Gerry Steele
The Baker City Herald

The story of Baker's girls basketball season has been being unable to put an entire game together on any given night.

That happened again to the Bulldogs Friday in their Greater Oregon League game against La Grande at BHS.

Baker (0-4 in the GOL) played evenly with the Tigers for three quarters. The problem was that Baker trailed 21-10 after one quarter and ended up losing the GOL contest 54-41.

In the final three periods Baker trailed just 33-31. But the Bulldogs couldn't ovecome the first-period deficit.

"I'm very proud of the girls for hanging in there," said Baker coach Tim Smith.

"We made some adjustments after the first quarter and competed well. La Grande is a good team, but we played them tough for three quarters."

Baker fell behind 7-0 in the opening eight minutes before Emily Smith's three-pointer got the Bulldogs on the scoreboard with 6:13 left in the quarter.

La Grande increased its lead to 11-3 before Shasta Overton scored five straight points to bring Baker back to within 11-8 with 3:11 left in the period.

But La Grande outscored the Bulldogs 10-2 the rest of the quarter to take a 21-10 lead at the break.

Three-point baskets by Michelle Birkmaier and Smith, and a two-pointer from Ashley Trees kept the Bulldogs within 25-21 with 1:45 left in the first half.

La Grande again went on a run, this time 8-3, to build its cushion to 33-24 at halftime.

Freshman Michelle Freese, who finished with nine points, nine rebounds and two blocked shots, scored five points for the Bulldogs in the third period.

"Michelle played a great game. We need her in there," Smith said.

La Grande led 45-31 entering the fourth quarter.

Baskets by Smith and Birkmaier got Baker back to within 50-41 with about three minutes left in the game. But the Bulldogs could get no closer.

Smith led Baker with 12 points. Freese added nine, and Overton seven.

Baker still has a chance to earn one of the three GOL playoff berths. The Bulldogs can take a major step in that direction this week when they play winless Mac-Hi twice.

Baker travels to Milton-Freewater Tuesday for a makeup of the Jan. 21 postponed game. The Bulldogs then host Mac-Hi Friday.

"This week will be big for us," Smith said.

"We play Mac-Hi twice and will have a playoff berth on the line."


Tracy 0 1-1 1, Comfort 6 2-3 14, Clipfell, Elliott 5 4-5 14, Humphreys, Moore 4 5-5 13, Mills 2 5-8 9, Tooke 1 1-1 3. Totals 18 18-23 54.

BAKER (41) andshy;

A. Smith 1 2-4 4, Freese 4 0-0 9, Trees 1 0-2 2, Birkmaier 2 0-0 5, Bachman, Kercheski 0 1-4 1, E. Smith 4 2-4 12, Overton 2 3-6 7, Duman 0 1-2 1. otals 14 9-22 41.

La Grande andshy;21



9 - 54



10 - 41

Baker andshy; 10

Three-point baskets - Freese, E. Smith 2, Birkmaier. Fouled out -none. Total fouls -La Grande 17, Baker 20. Techincals -none.