BOYS BASKETBALL: Baker stops Pendleton

December 11, 2005 12:00 am

By GERRY STEELE

Of the Baker City Herald

Baker was perfect from the free throw line in the final two minutes Friday and held off Pendleton 66-57 in a non-league boys basketball game at Baker High School.

The Bulldogs (2-1) were 10-for-10 from the line in the final 2:19 to withstand a Pendleton comeback bid that cut Baker's lead to two points twice.

"We put our best free throw shooters in at the end of the game because we knew they would have to foul," said Baker coach Craig Woods.

"In my nine years here Pendleton has never come to Baker before this. We've always had to go there and play.

"Those free throws were some big points. You have to hit your free throws."

Lowell Curtis was 6-for-6 and Grant Johnson 4-for-4 from the line down the stretch. A pair of Curtis free throws with 36.8 seconds left gave Baker a four-point lead, 60-56. Pendleton never got closer after that.

Matt Duman added a key layin with 1:15 left in the game. Johnson appeared to have a rebound of missed Baker shot. But, the ball slipped through Johnson's hands under the basket. Duman, standing beside Johnson, grabbed the ball and layed it in.

"Matt was just in the right place at the right time," Woods said.

The Baker coach also was pleased with the way the Bulldogs started the game.

Johnson scored eight first-quarter points to help the Bulldogs build a 15-3 lead at the break.

"That was a good run to start the game," Woods said.

Six points from Travis Mastrude, five by Curtis and four from Trevor Taylor helped the Bulldogs maintain a 34-19 advantage at halftime.

Then, in the fourth quarter, Pendleton used an 8-2 run to pull within 54-51 with 3:05 left in the game. The Bucks then got to within 56-54 with 1:45 left, and 58-56 with 46 seconds left before Baker connected on its free throws.

Johnson led Baker with 20 points. Curtis added 12.

Baker travels to Grant Union Tuesday.

Pendleton 3 16 20 18 — 57

Baker 15 19 13 19 — 66

Pendleton (57) — Patterson 3 1-1 7, Whitten 2 1-2 7, Talbott 4 2-2 10, Schimmel 2 3-3 9, West 3 2-3 8, Wright, Goodwin 2 0-0 4, Corey 4 0-0 8, Smootz, Beamer 2 0-0 -4, Neal, McGrath. Totals 22 9-11 57.

Baker (66) — Taylor 2 1-2 5, Duman 3 1-2 7, Curtis 2 7-8 12, Mastrude 3 1-2 9, Johnson 7 5-10 20, Suitter 1 1-2 3, Grigg 0 0-1 0, Sells 2 3-4 8, Garrick, Speelman 1 0-0 2. Totals 21 19-31 66.

Three-point goals — Whitten 2, Schimmel 2, Curtis, Mastrude 2, Johnson, Sells. Fouled out — none. Total fouls — Pendleton 22, Baker 17. Technicals — Whitten, Pendleton Coach Clem.