There is no better gauge for a team’s progress than a matchup against the league’s best.
And, if you were to measure the HRV girls basketball team’s progress after Thursday night’s 79-40 loss to first-place Pendleton, you would have to say the Eagles took a step backward.
A 29-0 run to start the second half made HRV’s valiant first-half effort disappear. Even worse, the Eagles failed to score a single point in the third quarter, and fell behind 72-26 early in the fourth.
Aside from the 10-minute scoring drought, careless passing and relentless Pendleton pressure put the Eagles (3-3 IMC) in a must-win situation for Friday’s home matchup with Mountain View — their primary competition for the Intermountain Conference’s fourth and final playoff spot.
The Cougars sit at 3-2 in the IMC (7-8 overall), and should give HRV an idea of whether they can compete for the league’s final playoff seed.
A loss would likely put the Eagles in a precarious position, because they still have one game each against the league’s elite (Redmond, Hermiston and Pendleton — all on the road), and just two remaining home games.
A win would give the Eagles a realistic chance to qualify for state, assuming they can defeat Bend, Summit and Crook County down the stretch.
HRV beat Bend and Crook County by one point each, and defeated Summit by four points. Mountain View’s three wins have also come against the three Central Oregon teams.
No one knows how the IMC playoff race will shake out, but one thing appears certain: It’s Redmond, Pendleton, Hermiston, and the rest.
For a complete wrap-up of Friday’s HRV-Mountain View contest, see the Jan. 29 edition.
Pendleton 79, HRV 40
HRV — Davis 11, Reed 9, B. Flory 9, Hidle 8, K. Flory 2, Ortega 1