Gerry Steele
The Baker City Herald

By Gerry Steele

There were a lot more smiles in the Baker locker room Friday than a couple of nights earlier.

Tuesday, Baker lost a nonleague boys basketball game in the final minute to Cole Valley Christian.

Friday, the Bulldogs rebounded to hand Mac-Hi a 53-41 Greater Oregon League loss at BHS.

"The kids were kind of quiet when I went into the locker room Friday," said Baker coach Joel Richardson.

"That quickly changed after I told them they did a great job of stopping Mac-Hi for our first GOL win. That was a lot nicer sound than Tuesday night"

The Bulldogs led by as many as 14 points in the first half only to have Mac-Hi outscore them 15-5 in the second period to trail only 27-24 at halftime.

Mac-Hi then scored the first five points in the third period to take its only lead, 28-27, with 5:54 left in the quarter.

That served as a wakeup call for the Bulldogs. Baker answered with 11 straight points to build its cushion back to a comfortable margin.

"We came out and played really well in the first quarter, then had a terrible second quarter," Richardson said.

"Then we came back and bowed our necks in the third quarter," Richardson said.

Clay LeaMaster got the Bulldogs off on the right foot in the opening quarter, scoring eight points on a 10-2 opening run.

Later, after Mac-Hi had pulled to within 15-9, the Bulldogs closed the quarter on a 7-0 run. Mason Cline and Logan Sand each had a basket, and Aiden Hayes chipped in a three-point play.

Baker led 22-9 after one period.

Kyle Srack's free throw started the second period before Mac-Hi ran off 10 straight points to pull within 23-19 with 3:30 left in the first half.

Sand added two more free throws before Logan Scott scored Baker's first field in the quarter with 56.3 seconds left.

Baker led 27-24 at halftime.

Mac-Hi gained its first lead of the game, 28-27, by scoring the first four points of the second half.

Baker then answered.

LeaMaster scored five points, Cline four and Srack two as the Bulldogs regained a 38-28 cushion with 3:19 eft in the third quarter.

Mac-Hi could get no closer than seven points after that.

Richardson said all the Bulldogs who played had a role in the win.

"Clay knocked down some shots early and really set the tone for us. Logan Scott played great defense. Aiden played very composed at point guard, and Mason and Kyle did a great job on the boards," he said.

Baker outrebounded the Pioneers 33-31. Cline had 15 rebounds, Srack seven and Hayes seven.

Baker (1-2 in the GOL) returns to GOL action Tuesday when the Bulldogs host Ontario.

MAC-HI (41)

Correa, Zaragoza 3 1-1 9, Rodriguez 0 0-2 0, Saldana 1 0-0 2, Manon 3 0-0 6, Angel 5 0-1 11, Zitterkoof, Alva 3 0-0 7, Podolski 3 0-0 6. Totals 18 1-4 41.

BAKER (53) -

Hayes 1 4-5 6, Scott 3 0-0 6, LeaMaster 5 0-0 13, Cline 5 1-3 11, Sand 2 3-4 7, Srack 4 2-4 10. Totals 20 10-16 53.

Mac-Hi - 9 15 10 7 - 41

Baker -22 5 17 9 - 53

Three-point baskets - Zaragosa 2, Angel, Alva, LeaMaster 3. Fouled out - Saldana. Total fouls - Mac-Hi 13, Baker 7. Technicals - Saldana.