NORTH POWDER — After suffering its first loss of the season just one day earlier, the Powder Valley boys basketball team bounced back with a resounding 57-35 victory over Burns on Day 2 of the Baker Holiday Tournament at Baker High School on Tuesday, Dec. 28.

The Badgers got off to a fast start, building up a 20-6 lead by the end of the first quarter. Senior point guard Reece Dixon led the charge early, scoring nine of his team-high 16 points in the first quarter.

Powder Valley kept its foot on the gas in the second quarter and took a 35-16 lead into halftime. Senior forward Kaden Krieger scored eight points in the first half and finished the contest with 15 points.

Burns kept it close in the second half, but the outcome was all but decided as Powder Valley was able to contain its sizable lead. The Badgers led 44-26 at the end of the third quarter and held on to win by 22.

In a balanced scoring effort, senior Kaiden Dalke added seven points and both Clay Martin and Case Olson scored seven.

The victory marked the end to a strong non-league showing, in which the Badgers accumulated a 9-1 record and a No. 1 ranking in the OSAA 1A rankings. Up next, Powder Valley will commence Old Oregon League competition with a matchup at Cove on Jan. 4. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m.

Strong second half from Adrian leads to third straight loss for Union

BAKER CITY — The Union boys basketball team fought hard on Day 2 of the Baker Holiday Tournament, but ultimately fell 65-49 to Adrian. The Bobcats previously beat the Antelopes 52-48 on Dec. 4.

“The second half was a struggle for us offensively,” Union head coach Odin Miller said. “Adrian is strong and athletic and disrupted our shots, which led to us missing some looks that we normally hit.”

Right from the start, Adrian jumped out to an early advantage and looked to control the game. The Antelopes led 21-14 at the end of the first quarter behind seven points from junior Carter Bayes — he finished with 16 points. Tee Ledbetter kept Union close, scoring nine first-quarter points. Tee Ledbetter would go on to finish the game with 17 points.

The Bobcats fought back valiantly in the second quarter, taking a 31-30 advantage at halftime after trailing by 12 points earlier in the half.

A difficult third quarter in which Union was outscored 20-6 put Adrian back in control of the game with a 50-37 lead. Bo Ledbetter’s 10 fourth-quarter points helped the Bobcats stay within reach, but the Antelopes held on to win by 16. Bo Ledbetter finished with a game-high 22 points.

The loss dropped Union’s record to 6-5, which concluded non-league competition for the Bobcats. The team will begin Blue Mountain Conference action on Dec. 30 at Weston-McEwen. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

“Overall, we played exceptionally tough teams this preseason and have shown growth every week,” Miller said. “Our goal now is to transfer all those lessons learned to our league season.”

Imbler falters late in loss to Weston-McEwen

ATHENA — The Imbler boys basketball team lost a close battle to Weston-McEwen, as a strong second half from the Tigerscots resulted in a 54-42 Panthers loss.

Imbler came out strong and built up a 27-22 lead by halftime, behind 11 first-half points from sophomore Justin Frost. He finished with a game-high 17 points.

In the second half, Weston-McEwen’s Aiden Wolf scored nine of his team-high 14 points to lead the Tigerscots to a comeback. Imbler only trailed 39-35 after the third quarter, but ultimately fell by 14.

The loss dropped Imbler’s record to 2-9 on the season, all of which qualified as non-league play. The Panthers will look to gain momentum as league competition begins in 2022 with a matchup at Elgin on Jan. 1. Tip-off is slated for 5:30 p.m.

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