Hood River Valley varsity girls basketball closed out 2012 with three games in three days over the weekend at the annual Gresham Holiday Tournament. The girls finished 1-2 in the tourney, with a win against Sandy and losses against Forest Grove and Aloha high schools. The result puts the team at 7-4 overall with three games to go before the league action begins (Jan. 15, 7 p.m. at home vs. Pendleton).
After a 55-31 loss against 6A Forest Grove (8-2 overall), the HRV girls bounced back the following day to defeat the Sandy Pioneers 37-33. The third game against 6A Metro’s Aloha High School was a back and forth battle for three and a half quarters, but a total of 36 turnovers and constant back-court pressure wore the Eagles down and gave Aloha the space it needed to take the 56-49 win.
Natalia Ames had a team-high 14 points against Aloha and 15 against Sandy. Laura Waller had nine to lead the Eagles against Forest Grove.
“We have girls who have played sick, hurt, tired — you name it — yet they put together a solid effort,” coach Tom Ames. “I’m very proud of them and I think we have a better picture of who we can be based on some of the positive things the girls did.
“Forest Grove is very tall and pressed us most of the game. We did a great job of breaking their press but didn’t finish. We did a lot of things well, we just didn’t shoot well and had a lapse defensively midway through the third quarter.
“Sandy played a tough and aggressive 2/3 zone that gave us a lot of trouble. We showed good patience at times and generally just hung in there for the win.
“Against Aloha, we showed a lot of guts in this game and really looked good at times. The girls played with great intensity for the entire game, despite it being our third game in three days. I’m very proud of this group. We still have a lot of room for improvement but they’re working at it.”
The girls will have a second shot at Aloha next week on HRV hardwood (Jan. 8, 7 p.m. tipoff).