HRV center Heath Goin was noticeably frustrated in the first half of Tuesday’s home game against Centennial.
The high-energy sophomore couldn’t buy a call from the refs, while his team couldn’t buy a bucket in the second quarter, scoring just six points after putting up 20 in the opening frame — 16 from Nate Armerding.
But when the game was on the line, Goin responded like the go-to guy, hitting two clutch jumpers, delivering a key assist, and nailing two free throws to ice the Eagles’ 54-48 win.
Goin played strong under the basket all game, finishing with eight points and five rebounds (unofficial), but it was his mid-range jumpshot that bailed out the Eagles Tuesday.
With HRV up 44-42 and just three minutes to play, Ryan Dornfield hit a three-pointer to give Centennial its first lead of the second half. Unfazed, Goin reclaimed the momentum for the Eagles just seconds later when he sank an 8-footer from the right side.
After a Centennial miss, Goin was again the center of attention, taking an Andy Holmson pass on the baseline and drilling a six-footer to give HRV a 48-45 lead with 1:20 to go.
But he wasn’t done yet — nor was the game.
Centennial stepped up its defense to force an HRV turnover with one minute left, but an alert Holmson stepped in front of the inbounds pass and called timeout. On the ensuing possession, Armerding was fouled in the lane and connected on two free throws to put the Eagles up 50-45.
However, Ryan Nemmert came right back and drained a long three-pointer to get Centennial back to within two. Not wanting to brave Centennial’s press, Holmson threw a full-court pass to Goin, who found Eric Nelson underneath the hoop for an easy two.
Centennial was unable to score on its next possession and was forced to foul Goin on the rebound. Cool as a clam, he stepped to the line with 20 seconds to play and put the finishing touches on HRV’s second conference win.
Another player who has been impressive lately is Armerding, who has scored in double figures each of the past five outings (including 15 points against La Grande Thursday). He finished with 26 points against Centennial — 20 in the first half — which included four three-pointers in the opening quarter.
Brendon Charles had an off night from the floor, netting just eight points after his 36-point effort versus Parkrose on Dec. 14. But he continued to play tough defense inside and led the team in rebounds (unofficially).
The trio of Nelson, Goin and Ryan Goe effectively managed the paint all game, and have made a difference down low over the past three games, outmuscling the smaller lineups of David Douglas, Parkrose and Centennial.
Mitchell Bohn also had a solid night, recording two blocks in the first quarter to go with two steals and two points. Todd Shyppertt and Jarrod Fogle played but did not score.
HRV hopes to continue its two-game conference win streak with a home game against league-leading Central Catholic on Jan. 3. The team will then travel to Sandy on Jan. 8 to face a tough Pioneers squad.