Gerry Steele
The Baker City Herald

Baker dominated play from start to finish Friday, handing La Grande a 71-33 defeat in Greater Oregon League boys basketball action at La Grande.

The Bulldogs improved their GOL record to 2-0 with the win.

"We did a great job of controlling the tempo," said Baker coach Joel Richardson.

La Grande (1-1 in the GOL) led just once at 5-4. Baker then took control and pulled away.

"The kids did a great job defensively, and executed our game plan really well," Richardson said.

Dillon Blankenship score 10 of his game-high 29 points in the first quarter as the Bulldogs busted out to a 17-8 lead.

Blankenship added eight more points in the second period as the Bulldogs increased their lead to 36-18 at halftime.

Baker forced 17 La Grande turnovers in the first half, and 20 in the game.

"Our press forced a lot of turnovers, and we did a great job of converting those turnovers into points," Richardson said.

Baker then amped up its defensive intensity in the third quarter, outscoring La Grande 20-2 in the quarter.

Five Bulldogs scored in the period, led by Jordan Curtis with seven points. Braden Phillips added five points, Colten Richards and Thomas Hamilton three each, and Blankenship two.

"The kids spread the scoring around. They couldn't just key on one guy," Richardson said. "Our guys just complimented each other so well.

"In the third quarter we really executed our offense well. We did a great job executing on offense and got some great looks.

"We also turned up our defensive intensity. I was really pleased with our defense. We executed absolutely terrific," Richardson said.

Blankenship finished the game with 29 points, including 12-of-14 from the free throw line.

"Dillon was just deadly at the line," Richardson said.

Curtis finished with 16 points, 12 in the second half. He added eight rebounds as the Bulldogs outrebounded the Tigers 41-32.

"Jordan was just consistent," Richardson said. "He just did a super job of orchestrating our offense."

Phillips finished with a "double-double" of 11 points and 13 rebounds. Richards added nine points and seven rebounds.

Hamilton also had seven boards off the bench.

"Everybody did a great job of complimenting each other," Richardson said.

Baker 17 19 20 15 - 71

La Grande 8 10 2 13 - 33

Baker (71) - Richards 4 0-0 9, Phillips 4 3-4 11, Blankenship 8 12-14 29, Taylor, Curtis 5 4-6 16, Smith, Hamilton 1 3-3 5, Dolby, Grammon 0 1-2 1. Totals 22 23-29 71.

La Grande (33) - Wicklander 1 0-0 2, Sofe 2 1-2 5, Humber, Ackerman, Stone 1 1-2 3, Madsen 3 0-1 6, Jenkins 2 0-0 5, Rogers, Albrecht 3 0-0 6, Goss 1 2-6 4, Bissonnett 1 0-0 2. Totals 14 4-10 33.

Three-point goals - Richards, Blankenship, Curtis 2, Jenkins. Fouled out - Wicklander. Total fouls - Baker 10, La Grande 21. Technicals - La Grande Coach Carollo.