By BEN MCCARTY
News staff writer
December 16, 2006
If the Hood River Valley boys’ basketball team had been playing hockey, they would have easily defeated Parkrose on Wednesday night.
The Eagles had Parkrose on the ropes in three periods, but a disastrous third quarter proved to be their undoing.
Santwuan Eaden scored 28 points for the Broncos as Parkrose used a dominant third quarter to build a 15-point lead and then hung on down the stretch to win 60-55.
“We were not in the moment all game as we should have been,” K.C. Christensen said, after his team rallied back to get within one point of the Broncos in the closing seconds before Parkrose was able to seal the win.
Hood River took a 30-25 score into the halftime break, and appeared to be on the verge of breaking the game open.
In a fast-paced first half, the Eagles were able to run an effective inside-out offense, dumping the ball down to the low post for easy baskets, or passing back outside for three-point shots when the post was covered.
Parkrose was also unable to get a consistent offensive rhythm going in the second quarter, as the Broncos turned the ball over repeatedly.
However, Parkrose entered the second half with a fierce defensive intensity, and disrupted the Eagles’ offense for most of the third quarter.
“They made an adjustment in their defense and we didn’t adjust offensively,” Hood River Coach Zach Pauls said. “We got complacent on offense.”
Parkrose took advantage of numerous HRV turnovers to jump out to 44-38 lead at the end of the third quarter.
The Broncos then went on an 11-2 run early in the fourth quarter to stretch their lead to 55-40 before Hood River called a time out and went into a full court press defense.
Then it became the Broncos ‘turn to fail to adjust on offense.
After switching into their press, the Eagles went on a 15-1 run to get within a point of Parkrose.
The final moment of the game turned into a desperate scramble as the Eagles tried to take the lead and Parkrose tried to hold on. After Parkrose turned the ball over on an inbounds pass, Hood River promptly turned the ball over at the end, and was forced to foul, leading to Parkrose hitting one free throw for a two-point lead.
After Jon Ing missed a three pointer for Hood River, Parkrose added another free throw to stretch the lead to three.
In the closing seconds, Seth Amaral tried to get off a three- pointer to tie the game but had the shot blocked, and Parkrose scored a breakaway layup as time ran out.
After the game Parkrose Coach Anthony Steward was relieved that his team managed to hold on for the win.
“I am in a rebuilding year and in a rebuilding year there is a lot of teaching involved,” he said. “In a rebuilding year we have to execute what the coach is drawing up or we look like a scramble basketball team.”
Despite the loss, the Eagles came away having learned that they need to stay focused for 40 minutes to win.
“I’m proud of the kids and their effort,” Pauls said. “It would have been easy to let this one get away.”
Christensen wants to see the team concentrate on every possession during a game.
“We have to be in the game at all moments,” he said.