Gerry Steele
The Baker City Herald

Baker's defense was working fine Friday in its girls basketball opener against Fruitland. But, the Bulldogs' offense was as chilly as the December weather.

Fruitland, playing its sixth game of the season, handed Baker a 38-25 loss in the non-league game on the Baker floor.

"I thought for our first game out the girls played well," said Baker coach Tim Smith.

"Definitely the way we played defense in the fourth quarter was how we needed to play the whole game."

Baker held the Grizzlies to just four points in the final eight minutes.

Smith said the Bulldogs need to get in better shape to accomplish the running style of offense he hopes to run.

"We have to run more' have to use our transition game. We didn't get that opportunity tonight," Smith said.

Baker's effort also was hurt by a 3-for-18 figure at the free throw line. And, Baker attempted just 36 shots in the game.

"We have to get our offense going better, and we have to make out free throws," Smith said.

Abi Smith's basket with 3:23 left in the first quarter tied he game at 2-2. Fruitland then ran off five unanswered points to take a 7-2 lead.

Baker didn't score again until Stacy Duman hit a free throw with 1:55 left in the quarter. That would be Baker's only made free throw in the first half as the Bulldogs went 1-for-9 from the line.

Baskets by Emily Smith and Shasta Overton, and a three-pointer by Ashley Trees, helped the Bulldogs pull back to within 15-12 at the break.

Another Trees three-pointer pulled Baker to within 17-15 with 5:35 left in the first half. But, that was as close as the Bulldogs would get.

Fruitland answered with nine straight points to build a 26-15 halftime lead.

Baker limited the Grizzlies to just a dozen points in the second half. But, the Bulldogs could manage just 10 points of their own.

Trees led Baker with eight points.

The Bulldogs (0-1) host Pendleton Tuesday.

Baker lost Friday's frosh/soph game 29-16 to the Grizzlies. Kate Averett, Kayla Kirby and Michelle Lehman each scored four points for the Bulldogs.

Baker rallied in the fourth quarter to win the junior varsity game 37-31.

Kyana Chaves hit back-to-back baskets to tie the game at 31 and give Baker a 33-31 lead. Chaves then stole the ball and found Michelle Freese for another basket with a minute left.

Freese led Baker with 13 points.

Fruitland 15 11 8 4 - 38

Baker 12 3 2 8 - 25

Fruitland (38) - Carlson 0 4-4 4, Farmer 1 0-0 2, Brown, E. Tesnohlidek, Moore 0 0-20, Clinton 5 2-5 13, Phillips 3 0-1 6, A. Tesnohlidek, Little 1 0-2 2, Stutzman 2 2-2 7, Cuellar 2 0-0 4. Totals 14 8-16 38.

Baker (25) - Robb 1 1-4 3, A. Smith 1 0-0 2, Trees 3 0-0 8, Birkmaier, Kercheski, E. Smith 3 0-3 6, Overton 2 0-5 4, Duman 0 1-2 1, Bachman 0 1-2 1, Chaves 0 0-2 0. Totals 10 3-18 25.

Three-point goals - Clinton, Stutzman, Trees 2. Fouled out - Clinton. Total fouls - Fruitland 19, Baker 17. Technicals - none.