The Horizon Hawks had their league opener against Ione circled on the calendar.
After the Cardinals beat the Hawks twice last season, including knocking Horizon out of the Big Sky District tournament, the Hawks wanted to prove things had changed this season.
Times have certainly changed, but that change took about seven minutes longer than the Hawks would have liked.
Horizon shrugged off a slow start and dominated the Cardinals for the final three quarters in a 60-36 win Friday night.
"It was our first league game and we'd been talking it up and that led to some tightness," Horizon coach Darrin Lingel said.
Ione opened the game with a 10-0 run, while Horizon tried to get in sync at both ends of the floor.
Horizon didn't get on the board until Matt Totaro hit a pair of free-throws with 45 seconds left in the quarter. He added a three-pointer seconds later to halve Ione's lead at the end of one.
Those points kicked off a 22-4 run by the Hawks over the rest of the half to seize control of the game.
The Hawks held Ione scoreless through the first three minutes of the second quarter, and then went on an 8-2 run to start the second half.
Totaro and Jordan Anderson ran wild through the Ione defense in the second half, with Totaro converting a four-point play midway through the third to build the Horizon lead to 17 at that point. Anderson hit several highlight-reel-worthy layups in the second half where he made acrobatic cuts to the basket and flipped the ball over his head while spinning past the hoop.
Totaro scored 17 points to lead the Hawks, while Anderson had 13 and Sam Anthony added 11.
"I think they just found their rhythm," assistant coach Mike Totaro said.
Lingel said that he felt his team's defensive intensity led to that, as they did not let Ione get an even faster start out of the gate and forced the Cardinals into turnovers which led to transition buckets by the Hawks.
"The defense tends to get us into rhythm," he said.
The Hawks' scheduled game against North Clackamas Christian Saturday was cancelled due to weather. It has not yet been rescheduled.
The Horizon girls suffered many of the same problems as their male counterparts against Ione Friday night, but didn't get the same explosive run to garner a victory.
The Hawks were held scoreless for the first seven minutes and change of the game but rallied in the second quarter, only to have Ione dominate the second half and win 47-20.
After Ione opened the game with a 13-0 run, the Hawks chipped away in the second quarter to close to within seven points at halftime.
Horizon's second-quarter scoring effort was led by M'Randa Aldrich, who scored nine of her team-high 12 points in the quarter.
However the Hawks wilted under an intense Ione full-court press in the second half and scored only four points the rest of the way.
"In the first half we were patient, patient, patient in moving the ball around and then they slipped away from us," Horizon coach Stan Perkins said.
Both Horizon teams are now off until Dec. 27 when they play at the Country Christian Cougar Classic.
Their next home game is Jan. 4 against Trout Lake.