Mattson, Wells lead offensive effort in home tournament
After its first three games were canceled because of weather, the Hood River Valley High School varsity girls basketball team finally hit the hardwood at a home tournament over the weekend.
Despite losing two of two in the tournament, the girls, guided by coach Scott Walker, have reasons to feel optimistic. In both contests, they played their opponents evenly in the second half to rebound after starting slow and falling behind early.
“The girls were finally glad to get the season started,” said Walker. “We only had seven players available to play on Saturday, which made it kind of tough. I did see some really good things from the girls, who fought back hard in the second half of both games.”
HRV went on to host 6A Gresham Tuesday at 7 p.m. (with results unavailable at press time) and travel Friday to Madison to continue their preseason schedule.
The Eagles didn’t have much luck in their Friday the 13th season-opener against the 6A McKay Scotts (5-1), who won 50-33. The junior trio of Jestena Mattson (eight points), Kelsey Wells (three assists) and Breanna Weekly (six rebounds) get credit for strong performances in the game.
A shorthanded Eagle squad then faced a tough Woodburn Bulldogs (3-1) lineup in a game that ended 43-28, Woodburn. Player eligibility, absences and rotating players from the junior varsity and varsity squads meant the Eagles had only seven players for the tournament. The JV team was also playing in the weekend tournament, which limited the playing time for several varsity team members.
“We only had a total of three assists versus Woodburn, so that indicates that we’re not passing the ball very well,” said Walker. “We missed lots of shots and we didn’t move very well on offense either, so that has an effect upon our ability to score. Woodburn was very patient and methodical on offense and the girls just didn’t react very well, so we’ll have to improve our defense.”
The trio of Mattson (three steals), Wells (12 points) and Mykan Malone (six rebounds) provided highlights for HRV in the game.
One statistic that the team will have to improve on quickly is free throw shooting, which was just 31 percent (5-for-16) against Woodburn.
“I think if we correct some of the problems that we’re having, then we might have a chance to get a win at St. Helens,” said Walker, referring to a road game Wednesday. On Friday the Eagles continue playing on the road in a 7 p.m. contest at Madison.
Walker, Martin and Kennedy lead with double-digit games
The Hood River Valley High School varsity boys basketball team played in the Sandy High School Tournament Friday and Saturday in search of its first win of the season. The Eagles, now 0-3, came up short in both games of the tournament, falling to Sandy Friday evening and to Franklin the following day.
“In both games we played this weekend, we were impatient on offense and we settled for three-point shots,” said coach Steve Noteboom. “We would pass the ball once or twice and then shoot a three-pointer. We can’t do that because we’re not very good at shooting three’s right now. We’re not clicking on offense and we’re just not being very patient, so that’s what we’ll be focusing on primarily in practice this week.”
On Friday, the Eagles lost 66-42 to the Sandy Pioneers (1-1). Junior guard Kam Walker led the Eagles in scoring with 12 points. Senior guard Austin Martin had a double-double as he led HRV in rebounding with 13 boards and had 10 points. Sophomores Skyler Hunter (six points) and Parker Kennedy (seven points) also contributed to the offense. HRV shot 25 percent (13-for-51) from the field and 41 percent (10-for-24) from the free-throw line.
On Saturday, the Eagles lost 65-35 to the Franklin Quakers (2-3). Kennedy led the Eagles’ offense with 12 points. Sophomores Noah Noteboom and Hunter had six points each. Mistakes hurt the Eagles, who were unable to overcome 20 turnovers. The cold shooting Eagles were unable to find the target on offense, while shooting just 26 percent (12-for-45) in field goals.
The Eagles continued their preseason schedule with three games this week, starting with a road game Tuesday in Hillsboro against the Class 6A Glencoe Crimson Tide (results were unavailable as of press time). On Thursday, the team goes on the road to challenge Roosevelt in what should be their best chance at victory so far this season against the struggling 0-5 Rough Riders. Then on Friday the Eagles host Lebanon, 7 p.m. at Vannet Court.