The gym was packed with students from both schools, the atmosphere electric, but neither Hood River Valley basketball team could deliver a win on senior night during a doubleheader against The Dalles-Wahtonka Friday night.
The Eagle boys saw a halftime lead disappear in a fourth-quarter rally by the Eagle-Indians and fall 54-45.
The Eagle girls also could not get going in the second half and lost 49-35.
With the loss, the Eagle girls saw their hopes of hosting a play-in round game all but vanish.
The senior night festivities between the boys and girls games honored boys team seniors Cole Hunter, Torey Schmidt, Cody Walker, Elmer Soto and Story McKee and girls team seniors Danae Burck, Shelby Edwards, Kenzie Yoshimura, Emili Metivier, Megan Winans, Katie White and Logan Bailey. After the festivities, the Eagle girls kept their game close in the first half, trailing 21-18 at halftime thanks to a banked-in jumper by Shelby Edwards just before the buzzer.
In the second half, though, HRV could not find much momentum at all. The Eagles turned the ball over repeatedly into double-team traps by the TDW defense and saw the deficit grow to 10 by the fourth quarter.
It was the fourth go-around between both teams, and it was evident throughout, with both sides having to scrap for whatever points and baskets they could get and shooting numerous shots which either air-balled or barely hit iron.
With neither team able to mount a big run, TDW settled for slowly pulling away, getting a three-point dagger from Anndira North with 5:30 to play to build the lead to 15.
North and Emily Bailey led a two-pronged scoring attack for TDW, with Bailey leading all scorers with 17 points and North finishing with 12.
No Eagle hit double-digit scoring in the game. Winans led HRV with eight points.
"It just got away from us a few minutes into the third quarter," HRV coach Tom Ames said. "We just didn't play defense as well in third quarter."
With Parkrose tacking on a rescheduled game against Liberty to the end of their schedule, and taking a seven-point lead in the rankings over HRV based on record and strength of schedule into the final day of the season, not even a blowout loss by Parkrose and big HRV win over Hermiston would likely be enough to get the Eagles a home game in the play-in round.
That means the Eagles will likely play at Parkrose Friday night.
"There is a huge difference between playing here or playing there," Ames said.
In the earlier game, the HRV boys team tried valiantly to beat its rivals for its second win of the season, but could not keep up with the Eagle-Indians in the second half.
The Eagles clung to a lead midway into the third quarter. The Eagles were up two at the end of the third quarter, and a Torey Schmidt steal and layup put them up by four seconds into the final quarter and got the HRV crowd on its feet. Seconds later TDW's Grayson Byers picked up his fourth foul, seemingly giving the Eagles an opening. It was an opening TDW quickly closed. The Eagle Indians finished the game on an 18-5 run to overtake HRV and get the win.
Byers was a key part of that effort, finishing with 14 points to lead TDW, with Connor Mathisen adding 13.
Walker led HRV with 13 points.
Even though the Eagles struggled through the season and had just one win heading into the season finale at Hermiston Tuesday, Noteboom said he would always be grateful for the attitude of the team's seniors in his first year as head coach.
"I told them if they learned as much from me as I did from them, then they have learned a whole lot," he said. "Every game they just went out and competed."