Baker boys basketball coach Jebron Jones wanted to make sure winless Ontario didn’t take advantage of the emotion of senior night and start fast on its home court Tuesday, June 15.
Jones needn’t have worried.
Baker bolted to a 29-12 lead after the first quarter and breezed to an 85-52 win, improving to 7-3 on the season.
“It was Ontario’s senior night, so I made it a point of emphasis to the guys to not let them have any hope early on, and I think we accomplished that,” Jones said.
Freshmen Hudson Spike scored 12 of his 18 points in the first period as Baker took control from the start.
With post Jake Wright heading to Corvallis, where he will play football at Oregon State, Baker’s front line was missing a key cog against Ontario.
Jones had to rely more on another senior, Mason Van Arsdall, and junior Nick Mitchell.
Van Arsdall responded with 17 points, while Mitchell added six.
“With Jake going down, Nick Mitchell had to step up, and he did,” Jones said. “Mason played more minutes than usual and he hit his first two career three-pointers tonight, so he was feeling good about himself.”
Baker didn’t let up after its scorching first quarter, something Jones attributes to Baker hitting its stride with conditioning.
“We are in better shape now than where we were three weeks ago,” Jones said. “I wish I had more time with them.”
Senior Gabe Gambleton led all scorers with 21 points. Freshman Paul Hobson added 11.
Jones was proud of the team’s collective effort.
“Everyone shared the rock, we got easy shots, everyone was laughing, smiling and giggling,” Jones said. “So, it was a good way to go out.”
Baker wraps up its season today by playing host to Vale (5-2) at 5:30 p.m.
Jones hopes the team, including seniors Gambleton and Van Arsdall playing their final game at BHS, enjoys the opportunity.
“That they had fun, they worked hard and they made good memories,” Jones said.