Gerry Steele
The Baker City Herald

When Baker’s Desi Davis stepped to the free throw line Saturday afternoon she would have rather been any other place than there.

Davis toed the line with 3.5 seconds remaining in Baker’s Class 4A girls basketball playoff game with Valley Catholic. Baker led 61-60 at the time and had a trip to the 4A state tournament on the line.

“I was super nervous,” Davis said. “I never wanted it to happen where I’d be in that situation.”

Davis then calmly sank both free throws for a 63-60 Baker advantage.

That meant the best Valley Catholic could do was send the game into overtime with a three-point basket.

The Valiants came close, as Noelle Mannen’s half-court shot caromed off the rim at the horn.

Baker now meets Marshfield Thurday at 8:15 p.m. at Forest Grove High School. The Bulldogs defeated Marshfield 57-50 in a 4A play-in game at BHS a year ago.

Baker coach Mat Sand said he had confidence in Davis when she went to the line.

“She’s been great all season shooting free throws,” Sand said of his junior guard. “She’s just been so stable at the line.”

Davis actually had two opportunities at the free throw line.

With the score tied at 60-60, Davis was fouled with 53 seconds left in the game.

That time she made the first of the two shots to give Baker a 61-60 edge.

The teams then traded possession several times before Davis was fouled again with 3.5 seconds left.

Baker was red hot early in the game. The Bulldogs jumped out to an 8-2 lead thanks in part to a pair of three-point baskets by Jayme Ramos.

Ramos scored nine of her 12 points in the first quarter as Baker built a 19-13 lead.

Sydney Younger came off the bench to add five second-quarter points as Baker led 30-23 at halftime.

Baker then looked like it had put the game away, scoring the first nine points of the second half to build its cushion to 39-23.

Emily Carter’s three-pointer and baskets by Gracie Huggins, Davis and Kaeli Flanagan fueled the run.

But Valley Catholic wouldn’t go away.

The Valiants trailed 48-38 entering the fourth quarter, and that’s when Mannen went to work.

The junior guard scored 11 of her 24 points in the final period. Kate Nguyen added eight points as Valley Catholic battled back to take a 57-56 lead with 3 minutes left in the game.

Davis then gave Baker the lead at 58-57 with a basket. Two Huggins free throws gave Baker a 60-57 edge.

But Valley Catholic tied the game on a Nguyen three-pointer with 1:45 left setting the stage for Davis’ free throws.

Flanagan led a balanced Baker offense with 14 points.


Jones 0 0-1 0, Kaywaguchi, Moore 1 0-0 3, Nguyen 4 0-0 10, Mannen 10 2-4 24, Thurman 2 0-0 5, Flemmer 3 4-4 10, Oehler 1 0-0 2, Duyck 2 2-3 6. Totals 23 8-11 60.

BAKER (63) -

Bruce 1 0-0 2, Huggins 3 2-2 8, Ward 4 0-0 8, Davis 3 3-4 9, Younger 3 0-0 7, Ramos 3 4-7 12, Carter 1 0-0 3, Flanagan 5 4-7 14. Totals 23 13-20 63.

Valley Catholic -13 10 15 22 — 60

Baker 19 11 18 15 — 63

Three-point baskets — Moore, Nguyen 2, Mannen 2, Thurman, Younger, Ramos 2, Carter. Fouled out — Duyck. Total fouls — Valley Catholic 19, Baker 13. Technicals — none.