GRESHAM — When it comes to pride, one would be hard-pressed to out-do the four graduating seniors on the HRV basketball team.
Even during this season of extreme highs and lows, Brendon Charles, Nate Armerding, Ryan Goe and Eric Nelson were determined to finish on a positive note.
Looking like the team that started out 3-1 in the Mt. Hood Conference, the Eagles went out with a bang this week with wins over state qualifiers Barlow and Reynolds.
“I’m proud of the guys for sticking together,” coach Tom Ames said of his team, which strung together four wins in its final six games to finish 7-9 (10-14 overall) and tied for fifth in the MHC.
“They looked like the team we saw earlier in the season. They battled the whole game and defended well. Overall, a much better effort,” he said.
The Eagles regained a measure of pride in the season’s final three weeks by earning three big road wins over teams that had come into Hood River and stolen victories.
Ames said Tuesday night’s matchup against Barlow was a great team win in which the seniors really stepped up their games to stomp the Bruins 68-55.
“Nate (Armerding’s) shot is finally back,” he said of the senior guard, who scored 21 points, including back-to-back three-pointers in the third quarter to break the game wide open.
Armerding added more than just a team-high in points, contributing five rebounds, three assists and three steals to the cause.
Charles also had a strong all-around effort, recording 13 points, six rebounds, four assists and two blocks. Nelson had six points and five rebounds, while Goe tossed in six points.
Junior Andy Holmson continued to develop into one of the league’s premier point guards with eight points, eight assists, five rebounds and two steals.
Thursday night’s game against Reynolds wasn’t as much of an offensive display, as the Eagles fell behind 36-26 at half. But Armerding, Charles, Nelson and Holmson helped HRV gut it out late in the fourth quarter and the Eagles
escaped with a 57-54 win.
“We were behind the entire game, but turned it on at the right time,” Ames said. “The keys to this win were solid team play and offensive execution.”
After a forgettable first half, the Eagles awoke from the dead to outscore the Raiders 17-8 in the third quarter and 14-10 in the fourth. Armerding again led the way with 16 points, and Charles matched his output from the previous game with 13 points, while adding eight boards.
Holmson controlled the offense and delivered six assists to go with nine points. Junior forward Mitchell Bohn had a strong effort inside, picking up eight rebounds to go with five points.
The Eagles’ 7-9 conference record matched their best-ever 4A season.
JV boys win two to finish on a roll
GRESHAM — The HRV boys JV basketball team continued to show why the future looks bright for Eagles hoops, closing out its second consecutive winning season this week with narrow wins over Barlow and Reynolds.
Tuesday’s 63-60 come-from-behind win over a strong Barlow side showed how far the Eagles have come this year, while Thursday’s 68-67 double-overtime win at Reynolds showed how much this group has left to give.
“The kids have a never-say-die attitude and are clearly the best team in the league at this time,” coach Dick Charles said.
“Our guys have deserved a lot of praise and we hope to be invited to the Sweet 16 of JV teams in the state (next month).”
The team has been red hot of late and won six of its final seven games to finish the season with a 11-5 record in the Mt. Hood Conference. The only blemish during the final month of games was a
79-63 loss at Gresham Feb. 8.
Charles pointed to strong perimeter play on both sides of the ball by Sam Murillo and Tyler Monzie (averaging 22 ppg the past six games), and the dominating post presence of sophomore Heath Goin (24 ppg last three games) as the keys to the team’s recent success.
“Goin has been a load inside,” Charles said. “He has developed into the premier big man in the JV league.”
Center John Winnett, Brian Crosswhite, Ryan Pratt and Chris Mason also drew praise from Charles for their rugged, aggressive play underneath the basket.
Another future star for the Eagles varsity squad — which graduates four seniors after this season — may be sharp-shooting sophomore Todd Price.
Charles commended every member of the team on their hard-nosed, physical play and believes the team peaked at the right time.
“I’m very proud of these kids,” he said.