Baker boys edge Fruitland

By Gerry Steele January 12, 2014 08:47 am

By Gerry Steele

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Playing at home for just the third time this season, the Baker boys basketball team held off a spirited second-half Fruitland rally Saturday to edge the Grizzlies 68-65 in a nonleague contest.

Baker never trailed in the game that saw four early ties. The Bulldogs (3-10) went on to build a 14-point lead early in the third period only to have Fruitland cut the deficit to just two points entering the final eight minutes.

Fruitland then cut Baker’s lead to one points twice in the fourth quarter, the final time at 66-65 with 10.3 seconds remaining.

Mason Cline then hit two free throws with 7.9 seconds remaining for the final margin.

Fruitland’s DaMetri Weatherall’s three-point try from near midcourt clanged off the rim at the final buzzer.

“We had a little lull in the third quarter,” said Baker coach Joel Richardson.

Fruitland outscored the Bulldogs 16-8 in the third quarter to turn a 38-28 Baker halftime lead into a 46-44 Baker edge.

Clay LeaMaster then scored seven of his team-high 17 points to start the fourth quarter and build Baker’s lead back to 57-52 midway through the period.

Baker was 13-of-19 from the free throw line in the final quarter.

“I would have liked a few more free throws made down the stretch,” Richardson said.

“But, we found out a little bit more about ourselves. It was a great effort.”

LeaMaster led four Bulldogs in double figures with 17 points.

Logan Sand and Kyle Srack each added 13 points, and Cline 11.

“Clay had a nice night,” Richardson said of the junior who also dished out five assists.

“I was really pleased with our balanced scoring. I thought we shot the ball better than we have been,” Richardson said.

Baker swept Saturday’s preliminary games. Baker won the frosh/soph game 52-35, and the junior varsity game 44-37.

The Bulldogs host Pendleton Thursday before returning to the road at Burns Saturday.

FRUITLAND (65)

   Rhinehart 5 3-3 13, O’Dell, Seamons 2 0-2 4, Van Patten, Bones 1 0-0 2, Weatherall 4 0-2 12, Stanger 6 8-11 20, Phillips 1 1-2 3, Richins 3 4-4 11. Totals 22 16-24 65.

BAKER (68) - 

   Hayes 2 2-2 7, Gulick, Scott 2 2-2 7, LeaMaster 5 5-8 17, Cline 3 5-8 11, Sand 3 4-6 13, Srack 5 3-6 13, Bennett. Totals 20 21-32 68.

Fruitland        -17 11 16 21 — 65

Baker              -21 17   8 22 — 68

     Three-point baskets — Weatherall 4, Richins, Hayes, Scott, LeaMaster 2, Sand 3. Fouled out — Van Paten, Stanger. Total fouls — Fruitland 25, Baker 23. Technicals — none.