Having a significant height advantage and much more experienced players, it was clearly evident that the Horizon Christian Hawks probably wouldn't have a difficult time getting a win in a Big Sky Conference West Division boys basketball game versus the Dufur Rangers.
Horizon Christian, the OSAA's No. 2-ranked Class 1A squad, showed it belongs in another league than the struggling Rangers after an easy 82-42 blowout win Friday at Horizon Christian High School.
The Hawks, guided by coach Darrin Lingel, opened the contest by scoring six straight on baskets by Matt Totaro (14 points, six assists), Ryan Aldrich (five points) and Sam Anthony (13 points, eight rebounds).
The Rangers (1-6 Big Sky West, 3-12 overall) didn't score until there were three minutes, 22 seconds left in the quarter, with HC up 6-2. An 8-0 Hawks run, including a three-pointer by Anthony, gave the Hawks a 14-2 lead at the end of the first quarter.
"We did a good job moving the ball offensively, we played with high intensity level and everyone really had a strong effort," said Lingel, who gives players a Papa Murphy's pizza if they make a slam dunk during a game. "I thought Gabe Holste had a great game and I wanted to give him a pizza, but he missed a dunk. Our guards, Micah Engel and Ryan Aldrich, both played real well too."
HC's aggressive man-to-man defensive effort and full-court press continued to thwart the Rangers offense, holding them scoreless for over five minutes. Dufur didn't score in the second quarter until the 5:43 mark on the clock, as HC extended its lead to 22-4. A 13-6 Ranger rally trimmed the margin to 28-17, but the Hawks took control from that point on and just continued to build a big lead.
"There's still some things that we have to improve on," said Lingel. "We tend to play a little stagnant sometimes and we just need to maintain more fluidity on offense. Our transition from defense to offense sometimes isn't as smooth as it should be."
Horizon (5-1 Big Sky West, 14-1) outscored Dufur 23-19 in the second to take a 37-21 halftime advantage. The Hawks' high-powered offense, which averages 67 points per game, is the third-highest among 54 Class 1A teams. HC's momentum continued in the fourth as Dufur was simply unable to challenge the taller Hawk players. On Saturday, the Hawks notched their eighth straight with a 55-47 road win over the Echo Cougars (4-2 Big Sky East, 12-4).
The Hawks were hosting first place Sherman Tuesday, play at Arlington Friday, and then host third place South Wasco Saturday.
The Horizon girls lost by double digits on Friday and Saturday. The Hawk girls lost 52-23 to Dufur Friday and then lost 51-35 at Echo Saturday. M'Randa Aldrich was the leading Horizon scorer in both games with 13 against Echo and nine against Dufur.