Early in the season, the HRV boys basketball team thrived on its home court, shutting down state-ranked teams and their top scorers.
But lately, home has been where the hurt is.
The Eagles lost their third and fourth consecutive home games this weekend to Bend (40-34) and Redmond (60-45), falling to a disappointing 1-8 in the Intermountain Conference.
Even worse, the losses extended HRV’s overall losing streak to six, and erased any hopes they had of reaching the playoffs.
“Friday’s loss was hard,” said senior guard/forward Jarrod Fogle. “It was hard on us mentally to lose a game we probably should have won. We really wanted it, and ended up beating ourselves. That’s the most difficult part about it.”
HRV was down just one point entering the fourth quarter (28-27), and had multiple chances to tie or cut the lead to one. But a series of missed free throws and a lack of poise down the stretch spelled defeat.
“Missing free throws late in the game is a momentum killer,” HRV coach Phil Vesel said. “We’re fighting ourselves mentally in close games, and we’re not executing the way we should be.
“It comes down to the little things, and we’re not doing them right now,” he said.
Junior post Heath Goin led the Eagles on Friday with 11 points, and was followed by senior Andy Holmson with seven, Fogle with six, and seniors Todd Shypertt and Mitchell Bohn with four each.
Saturday’s game against No. 2-ranked Redmond was a solid effort, and although the Eagles lost by 15, they played their hearts out.
“Redmond is big at every position, and they just outwork you,” Fogle said. “But we played pretty well. We’ve put together three good games in a row now, and we’re ready to start winning games.”
HRV will try to stop the slide this weekend when they travel to Summit (Friday) and Crook County (Sat.) — a team they beat on Jan. 17.
Leading scorers for Saturday were Shypertt with 17, Holmson with six, and Ryan Pratt, Jeremy Belcher and Bohn with four each.
Senior Todd Shypertt won his third Hustle Player of the Week award to tie him for the team lead with Andy Holmson. Shypertt had 33 hustle points, which included three charges taken.