Prep basketball roundup: HRV, Horizon hoops open seasons

HRV boys nab needed win

The Hood River Valley High Eagles boys basketball team notched its first victory of the season with a 71-40 home win over the Columbia High Bruins of White Salmon Saturday. The quartet of senior Kaydin Gibbs (16 points), senior Scottie Ziegner (10 pts., six steals), junior Parker Kennedy (seven pts., seven rebounds, four assists) and junior Andrew Roberts (seven pts.) combined for 40 points to help lead the Eagles to victory.

Seniors Austin Clarke (five pts.) and Dan Kuechmann (five pts.) and juniors Noah Noteboom (four pts.) and junior Zak Ellsworth (four pts., six steals) also made key contributions to help guide HRV (1-2) to the non-league win over the Bruins, of the Class 1A Trico League in Washington.

The Eagles, who went on to play the No. 2 ranked Putnam Kingsmen Tuesday at home (results unavailable as of presstime) have a rematch against the Bruins Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. in White Salmon.

For coach Steve Noteboom and the Eagles, the game was a breakthrough, as it marked the team’s first win since Dec. 21, 2012.

On Friday, the Eagles lost 74-53 to Class 6A Franklin High in Portland. Kennedy led HRV in scoring with 13 pts., followed by Clarke with eight pts. Gibbs (five pts., seven rebs.), Ziegner (four pts., 10 rebs., four steals) and Skyler Hunter (team high five assists) also had a strong performance.

Two close losses for HRV girls

The HRV varsity girls basketball team had victories within their grasp but came up short and lost two close nonleague home games last week by a total of just five points. The Eagles (0-3) lost 46-43 to the Franklin Quakers Friday, followed by a 35-33 loss Saturday to White Salmon’s Columbia Bruins.

The Eagles, guided by second-year coach Scott Walker, will try to snap a three-game losing streak when they meet the Woodburn Bulldogs Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Hood River Valley High School. They then play at home Friday at 7 p.m. against the Centennial Eagles, of the Class 6A Mount Hood Conference.

“It was a close game all the way versus Columbia, but then they made two tiebreaking free throws near the end to get the win,” said Walker. “The main contributing factor to losing both games was because we struggled with free throw shooting. If we could’ve shot 40 percent, then we would’ve won both games.”

HRV shot just 22 percent (5-for-17) in free throws versus Columbia and shot only 21 percent (5-for-18) against Franklin.

Horizon boys earn No. 1 ranking

Following two impressive season-opening wins, the Horizon Christian Hawks boys basketball team is in the same position they were accustomed to being in most of last year – ranked No. 1 in the OSAA’s Class 1A level.

Horizon (2-0) had a successful debut with an 83-64 nonleague win over the Class 2A’s No. 8 ranked Crow Cougars (2-1) Friday. The Hawks jumped in front early and built a 26-11 first quarter advantage. Crow trimmed the margin to 46-36 at halftime. Led by the trio of Mason Bloomster (23 pts. nine rebs.), Jared Davis (16 pts., nine steals, six assists) and Nick Andersen (12 pts., seven rebs.), Horizon outscored Crow 21-8 to build a commanding 67-44 lead after three quarters.

Horizon followed on Saturday with a 71-56 win over the 13th ranked Nixyaawii Golden Eagles. It was a seesaw battle that included six ties and 12 lead changes and was deadlocked 47-47 after three quarters. Horizon, guided by coach Darrin Lingel, took control of the game in the fourth, outscoring Nixyaawii 24-9 to pull away and get a double-digit win. Davis (31 pts.), Bloomster (23 pts., 12 rebs.) and Wes Johnston (10 pts.) helped lead Horizon to victory.

“I really liked our good overall team effort that we had in the two games,” said Lingel. “We’re trying to portray our identity as a real defensive minded team this year and we did that pretty well in the first and the third quarters against Crow, but we struggled a little defensively in the second and fourth quarters. On Saturday, we were focusing on playing more consistently on defense and we did that versus a very good Nixyaawii team.”

Horizon, which played the Riverside Pirates Tuesday at home (results unavailable at press time), meets Class 3A’s No. 7 ranked Horizon Christian Eagles of Tualatin in another home game Wednesday at 6:45 p.m. The Hawks are at home again Friday at 7:30 p.m. versus the Crosshill Christian Eagles in a rematch of the 2014 state tournament semifinals, which Horizon won 70-41.

Horizon girls split games

Horizon’s new girls coach Brian Stevens had a successful debut as he guided the team to a season-opening 40-39 overtime home win Friday over the Crow Cougars.

“Needless to say, the girls played really well,” said Stevens. “We got second place in our four-team tournament. We got a trophy, which was particularly nice for our seniors (Trista Hicks, Hannah Kempf, Hannah Lingel), because they’ve never won anything that big during their four-year Horizon High basketball career.”

Trista Hicks had an impressive offensive performance with 20 points.

There was some bad news, though as junior Brittney Renner, who is one of the team’s top players, suffered a season-ending right leg injury (torn ACL) versus Crow.

The Hawks (1-1) faced a formidable opponent Saturday against the No. 2 ranked Nixyaawii Golden Eagles and lost 60-38. Trista Hicks led Horizon in scoring with 15 points. Sophmore Jodee Hicks did a phenomenal job on the boards as she grabbed a total of 44 rebounds in two games.

Horizon, which played Tuesday, plays its next game at home Wednesday at 5:15 p.m. vs. Class 3A’s Horizon Christian Hawks of Tualatin.

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