Gerry Steele
The Baker City Herald

Baker clinched a Class 4A state playoff berth Tuesday with a 75-33 Greater Oregon League boys basketball win at Mac-Hi.

The Bulldogs (5-0 in the GOL and 9-8 overall) can finish no worse than third place in the GOL standings and the top three teams advance to the state playoffs. Mac-Hi dropped to 0-5 in the GOL and 0-17 overall with the loss.

Baker slapped a full-court pressing defense on the Pioneers from the opening top and burst to a 17-0 lead midway thruogh the first quarter.

"We jumped out early and really executed well defensively in the first quarter," said Baker coach Joel Richardson.

"I thought our backcourt guys Trent Taylor, Dillon Blankenship and Jordy Curtis did a great job putting a ton of pressure on their guards. Then we just continued to execute the rest of the way."

Braden Phillips finished the period with 10 of his game-high 21 points. Blankenship added seven points, and Colten Richards four as the Bulldogs hit the break leading 26-6.

Six Bulldogs scored in the first quarter.

Seven Baker players dotted the scoring column in the second quarter, led by Blankenship's six points.

Baker led 44-20 at halftime.

Phillips continued his hot hand inside in the second half.

The Baker junior scored six points in the third quarter and five in the fourth.

Richards added six points in the third period, and Jake Grammon six of his eight in the fourth quarter.

Braden had a nice night," Richardson said. "The guys were looking for him inside and he finished well.

In fact our three bigs - Phillips, Colten Richards and Jake Grammon -finished 20 of 27 in the paint. I'll take that kind of scoring inside every night. And, they complimented our guards so well."

Blankenship finished the game with 13 points, and Richards 12. Nine Bulldogs scored in the game.

"I thought all of the guys really handled the ball well tonight. I told them that in the locker room," Richardson said.

Baker can clinch at least second place in the GOL race Friday when the Bulldogs host Mac-Hi on the BHS floor.

BAKER (75)

Smith 1 0-0 2, Richards 6 0-0 12, Bachman 1 2-2 5, Hamilton 1 0-0 2, Dolby, Phillips 10 1-6 21, Blankenship 4 5-5 13, Grammon 4 0-0 8, Taylor 4 0-0 8, Cline, Curtis 1 2-5 4, Brooks. Totals 32 10-18 75.

MAC-HI (33) andshy;

Field 7 0-0 15, Ortiz 1 2-2 5, Sandoval 2 0-0 4, Shuler 2 0-0 4, Ley 1 1-2 3, McElrath, Richwine 1 0-0 2, Williams, Hinton 0 0-2 0, Hendley. Totals 14 3-6 33.

Baker andshy;26



13 - 75



5 - 33

Mac-Hi andshy; 6

Three-point baskets - Bachman, Field, Ortiz. Fouled out -none. Total fouls -Baker 9, Mac-Hi 15. Techincals -none.