Gerry Steele
The Baker City Herald


Baker's Class 4A boys basketball play-in game against Crook County had many facets.

The Bulldogs jumped out to an early lead, got into foul trouble, played up-and-down defense, then pulled away for a 58-50 win in the Baker gym.

Baker (15-8) now gets set to hit the road for a Class 4A first-round playoff game Saturday. Baker will play at North Valley at Grants Pass Saturday. Tipoff time has not been set.

"The kids played hard," said Baker coach Joel Richardson.

"We got out quick. (Crook County) didn't handle our pressure that well.

"Then we got some guys in foul trouble. I felt bad about trying to play our pressure defense while trying to keep those guys from picking up any more fouls.

"I didn't think our man defense was very good," Richardson said. "That's on me. I've got to make sure the guys are ready to go. We allowed thema litle too much penetration all night."

Baker built a quick 6-0 lead on consecutive layins by Trent Taylor, Colten Richards and Jordan Curtis.

Curtis went on to score nine points in the first quarter, and Dillon Blankenship four, as the Bulldogs constructed a 20-9 lead.

Then, midway through the second quarter, BradenPhillips and Richards each picked up their third foul and went to the bench.

Crook County (3-21) went on a 9-0 run to pull within 24-21 with 2:21 left in the first half.

Blankenship then took matters into his own hands, going on a personal 10-0 run to end the half, leaving Baker up 34-21 at halftime.

Phillips then scored nine points in the third quarter to help the Bulldogs maintain a 47-38 lead at the break.

Phillips and Blankenship each added four points in the final eight minutes to hold the Cowboys at bay.

"It was kind of a sloppy game," Richardson said.

"We have to do a better job of maintaining our conistency. We can't have those three or four minute lulls."

Baker outrebounded the Cowboys 35-28. Richards and Curtis each grabbed 11 boards, and Phillips seven.

Richardson said he was pleased with the overall rebounding, but wasn't happy about how many Crook County got.

"I thought we rebounded well, but Crook County's number is not good. I wanted them to get less than 20 boards.

"Now, we've reached the Sweet 16. We just have to pull ourselves up by our boot straps and get after it," Richardson said.


Brewer, Seaquist 6 0-1 14, Buss 0 2-6 2, Benton 3 1-2 9, Mahurin 2 4-4 9, Washechek 3 3-4 10, Dean, Sutfin, Dees 3 0-0 6. Totals 17 10-17 50.

BAKER (58) andshy;

Richards 1 0-0 2, Bachman, Hamilton 1 1-2 3, Phillips 5 5-6 16, Blankenship 9 2-6 22, Taylor 1 0-0 2, Curtis 5 2-3 13. Totals 22 10-17 58.

Crook County 9



12 - 50



11 - 58

Baker andshy; 20

Three-point baskets - Seaquist 2, Benton 2, Mahurin, Washechek, Phillips, Blankenship 2, Curtis. Fouled out -none. Total fouls -Crook County 15, Baker 17. Technicals -Baker Coach Richardson.