Third time the charm for Baker

By GERRY STEELE, Baker City Herald January 12, 2009 04:22 pm

Baker rallies in second half to defeat Fruitland for the first time in three meetings

The third time was the charm for Baker against Fruitland in non-league boys basketball action Saturday.

The Bulldogs, losers in two earlier meetings with Fruitland this season, came from behind in the final three minutes to edge the Grizzlies 57-48. Baker outscored Fruitland 11-2 in the final 3:12.

Baker coach Craig Woods said a defensive switch from the previous meetings helped the Bulldogs stay close the entire game Saturday.

“We played zone almost the entire game,” he said. “We started figuring out what they were doing and the zone helped shut some of it down.

“We talked about not giving up on a play,” Woods said. “In the first half we did give up on a few plays and they took advantage of it.

“Then, in the second half we didn’t give up on plays, and we shot the ball well.”

Baker finished the game shooting 42 percent from the field (22-of-52) while holding Fruitland to 37 percent (19-of-51).

With Baker trailing 46-43, Jesse Brown’s three-point basket from the top of the key knotted the game at 46-46 with 4:12 left. Brown got the shot after a feed from Walker Kaseberg.

Kaseberg then gave Baker the lead for good when he took a pass from Brown and canned his own three-pointer with 3:12 left. The 49-46 lead was Baker’s first of the game.

A little more than a minute later Brown found Derek Blankenship open for another three-point bomb and a 52-46 Baker lead.

Then, after Fruitland scored, Dekker Smith took an inbound pass from Kaseberg under the Baker basket and scored inside to seal the win. Kaseberg added two free throws and Brown one in the final seconds.

Fruitland, behind five points from Ty Pena, jumped to a quick 7-0 lead in the opening quarter.

A Chad Adams three-pointer and a Kaseberg free throw got Baker to within 7-4 behind Fruitland boosted its cushion back to 10-4.

A three-point play by Smith and a rebound basket by Kaseberg pulled the Bulldogs to within 10-9 with 2:09 left in the first quarter.

Fruitland then scored the final five points of the period to lead 15-9 at the break.

The teams traded baskets throughout the second period which ended with Fruitland on top 24-18. Each team added 17 points in the third period with the Grizzlies maintaining a 41-35 edge entering the fourth quarter.

Baskets by Smith and Blankenship cut the deficit to 41-39 with 6:53 left. Then, after a Fruitland score, Blankenship and Kaseberg hit back-to-back baskets to tie the game at 43-43.

A Jacob Crim three-pointer gave Fruitland its final lead at 46-43. That’s when Brown’s “triple” started Baker’s winning run.

Kaseberg scored 14 of his game-high 19 points in the second half. Blankenship, who was playing despite being ill, added all 12 of his points after halftime.

Baker travels to Nyssa Tuesday.


Fruitland    15    9    17                 7 — 48

Baker    9    9    17               22 — 57

Fruitland (48) — Decroo 1 0-0 2, Pena 7 0-0 19, Dhaenens, Fabricius 1 0-0 2, Van Patten, Crim 4 0-0 9, Stanger 4 1-1 10, Dahle 2 0-0 4, Baker 0 2-2 2. Totals 19 3-3 48.

Baker (57) — Kaseberg 7 4-5 19, Brown 2 2-4 7, Richards 1 0-0 3, Adams 1 0-0 3, Gorrell, Smith 4 1-1 9, Thatcher, Richardson 2 0-0 4, Quintana, Blankenship 5 0-0 12. Totals 22 7-10 57.

Three-point goals — Pena 5, Crim, Stanger, Kaseberg, Brown, Richards, Adams, Blankenship 2. Fouled out — Decroo. Total fouls — Fruitland 15, Baker 6. Technicals — none.