By BEN MCCARTY
News staff writer
August 2, 2006
The Hood River Valley girls’ basketball team brought its summer season to an end in the ultimate summer destination: Hawaii.
Eleven members of the team made the trip to the second annual Maui Summer Classic July 10-18 to take on eight other schools from across the country.
In pre-tournament pool play on July 12 the Eagles opened with loss to host Westside High School in what would be the first of many early morning games for the team. However in the squad’s second pool play game, the Eagles stormed back to rout Up Country Hawaii 49-26.
The following day the Eagles again had to rise early for an 8:30 a.m game against Baldwin High School and suffered a heartbreaking 26-24 loss after leading for all but the final two minutes. Later that day Hood River Valley fell to Seabury Hawaii by seven points in another game decided in the final minutes.
After a Friday off day spent getting in some time on the beach, tournament play began on Saturday July 15, with another early morning game. In the first game, Maui High School took advantage of poor third quarter shooting by the Eagles to pull away for a 44-27 win.
After being forced into the loser’s bracket with the opening round loss, the Eagles proceeded to tear through the competition the next two games.
The Eagles played stifling defense on Elk Grove High School from California, forcing them to turn the ball over repeatedl,. and came away with a 36-26 win. Playing in their third game of the day the Eagles again put up a solid defensive effort to knock off Up Country High School 38-25.
For winning two out of three games on Saturday, the team was rewarded with an 8 a.m. game against Westside on Sunday. The Eagles hung tough with aggressive full court pressure but couldn’t find the shots to get the offense going and fell 49-30, ending their tournament run.
According to Coach Phil Hukari the team showed much improvement over the course of the tournament and showed good focus and poise.
He added that the team will need the experience that they gained during the tournament to help them in the upcoming Mt. Hood Conference season.