Baker girls basketball

Baker's Hailey Zikmund played a key role in the Bulldogs' win over Henley at the Sisters Holiday Tournament.

The Baker girls basketball team capped its grueling December schedule Sunday by beating Molalla 57-43 to claim 3rd place at the Sisters Holiday Tournament.

It was the Bulldogs’ fourth straight weekend on the road as they competed in four tournaments, compiling a 9-1 record and winning the titles at Junction City and at Gladstone.

Baker is 10-2 overall, and ranked 3rd in the state.

“I’m very pleased with our progress as a team,” Baker coach Mat Sand said on Sunday. “It’s been a grind this month being away from our gym for four straight weekends. To lose only one game, I feel good.”

Some of his players, however, can’t say the same.

Illness continues to plague the Bulldogs, and Sand said he’s impressed with his team’s ability to deal with sickness as well as the rigors of amassing more than 2,000 miles of travel during December.

To cite only one example, Sand said freshman post Jozie Ramos, despite the lingering effects of illness, scored a game-high 19 points Sunday to lead Baker past Molalla in the 3rd-place game.

“I’d say she was at about 70%,” Sand said of Ramos.

Baker rebounded quickly from a 41-34 loss Saturday to Banks, a game in which Baker had 11 field goals to the Braves’ 10, but was outscored 19-11 at the free throw line.

Banks shot 37 foul shots to Baker’s 18.

“We need to figure out how to play better defense without fouling,” Sand said.

He said he plans to work on the Bulldogs’ zone defense in particular.

But with the team playing 12 games during December, all but one of those games away from home, practice time has been limited, Sand said.

Banks played a “very aggressive, very physical” style of defense, and Sand said that when the referees allow a team to play that way, as was the case for parts of Saturday’s game, Baker needs to adjust better.

Sand said he has reiterated to his team that as the defending Class 4A state champion, the Bulldogs need to be prepared for intense games.

“Teams are going to come at us with the best they have,” he said.

Friday’s game

Baker was in unfamiliar territory in its tournament opener, trailing Henley of Klamath Falls 33-27 entering the fourth quarter.

But Baker dominated the final period, outscoring the Hornets 16-4 to advance to the semifinals.

Junior Hailey Zikmund played a key role in the Bulldogs’ comeback, hitting a pair of three-pointers.

Seniors Sydney Younger (6 points) and Lauren Benson (4 points) also spurred Baker’s game-winning rally.

Younger led Baker with 17 points. Zikmund added 10.

Saturday’s game

Baker started well, leading Banks 11-4 after one quarter as Younger scored 5 points and Ramos 4.

But Banks’ swarming defense clamped down on the Bulldogs in the middle two quarters, outscoring Baker 26-12 to take a 30-23 lead entering the final quarter.

Baker wasn’t able to chip away at the deficit in the last eight minutes.

Younger led Baker with 15 points. But she was the only Bulldog in double figures, as Ramos added 8 and Benson 7.

“I want at least three players in double figures,” Sand said. “When we do that I know we’ll be in the game.”

Sunday’s game

The 3rd-place game, Baker’s only morning game of the tournament, with a 10 a.m. tipoff, was competitive early, as the Bulldogs were tied with Molalla at 11 after one quarter. Baker led 26-20 at halftime, then extended its lead to 45-31 after three quarters.

Ramos had 11 of her 19 points in the second quarter. Benson scored all of her 12 points in the second half.

After a road-weary December, the Bulldogs play their next two games at home — Saturday at 2 p.m. against Weiser, and Jan. 7 at 7 p.m. against Vale.

FRIDAY

BAKER (43)

Hellberg 0 0-0 0, Keller 2 0-0 4, Younger 5 5-8 17, Zikmund 4 0-0 10, Carter 0 0-0 0, Makenzie 0 0-0 0, Nemec 2 0-0 4, Ramos 0 4-6 4, Benson 2 0-0 4. Totals 15 9-14 43.

HENLEY (37)

Loney 3 4-6 10, Melsress 0 0-0 0, Cheyne 1 0-2 2, Sharp 1 2-2 4, Nelson 3 0-0 8, Becker 1 0-0 2, Moore 4 3-6 11. Totals 13 9-16 37.

Baker 13 8 6 16 — 43

Henley 16 7 10 4 — 37

Three-point baskets — Younger 2, Zikmund 2, Nelson 2. Total fouls — Baker 13, Henley 15.

SATURDAY

BAKER (34)

Hellberg 0 0-0 0, Keller 1 0-1 2, Younger 4 7-10 15, Zikmund 0 0-2 0, Carter 0 0-0 0, Makenzie 0 0-0 0, Nemec 1 0-0 2, Ramos 2 4-4 8, Benson 3 0-0 7. Totals 11 11-18 34.

BANKS (41)

Streblow 0 1-4 1, Narvaez 2 6-9 10, Wyatt 0 0-3 0, Saunders 4 0-1 8, Merritt 1 1-2 3, VanDomelen 1 0-0 3, Minervini 0 3-4 3, Maller 1 1-2 4, Johnson 0 2-6 2, Shook 0 2-2 2, Walker 1 3-4 8. Totals 10 19-37 41.

Baker 11 6 6 11 — 34

Banks 4 12 14 11 — 41

Three-point baskets — Benson, VanDomelen, Maller. Total fouls — Baker 23, Banks 21.

SUNDAY

BAKER (57)

Hellberg 0 0-0 0, Keller 2 0-2 4, Younger 4 4-6 13, Zikmund 2 0-1 4, Carter 1 0-0 2, Makenzie 0 0-0 0, Nemec 1 1-3 3, Ramos 7 5-5 19, Benson 3 5-7 12. Totals 20 15-22 58.

MOLALLA (43)

Lisac 0 5-8 5, Curry 3 5-6 11, Parker 3 2-2 9, Wood 1 0-0 3, Greer 4 2-4 12. Totals 12 14-20 43.

Baker 11 15 19 12 — 57

Molalla 11 9 11 12 — 43

Three-point baskets — Younger, Benson, Parker, Wood, Greer 2. Total fouls — Baker 17, Molalla 18.

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