The final score was 53-41 but the key score in Friday's girls basketball game between HRVHS and The Dalles-Wahtonka was 18-5. That was the third-quarter tally, in which the visiting Eagle-Indians sealed up the game before a packed house at Vannet Court.
Senior guard Katie White scored seven of her 13 points in the final quarter, but the Eagles managed only two other baskets down the stretch. The hosts pulled within six points with 1:10 left to play after Natalia Ames hit her third of three three-point attempts.
But the comeback came amid eight turnovers in 11 possessions over a five-minute spread.
HRV found themselves down 42-32 heading into the fourth quarter. They would rally to within five, but turnovers and key defensive plays by The Dalles/Wahtonka quelled those hopes.
The game started slowly for both teams, but HRV wrested the lead by the end of the first quarter, going up by 11. Logan Bailey got a steal and Danae Burck hit a pair of free throws and then a short jumper to end the first quarter, 22-11.
Megan Winans, with nine hard-fought points, was double-teamed all night but joined with Burck in the first half to out-muscle and outshoot the visitors on the post.
But TDW hung in there, thanks to a steady stream of HRV turnovers. TDW scored twice, just moments into the third quarter to take a 27-26 lead. After a short-lived one-point lead seesaw, an HRV turnover made it 30-29. Emily Bailey of TDW scored twice and the lead was gone for good.
With 3:25 left in the third, the score was 38-29 and the Eagles were turning the ball over repeatedly on successive possessions. Natalia Ames hit one of her three three-pointers with 1:30 remaining, making it 38-32, and the lone offensive rebound of the quarter by Danae Burck was followed by two TDW turnovers.
But for every Eagle-Indian turnover, HRV seemed to commit one of their own and they could never take advantage of their opponents' miscues.
The Eagles got down by 12 but then White went to work in the fourth quarter. She hit a jumper and then scored on a layup following a perfectly timed Winans screen, and moments later Shelby Edwards drew the defense underneath and kicked it out to White, who hit the second of her two treys.
With 3:50 left, TDW's lead was down to five, but a combination of TDW free throws and a series of HRV turnovers put the Eagle-Indians up by eight and effectively took the Eagles' feet off the gas with about two minutes left.
TDW's Kelsey Martinson and Andria North scored 14 and 10 points respectively and did the bulk of the visitors' shooting on the night - 8 of the team's 20 attempts. But they had balanced support, with Michaela Young scoring seven points, and six each from Leah Wilson, Shanelle Smith and Emily Bailey. (All but three of Hood River's points were scored by four players, and TDW (12-22) canned seven more free throws than HRV, (5-15).
"Too may turnovers. We just didn't handle the pressure," against the quicker Eagle-Indians, said HRVcoach Tom Ames. "It's been a problem all year. When we reverse the ball (against the press) we do fine.
"We knew that's what we needed to do. We talked about it at halftime, about reversing and getting someone to come in from behind to help, but we went out and did something completely different," said Ames, who witnessed numerous Eagle turnovers in relentless TDW traps right in front of his bench.