Gerry Steele
The Baker City Herald

Baker relied too much on its outside game, and turned the ball over too much Saturday, losing its season-opening non-league boys basketball game 73-61 to Payette on the Baker floor.

The Bulldogs (0-1) attempted 30 three-point shots, making just five. And, Baker had 23 turnovers.

"You can't shoot 5 of 30 from the three-point line and expect to win," said Baker coach Joel Richardson.

"Did we have good looks? Yes. But, we weren't consistent.

"We had too many turnovers," Richardson said. "That number has to come down, and it will.

"We have to do a better job on defense and on the boards. And, we have to be more consistent scoring. We need to do a better job of maintaining our intensity level, our composure," he said.

Baker rode the right arm of Dillon Blankenship in the first quarter. Blankenship scored 12 of his 18 points in the period to help Baker take a 22-19 lead.

Baker led 31-24 midway through the second quarter. But, Payette then turned the tide.

The Pirates' Clayton Hansen drove the basket against Baker's Jordan Curtis. Hansen made the basket and Curtis slapped the backboard attempting to block the shot.

Curtis was whistled for a technical foul, and Payette made both free throws. The Pirates then added five more points to complete the 9-point swing and take a 33-31 lead with 4:53 left in the first half.

Baker stayed close the rest of the half, with two Blankenship free throws with 9.6 seconds left pulling the Bulldogs to within 42-41 at halftime.

Payette stormed out of the halftime locker room and outscored the Bulldogs 19-8 in the third period to put the game away.

"We went for about 11 minutes with just eight points," Richardson said.

Baker trailed by just 10 points in the final seconds of the third quarter, but then went almost five minutes without a point.

Blankenship and Curtis each tallied 18 points to lead the Bulldogs.

Baker travels to Pendleton Tuesday.

Baker defeated Payette 45-35 in the frosh/soph game Saturday. Mason Powell and Keaton Bachman each scored 10 points for the Bulldogs.

Payette won the junior varsity game 52-42. Mason Cline led Baker with 11 points. Jake Grammon and Grayson Swiger each added seven.

Payette 19 23 19 12 - 73

Baker 22 19 8 12 - 61

Payette (73) - Garza-Loa, Pollock 4 3-4 12, Serrano, Blackwell 2 0-0 4, Ch. Hansen 0 2-4 2, Zane Allen 1 2-4 5, Waynetska 5 2-3 12, Cl. Hansen 8 4-6 21, Bolin, Zach Allen 2 1-4 5, LaMue 4 4-8 12. Totals 26 18-233 73.

Baker (61) - Smith 1 0-0 2, Richards 0 1-5 1, Bachman 3 0-0 7, Phillips 3 2-2 9, Blankenship 5 8-10 18, Osborn 3 0-0 6, Curtis 4 7-8 18. Totals 19 18-25 61.

Three-point goals - Pollock, Zane Allen, Clay Hansen, Bachman, Phillips, Curtis 3. Fouled out - Waynetska, Richards, Blankenship. Total fouls - Payette 20, Baker 23. Technicals - Waynetska, Curtis.