December 3, 2005
With suspense and intensity scorching the inside of the Hood River Valley High School gym, the varsity boys’ basketball team pulled off a one-point overtime victory against Forest Grove for a final score of 39-38.
Led by team captains Tim Chance, with 19 points, and KC Christiansen, with 12 points, the Eagles teased fans to their feet in the fourth quarter, as neither team was able to pull away with enough of a lead for a predictable finish.
Down by four points with less than a minute in the game, senior Travis Moore drained one to bring the score to within two. The tying basket came from an assist by Christiansen to Chance, which forced an overtime period.
The score escalated again in overtime, with Chance, Christiansen and Moore scoring a bucket apiece to an eventual 38-38 tie with seconds left on the clock. Moore was fouled under the hoop, which put him on the line for two shots with 12 seconds left. He made the first and missed the second, which put the Eagles up by one. Forest Grove missed its chance to score in the final seconds and Hood River walked off the court to a standing ovation.
“It was a great opening game,” head coach Phil Vesel said. “It was nice to get the win and to get the butterflies out of the way. However, we still have a long way to go and a lot of improvements to make.”
One of the major improvements the team will focus on when they return to practice is offensive execution. Forest Grove played a very stalled offense, which is part of what contributed to such a low-scoring game. They held the ball heavily, forcing the Eagles into a man-to-man defense. Hood River’s offense, on the other hand, was not trying to stall, yet they were unable to pull away with a lead.
“We struggled to execute offensively and we had too many turnovers,” said Vesel. “We can improve that by taking better care of the ball.”
The Eagles improved their execution a bit in the second half of the game, key players upping the tempo to keep the team’s momentum.
“I was impressed,” Vesel said about Chance and Christiansen. “It’s nice when your captains step up and lead the team. They did a great job.”
Earlier during the week, the varsity boys also traveled to Portland for their first action of the season at the Reynolds Jamboree. They played three mini-games, losing a tough first one against Marshall and winning the second two over St. Helens and Reynolds high schools.
“We looked sharp and I saw glimpses of what the team can do this season,” Vesel said about the jamboree. “All you can ask for is to get improve each time the team is on the court. And we did that.”