Pioneer boys send off 9 seniors after loss to Baker

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MILTON-FREEWATER — Both the Mac-Hi and Baker boys basketball teams had reasons to celebrate Friday night in the Pioneer gym.

Nine Mac-Hi seniors were honored in ceremonies prior to the Greater Oregon League finale for both schools.

When the final buzzer sounded, the Bulldogs were able to claim an undisputed GOL championship after a 56-34 triumph.

Baker improved its league mark to 7-2 while the Pioneers ended their 2012-13 campaign 1-8 and 3-19.

Despite the tough sledding, Mac-Hi coach Travis Chester praised his charges afterward.

“The kids played hard all year long,” Chester said. “Everybody stayed committed. We made some big strides this year.”

Mason Cline helped the Bulldogs build a 13-6 lead after one quarter of Friday’s tilt with a pair of two-point field goals. Braden Phillips added three points in the period on a set shot from 3-point range.

Mac-Hi got as close as three, 17-14, midway through the second quarter.

Six-foot-four senior post Derek Richwine led the charge with six points, including a thundering, right-handed dunk that brought numerous Pioneer partisans to their feet. Richwine ended the night with a double-double — 10 points and 12 rebounds.

Baker weathered the storm and re-established control of the game with a 12-2 run to end period two. Dillon Blankenship scored eight of his game-high 18 points in the quarter and the Bulldogs went into halftime with a 13-point advantage, 29-16.

Blankenship and Phillips scored four points apiece in the third quarter as Baker stretched its margin to 15, 39-24, heading into the fourth quarter.

Six more points from Blankenship and five from Thomas Hamilton in the final stanza allowed the Bulldogs to coast home with a decisive win, their third over the Pioneers this season.

Mac-Hi seniors honored before the game were Richwine, Saul Ortiz, Jose Armenta, Dylan Shuler, Jeremy Ley, Tyler McElrath, Tyler Williams, Abel Diaz, and Victor Perez.

“Their commitment level was good,” Chester said. “They were role models and set an example.”

Chester also expressed optimism about the future.

“At the junior varsity level, we had a lot of young kids that got a lot of minutes on the court,” Chester said. “Overall, I couldn’t ask for a better group of kids in terms of doing things the right way.”

BAKER 56, MAC-HI 34

BAKER (56) — Blankenship 6-15 5-7 18, Hamilton 4-6 1-2 9, Hayes 1-1 0-0 2, Bachman 1-7 2-2 4, Taylor 0-2 0-1 0, Baxter 1-7 1-3 3, LeaMaster 0-0 2-2 2. Cline 3-10 0-0 7, Phillips 5-7 0-4 11, Bruce 0-0 0-0 0, Swiger 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 20-54 11-21 56.

MAC-HI (34) — Saldana 1-1 0-0 2, Ortiz 2-8 0-0 4, Armenta 2-2 0-0 4, Shuler 0-8 2-2 2, Ley 1-2 0-0 2, McElrath 1-2 0-0 2, Angel 1-6 0-0 2, Richwine 5-11 0-5 10, Williams 2-5 0-0 4 Diaz 1-3 0-0 2, Perez 0-0 0-0 0, Podolski 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 16-48 2-7 34.

Baker 13 16 10 17 — 56

Mac-Hi 6 10 8 10 — 34

3-point goals — Baker 2-10 (Blankenship 1-2, Phillips 1-2, Bachman 0-3, Cline 0-3), Mac-Hi none. Total fouls—Baker 14, Mac-Hi 19. Fouled out—none. Technical fouls—none. Rebounds— Baker 46 (Bachman 10), Mac-Hi 35 (Richwine 12). Turnovers—Baker 8, Mac-Hi 9.

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