Baker boys basketball

Baker’s Gabe Gambleton, shown here earlier in the season against Weiser, scored a game-high 14 points Tuesday in the Bulldogs’ 52-31 win over Mac-Hi at Milton-Freewater.

Baker boys basketball coach Jebron Jones knew Mac-Hi was capable of pulling an upset Tuesday, and he knew who was most likely to lead the Pioneers.

The priority was to limit Dareagan Stephens, Mac-Hi’s shifty 5-foot-9 senior point guard.

The Bulldogs did that — and more.

Baker held Stephens to 5 points, and Mac-Hi to just 10 points in the first half, in rolling to a 52-31 win Tuesday at Milton-Freewater. The game was originally scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 8, but postponed because residents who evacuated due to flooding were temporarily staying in the Mac-Hi gym.

Stephens had 13 points in Baker’s 59-49 win over the Pioneers on Jan. 20 at Baker.

“We had a game plan to stop (Stephens), and we executed it,” Jones said. “The boys came out and played hard from the get go.”

The Pioneers showed they can be a dangerous opponent during the Jan. 20 game, rallying in the third quarter to get within 31-30 before Baker pulled away in the final period.

But Baker’s aggressive defense Tuesday night never allowed Mac-Hi to mount a serious threat.

The Bulldogs held the Pioneers to just 3 points in the second quarter and led 29-10 at halftime.

“It’s a testament to how good we can play defense,” Jones said. “It was a team effort.”

Offensively, Jones said he was pleased with his team’s patience in attacking Mac-Hi’s zone defense.

“We did a pretty good job of making the extra pass,” he said. “We got a bunch of layups.”

Gabe Gambleton led Baker with 14 points. Caden Long added 12 points, and Riley Flanagan and Mason Van Arsdall had 8 each.

Baker improved to 4-1 in the Greater Oregon League to remain tied with La Grande atop the league standings. The two teams split their two games, both winning on their home floor. Baker and La Grande each have one league game remaining — Baker plays host to Ontario Friday, and La Grande plays host to Mac-Hi Saturday. If both Baker and La Grande win, the GOL’s top spot would be determined by RPI ranking. Baker is ranked 12th, and La Grande 19th.

Baker’s JV team beat Mac-Hi 49-10 on Tuesday.

BAKER (52)

Younger 0 0-0 0, Gambleton 5 2-2 14, Flanagan 4 0-0 8, Robb 0 0-0 0, Rigueiro 1 0-0 2, Wright 2 0-0 04, Shirtcliff 1 0-0 2, Long 3 6-9 12, Van Arsdall 4 0-0 8, Smith 1 0-2 2. Totals 21 8-13 52.

MAC-HI (31)

Stephens 1 3-6 5, Brinkley 1 1-2 3, Gilmore 0 0-0 0, Lewis 2 0-0 5, Flores 3 0-0 6, Earls 3 0-0 7, Herndon 0 0-0 0, Castillo 2 0-0 5, Badillo 0 0-0 0. Totals 12 4-8 31.

Baker 15 14 17 6 — 52

Mac-Hi 7 3 12 9 — 31

Three-point baskets — Gambleton 2, Lewis, Earls, Castillo. Total fouls — Baker 12, Mac-Hi 10.

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