By ADAM LAPIERRE
News staff writer
March 8, 2006
Losing nine straight games at the tail end of a season is never easy. When, however, that season is the best in recent years, the losing streak is easier to swallow in hindsight. And that is the case for the Hood River Valley High School varsity girls’ basketball team, which recently wrapped up the winter season with an 8-15 record.
“It was an improvement over previous seasons, and there are signs of the program growing more competitive,” Coach Phil Hukari commented. “But the nine straight losses at the end of the year means that the returning players must work harder in the off-season to upgrade their game if we want to take the next step up.”
Progressing competitively will also mean several young players stepping-up, learning fast and working hard to fill in for the eight seniors the team graduates this year. Fortunately for the Eagles, the HRVHS junior varsity team had a successful showing this season and offers a number strong young players to fill in for seniors Abby Walters, Jennifer Jefferies, Rochelle Friend, Kayla Monahan, Chelsey Elliott, Jamie Abbott, Kaitlin Bauld, and Mariah Herman.
When the girls were on their game this season they came up with some quality wins against some quality teams. Their 3-13 league record came off wins against Crook County, Summit and Mountain View high schools. In perhaps their biggest win of the season, the varsity girls defeated the Intermountain Conference’s eventual number-four team, Mountain View, at home by a single point. The win was the second of a three-game streak the girls had mid-season.
And when the girls were off their game, they had some tough showings, including going 3-13 on the road this season and ending their schedule with a 28 point loss against the same team they had upset earlier in the season.
After wrapping up their season at Mountain View, the team held its annual awards banquet. Highlighting the evening of highlights was senior Chelsey Elliott’s designation to the Intermountain Conference Third Team. Elliott finished as the 8th leading scorer in the IMC and the top scorer for the Eagles in almost every game of the season. She was also voted the team’s Most Valuable Player.
“Coaches recognized that Chelsey was one of the best athletes and teams had to focus on her if they were going to shut down our offense,” Hukari said. “She was one of the best athletes in the league and, at times, she could truly take over the game on both ends of the court.”
MVP — Chelsey Elliott
Best defensive — Jamie Abbott
Most improved — Jennifer Jefferies
Most Inspirational — Kayla Monahan
MVP — Meagan Clark
Most Inspirational — Sierra Geddes
Most Improved — Jacquie Mattson
MVP — Erin Moore
Most Inspirational — Erin Costello, Jazmyn Hill
Most Improved — Sarah Pritchett, Teressa DeSitter