PORTLAND — All season long, the HRV boys basketball team has been waiting for a team to try and run with them.
The Eagles’ fast-paced, open offense has been stifled thus far by half-court teams like Oregon City and David Douglas, but after six games, they finally found a running mate.
Last Friday’s (Dec. 14) opponent, Parkrose, tried to match the Eagles’ up-tempo style, but couldn’t equal their intensity, as HRV ran away with a 93-85 road win behind 36 points from forward Brendon Charles.
“Giving up 85 points isn’t quite what I expected, but Parkrose made everything they threw up,” coach Tom Ames said. “But a conference win on the road is still a good win.”
Despite an inconsistent defensive effort, the Eagles (1-1 in the conference, 3-4 overall) equaled the Broncos’ shooting effort on the night, going 42 percent from the floor.
Charles was especially strong in the paint and made almost 60 percent of his shots (14-24) to help the Eagles build a 51-36 halftime lead. He scored 20 points in the first half and grabbed nine rebounds in the game — five on the offensive end.
“Brendon had a great inside game,” Ames said. “His inside work helped us create turnovers and get some easy baskets in transition, which allowed us to slowly creep away in the first half.”
Eric Nelson, Mitchell Bohn and Ryan Goe also contributed to the Eagles’ first-half run, which saw them score 27 points in the first quarter alone. Nelson finished the game with six points and two rebounds; Bohn had seven points, five rebounds and two steals, and Goe eight points and one rebound.
Starting small forward Nate Armerding and point guard Andy Holmson each had strong all-around games, but their presence was mostly felt on the defensive end, as they each recorded four steals.
Armerding was second on the team in scoring with 15 and earned praise from Ames for his ability to make the extra pass, which resulted in a season-high seven assists.
Holmson, who averages six assists a game, had just three dishes on the night, but played consistently on both ends of the floor, scoring eight points and grabbing five boards while leading the potent HRV fast break.
“Parkrose tried to press us, which resulted in several transition hoops,” Ames said. “Holmson sliced through the defense and created opportunities for everyone.”
One of the beneficiaries of the Eagles’ run-and-gun style Friday night was sophomore post Heath Goin. He is starting to see more minutes as the season progresses, and made the most of his playing time versus the Broncos with six points and seven rebounds.
After a frenetic first quarter that ended at 27-24, the Eagles clamped down on defense and made some adjustments in the second quarter to hold the Broncos to just 12 points.
Both teams came out a bit slower in the third quarter and traded baskets the entire way to set up an exciting final quarter.
With HRV up 73-54, all the players had to do was take care of the basketball, but something happened at the four-minute mark of the fourth quarter.
Ames said the team played solid up to that point, but began to play as though the game was already wrapped up.
“For some reason, our kids thought the game was over and began to get greedy, which led to at least 20 easy points,” Ames said. “Our clock management at the end was pretty pathetic, and we were lucky we had built such a big lead.”
The Eagles looked to continue their winning ways Tuesday with a home game against Centennial, but results were not available at press time.
The team will travel to Pendleton Thursday for a three-day tournament. The next conference game is Jan. 3 against Central Catholic at home.