Rylee Elms

Baker’s Rylee Elms defends against La Grande’s Makenna Shorts Tuesday, June 8.

Baker’s youthful girls basketball team showed its inexperience against a veteran La Grande squad in a 51-32 loss to the undefeated Tigers on Tuesday, June 8 in the Baker gym.

“We are learning how to grow, we have a great nucleus, they’re learning what basketball really means when it comes to the mental game, and you can’t coach experience,” Baker coach Mat Sand said. “La Grande’s got the experience.”

Two of La Grande’s five seniors — Camryn Collman and Ella Dunlap — accounted for 32 of the Tigers’ 51 points.

Baker has only one senior on its roster, Sydney Keller.

In the first half, the Tigers scored consistently and denied Baker second-chance points, taking a 29-14 lead.

Sand said he reminded the Bulldogs that they were playing one of Oregon’s top Class 4A teams, and that this is part of the growth process.

“We get to mature as a team, we get to learn what this feels like, we get to learn how the game flows with this type of competition,” Sand said.

Baker bounced back with a strong third quarter, outscoring La Grande 13-11.

Sophomore Macey Moore scored six of her team-high 10 points during the quarter.

“She’s got a high basketball IQ,” Sand said of Moore. “She’s going to be an asset for us as she grows, she’s competing and doing well.”

Macey and fellow sophomores Jozie Ramos (seven points), Makenzie Flanagan (five points), Sydnee Pierce (four) and Rylee Elms (two) scored 28 of Baker’s 32 points.

Keller scored the other four points.

Sand said he was proud of his team’s effort, as they played a full court pressing defense most of the game despite having played games the previous night.

“That’s when you dig deep even though you are exhausted, for them to do that just shows you their passion, their desire, their will to compete and that’s all that I could ask for as a coach,” Sand said. “I can build something out of that.”

He was also grateful for Keller, a three-year starter and the lone remaining member of Baker’s 2019 Class 4A state championship team.

“Keller shows up every night and plays just like that, she plays at that level of competition and beyond, that’s her nature,” Sand said. “You can never find a person with a bigger heart.”

Sand said he’s confident that the Bulldogs will learn from the loss to La Grande.

“They’re just going to use this as a stepping stone and a building block,” Sand said. “I’m extremely proud of the girls, they gave me everything they had and then some.”

MONDAY, June 7

BAKER (36)

Elms 2 0-0 4, Flanagan 1 1-4 3, Jaca 1 0-0 2, Wilde 0 0-0 0, Keller 3 2-8 8, Pierce 0 0-0 0, Dalton 0 0-0 0, Roy 0 0-0 0, Ramos 6 0-4 13, Moore 2 2-2 6, Campbell 0 0-0 0, Robb 0 0-0 0. Totals 15 5-17 36.

POWDER VALLEY (21)

Blair 4 0-1 8, D.J. Bingham 1 0-0 2, K. Leggett 2 0-2 4, Wallace 0 0-0 0, K. Bingham 3 0-0 7, J. Bingham 0 0-0 0, M. Leggett 0 0-0 0. A. Bingham 0 0-0 0. Totals 10 0-3 21.

Baker 7 14 4 11 — 36

Powder Valley 8 0 11 2 — 21

Three-point baskets — Ramos, K. Bingham. Total fouls — Baker 12, Powder Valley 13.

Tuesday, june 8

LA GRANDE (51)

Shorts 6 1-3 13, Collman 8 4-4 24, Jensen 0 0-0 0, Rinker 0 0-0 0, Perry 0 0-0 0, Orton 0 0-0 0, Kump 1 0-0 2, Larman 0 0-0 0, E. Dunlap 3 2-4 8, A. Dunlap 2 0-0 4. Totals 20 7-11 51.

BAKER (32)

Elms 0 2-4 2, Flanagan 2 1-8 5, Jaca 0 0-0 0, Wilde 0 0-0 0, Keller 2 0-0 4, Pierce 2 0-2 4, Dalton 0 0-0 0, Roy 0 0-0 0, Paulsen 0 0-0 0, Ramos 2 2-2 7, Robb 0 0-0 0, Vanderwiele 0 0-0 0, Moore 5 0-00 10, Gyllenberg 0 0-0 0. Totals 13 5-16 32.

La Grande 15 14 11 11 — 51

Baker 8 6 13 5 — 32

Three-point baskets — Collman 4, Ramos. Total fouls — La Grande 16, Baker 10.

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