Baker rallied from a seven-point deficit in the final minute to force overtime, took a quick lead in the extra period and held off Banks 85-81 in a fast-paced boys basketball game Saturday, Dec. 4.
Baker freshman Isaiah Jones hit a three-pointer just before the buzzer to tie the score at 75 and force overtime.
Jones led all scorers with 30 points.
Baker, which improved to 2-0 on the season, outscored the Braves 10-6 in overtime in a game played at Powder Valley High School.
The Baker wrestling team was competing in the Baker gym on Saturday.
Baker coach Jebron Jones, who is also Isaiah’s dad, said Baker’s last-minute rally seemed to deflate Banks, giving the Bulldogs an edge in overtime.
“I think they thought they had the game in the bag,” Jones said of Banks.
He said he told his team, during a timeout with about 50 seconds left and Baker trailing by seven, that he had seen teams rally from bigger deficits with less time on the clock.
“I told them, ‘this game is not over,’ ” Jones said. “The boys just continued to fight and scrap and claw. It was a great game. It showed that these young men don’t like losing. It was a great team victory. A lot of people did a lot of great things to help. It was a total team effort.”
Baker scored the first six points in overtime to take control, on three-pointers by freshmen Jaxon Logsdon and Jaron Long.
Baker’s late rally was the last in a series of momentum swings.
Baker led 16-6 in the first quarter, but Banks dominated the rest of the first half to lead 41-30 at halftime.
Baker outscored Banks 25-16 in the third quarter to narrow the Braves’ lead to 57-55 entering the final period.
Jones said he was impressed by the resilience of his young team against a Banks squad that has only juniors and seniors. The Braves dominated their first two games, beating St. Helens 52-32 on Dec. 1, and routing Ontario 69-21 on Friday in a game played at Baker High School.
A quartet of freshman scored 60 of Baker’s 85 points. In addition to Isaiah Jones’ 30 points, Logsdon had 14 points, Grant Gambleton nine, and Long seven.
Two sophomores added 18 points — Hudson Spike with 10, and Paul Hobson with eight.
“I’m not surprised,” Jebron Jones said of his young players’ performance. “I’ve been seeing them play for the last five or six years. They are in the position they’re in because of the hard work they do when no one is watching.”
Jones said Baker in its first two games has shown its ability to play at a slower pace — the Bulldogs beat Homedale, Idaho, 55-49 on Dec. 2 — and to thrive in a high-scoring contest.
“We’re a versatile team,” Jones said. “We’re not very big, but we can adjust to a bigger team like Banks. It was a good test.”
Baker travels to Fruitland, Idaho, this evening for a 6 p.m. PST tipoff against the Grizzlies.
Their first home game is Thursday against Homedale with tipoff at 7:30 p.m. in the Baker High School gymnasium.
The Bulldogs then embark on a longer trip to the Portland area for a pair of games, Friday at Estacada and Saturday at Molalla.
Jones said he appreciates that Buell Gonzales Jr., Baker School District athletic director, was able to schedule nonleague games against teams from Western Oregon.
“We don’t always have a chance to play against teams from the west side,” Jones said. “It helps us see where we stand.”