Gerry Steele
The Baker City Herald

By Gerry Steele

When a team loses its leading scorer fans might expect a letdown.

Not in Baker's case Friday against Mac-Hi in Greater Oregon League boys basketball action.

Baker was missing leading scorer Dillon Blankenship due to illness, but it was the Bulldogs who made Mac-Hi ill on the court.

Baker (3-0 in the GOL) led from start to finish on the way to a 70-42 victory.

"I thought we had really good team effort," said Baker coach Joel Richardson.

"I was really pleased with our effort. We had a lot of guys who played within themselves.

"We executed really well and got a lot of good sets," Richardson said.

Braden Phillips led Baker with 24 points and 10 rebounds. Dane Bachman added 20 points and 10 boards.

Ben Baxter aded 11 points and eight assists, and Mason Cline nine rebounds.

"Braden shot the ball very well," Richardson said.

"Dane-O also shot well.

"Ben Baxter played very well. He saw the floor well and ran the offense well."

Grayson Swiger got the start in Blankenship's slot and contributed eight points inside.

"Grayson gave us some good minutes isnide," Richardson said.

With the score tied 4-4 in the first quarter, Baxter hit back-to-back three-point baskets to give Baker the lead for good.

Mac-Hi managed to stay in range by hitting three three-pointers of its own, trailing just 19-13 at the break.

"We played sloppy defense against the three-pointers in the first quarter," Richardson said.

"They weren't hurting us inside. We did a better job of defensing the perimeter after that."

Five quick points from Bachman gave Baker a 24-13 lead 30 seconds into the second quarter.

Mac-Hi rallied to cut Baker's edge to 27-24 with 3:15 left in the first half.

Baker then finished the period on a 14-0 run that lifted the Bulldogs to a 41-24 halftime lead.

Phillips scored eight points in the period, and Bachman seven.

Phillips remained hot in the third quarter, scoring eight points to help Baker build its cushion to 57-33 at the break.

Bachman then moved into a post position, scoring nine fourth-quarter points to finish the rout.

Baker hosts Ontario Tuesday and travels to La Grande Friday.

MAC-HI (42)

Saldana 1 0-0 2, Ortiz 1 1-2 4, Armentra 1 0-0 2, Shuler 3 0-0 7, Ley 2 0-0 5, McElrath, Angel 3 2-2 10, Richwine 2 0-0 4, Williams 2 0-0 4, Perez 2 0-2 4, Podolski. Totals 17 3-4 42.

BAKER (70) -

Hamilton, Hayes, Bachman 9 0-0 20, Taylor 1 1-2 3, Baxter 4 0-0 11, Cline 2 0-3 4, Phillips 8 5-6 24, Swiger 4 0-0 8. Totals 28 6-11 70.

Mac-Hi -13 11 9 9 - 42

Baker - 19 22 16 13 - 70

Three-point baskets - Ortiz, Shuler, Ley, Angel 2, Bachman 2, Baxter 3, Phillips 3. Fouled out - none. Total fouls - Mac-Hi 9, Baker 5. Technicals - none.