A wild finish in The Dalles Tuesday night set up a fight to the finish for the No. 2 spot in the Columbia River Conference in the final week of regular season play.
Hood River Valley rallied from a six point deficit and survived a last gasp shot at the buzzer by The Dalles-Wahtonka to knock off the Eagle-Indians 33-32 Tuesday night at Kurtz Gym.
The HRV win tied both teams up at 4-5 in league play and in second place in the standings.
The game came down to the final seconds after the Eagles had a chance to ice it when they rebounded a missed Leah Wilson free throw with 27 seconds left, but HRV's Jaci Bryant turned the ball over under Eagle-Indian pressure, and TDW called timeout with 13 seconds left.
On the ensuing inbounds play, HRV's Danae Burck tipped the first pass out of bounds, taking one second of the clock. On each of the next two inbounds attempts, HRV's Jaci Bryant waited several seconds before using the two fouls which the Eagles had to give before allowing bonus free throws. Those fouls wound up taking another seven seconds off the clock.
On the final inbounds attempt the Eagle-Indians got the ball Anndria North on the low block, but several HRV players got their hands on the ball and forced her to make a tough pass to Leah Wilson at the top of the key, who then took a fadeaway jumper that failed to draw iron at the buzzer.
"We were trying to get Anndria North the ball," said TDW assistant coach Craig Compton, who coached the Eagle-Indians while head coach Dan Telles served a one game suspension after being ejected at Hermiston Friday. "They were able to use their lack of fouls to their advantage to use up the clock."
HRV's Angie Titus scored 17 points to lead all scorers, while Nikki McCall led TDW with eight points.
After the two teams combined for 40 points the last time they played, both coaches expected another low scoring dogfight, and that was exactly what they got. Both sides went four minutes without scoring midway through the fourth quarter, but by that point the Eagles were in the position they wanted to be in going into the final minutes of the game.
"It was no less ugly than the last time we played," HRV coach Tom Ames said.
The Eagles took a 30-29 lead on a Jaci Bryant runner 1:40 into the fourth quarter and never trailed after that.
Titus made it a three point gap with a layup with 5:05 to play and neither team would score again until Burck hit the front end of a 1-and-1 with 1:07 to play. North hit a long jumper to make it 33-31 with 54 seconds left and after HRV's Emily Ing missed the front end of a 1-and-1, North was fouled to prevent an easy shot underneath the basket with 27 seconds left. She hit the first free throw but missed the second, setting up the wild finish to the game.
The Eagle-Indians led 21-15 after McCall hit a three-pointer in the final seconds before the half for the largest lead for either team in the game, but the Eagles had whittled it to a one point deficit by the start of the fourth quarter. That was largely thanks to Titus, who scored eight of her points in the quarter. However, HRV's Emily Ing had the big play in the quarter when she converted a three-point play after being fouled on a baseline runner with 1:21 to play to cut the TDW lead to 27-26.
Both teams will meet again in Hood River next Friday in a game that could likely decide which team hosts a first round regional playoff game and which has to go on the road to open the playoffs.
"We knew that if we won it would wrap up second place for us," Compton said. "Now its going to come down to a road game in Hood River."
HRV 33 TDW 32
HRV 7 8 13 5-33
TDW 8 13 8 3-32
HRV-Angie Titus 17, Bailey 5, Bryant 4, Ing 3, White 2, Burck 1, Edwards 1, Winans, Metivier
TDW- Nikki McCall 8, Hegge 6, North 6, Wilson 3, Martinson 2, Keimig 2