points, and Braden Phillips four of his 14 in the second quarter to help the Bulldogs build a 26-19 halftime edge.

Then, ater another Phillips basket boosted Baker's lead to 28-19 to start the third period, Ontario's Jason Haueter scored five straight points to cut the lead to 28-24.

But, that was as close as Ontario would get.

Phillips connected on a three-point play, and Blankenship and Dane Bachman each added a basket as Baker answered with a 7-0 run.

Bachman ended the quarter with nine of his 18 points. Phillips added seven and Blankenship four as the Bulldogs built their cushion to 46-35.

"We had a god second half," Richardson said.

"I was real pleased that we were able to answer Haueter's baskets with a big run."

Phillips, Bachman and Blankenship each added a three-point basket of their own in the fourth quarter to add to the lead.

"Those threes were big in keeping Ontario away," Richardson said.

Baker dominated the backboards, winning the rebounding battle 35-18. Grammon led the way with 10 rebounds. Phillips and Thomas Hamilton each added six, and Bachman and Blankenship five each.

Baker (6-3 overall and 1-0 in the GOL) plays Pendleton Tuesday at Eastern Oregon University at La Grande. Action begins at 5:15 p.m.

Baker returns to GOL action Friday when the Bulldogs host La Grande.

BAKER (59)

Blankenship 6 4-5 18, Hamilton, Bachman 8 0-0 18, Taylor, Cline 1 0-0 3, Phillips 6 1-1 14, Grammon 1 4-4 6, Swiger. Totals 22 9-10 59.

ONTARIO (45) -

T. Alexander 2 0-1 5, A. Alexander 3 0-0 6, Haueter 4 6-7 17, Hawker 1 0-0 2, Martin 0 2-2 2, Waite 1 0-0 2, Hussey 2 2-2 8, Deleon 1 0-0 3, Vogt. Totals 14 10-12 45.

Baker -12 14 20 13 - 59

Ontario - 7 12 16 10 - 45

Three-point baskets - Blankenship 2, Bachman 2, Cline, Phillips, T. Alexander, Haueter 3, Hussey 2, Deleon. Fouled out - none. Total fouls - Baker 17, Ontario 13. Technicals - none.