By BEN MCCARTY
News staff writer
January 31, 2007
Winners of four straight the Horizon Hawks are barreling down the stretch run. After handing Big Sky Conference leader South Wasco its first loss of the season, Horizon (13-5,7-3-Big Sky) has defeated Sherman County, Central Christian, and Echo. During their current streak the team has been led by the duo of Bobby Cofrances and Cameron Root. Since being moved to the post following Horizon’s loss at Cascade Locks, Root has exploded, averaging over 30 points a game. Cofrances has continued to be the scoring presence that he has been all season, averaging over 20 points a game.
Even while feeling ill, Cofrances is still a potent scoring threat, dropping 25 points against Sherman County, and 36 against Central Christian.
“Bobby wasn’t feeling good coming in,” Horizon coach Ron Haynes said after the Central Christian game. “You couldn’t tell, could you?”
Against Sherman County last Tuesday, the Hawks rallied from 13 points down early in the third quarter to get a 73-62 win by outscoring Sherman County 25-7 in the final frame.
Against Central Christian the Hawks took control in the second and then sprinted to the finish line behind 30 points and 16 rebounds from Root in 82-67 win.
On Saturday, the Hawks roundly thumped Echo 75-39 with 31 points from Root and 19 from Cofrances.
Haynes credited Phillip Stenberg and Adam Ohlson for giving the team a spark off the bench and for playing tough defense to help close out games.
“Our people off the bench, Phillip Stenberg and Adam Ohlson, came in and gave us a lot of energy on defense and ball movement,” Haynes said.
While much of the scoring has come from Root and Cofrances, the Hawks have had plenty of chances to get the rest of the team involved, including key contributions from Stenberg, Ohlson, Josh Larsen and Nate and Jake Johnson and Michael Jensen.
Coming into the Central Christian game, Haynes had been worried about his team’s performance in the third quarter-after giving his team a halftime pep talk in the Sherman County game about having a strong third quarter only to be outscored 11-1 to start the second half –– however, the Hawks only ceded one point off their lead to the Warriors the rest of the way, and the Hawks may have turned the corner on one of their few weaknesses.
“That stretch in the third quarter (against Central Christian) was probably as good a stretch as we have had all season,” Haynes said.
While South Wasco may be uncatchable as the No. 1 seed in the Big Sky conference, Horizon is in a strong position to get the No. 2 seed in district playoffs if they can keep up the momentum down the stretch.
The Hawks currently sit two games back of the Redsides with five games left in the season.