Game slips away in second-half slump

December 7, 2005

An air of disappointment swept the Hood River Valley High School gym Friday night as the Eagles, 1-0 in the preseason, fell from a 19-19 tie at halftime to an eventual 56-33 loss against the David Douglas Scots.

The domino effect started for the Eagles in the first minutes of the third quarter, when David Douglas scored nine straight points to force a Hood River timeout. The Scots would score 11 unanswered points before Juan Zuniga broke the streak with a drive to the hoop for two.

“Well, we did a great job in the first half executing and on defense,” commented Coach Phil Vesel. “But we were flat in the third. We missed a few easy shots, lost our poise and then stopped executing. We never really got back on track after that. Things snowballed on us, but overall we played good.”

Standing out for the Eagles was junior post KC Christiansen, who scored 16 points and earned the team’s weekly award called, “Hustle Player of the Week.”

“He did a great job of leading the team by example,” Vesel said about his junior post.

Other high scorers for the Eagles were Juan Zuniga with eight points and Mark Oppenheimer with five.

The apparent driving force behind the Scots’ second-half victory was their combination of solid full-court pressure, paired with several adept ball handlers. On offense, they worked the ball cleanly around the parameter to open up scoring opportunities. Their defensive pressure caused several HRV turnovers, which contributed to the game slipping into somewhat of a blowout by the fourth quarter.

The boys moved on this week, letting go of the loss and looking ahead to an away game against Centennial on Tuesday and a home game against Madras on Friday (varsity at 7 p.m.). They have a couple more weeks to work out the preseason bugs before the first league game, which is scheduled for Friday, Dec. 16 at Bend High School.

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