Hawks back to 1A No. 1

After losing a tough game a week ago against Horizon Christian of Tualatin, Hood River’s Horizon Hawks varsity boys basketball team responded by winning three straight to restore its OSAA 1A No. 1 ranking. The Hawks will try to continue their streak when they meet Class 3A’s Blanchet Catholic Cavaliers (2-2) in their next game Friday at 4:30 p.m. in their first matchup of a tournament Dec. 19-20 at Dayton High School.

Last Wednesday the Hawks faced a highly regarded opponent in Tualatin’s Horizon Christian, which won 54-46 in Hood River. The Hawks, guided by coach Darrin Lingel, were led by the senior duo of Jared Davis (20 points, three assists) and Mason Bloomster (13 pts., 13 rebounds, three blocked shots).

“They (Tualatin Hawks) are one of the best squads at the 3A level and it was a well-played game between two very good teams,” said Lingel. “We just couldn’t buy a basket near the end of the game. We learned a lot though and we discovered that there’s some adjustments to our game that we need to make. It was a learning lesson which will definitely help us to become a better team.”

In a rematch of the 2014 1A semifinals (a 70-41 Hawks’ win Mar. 7), Horizon (6-1) got a similar result Friday in a 58-37 home win over the Crosshill Christian Eagles of Turner.

“The kids played really well (versus Crosshill) and they executed our game plan well offensively and defensively,” said Lingel. “Mason is one of our key players and he had real good game, along with Jared Davis, who distributed the ball and helped fuel our transition game.”

The powerhouse Hawks capped their weekend with a 73-54 home victory over the Class 2A Knappa Loggers (3-2) Saturday. In a close game in which they led 47-39 after three quarters, Horizon took control in the fourth, outscoring Knappa 26-15 to pull away and win by 19 points. The Hawks were again led by the senior trio of double digit scorers Davis (23 points), Bloomster (22 pts., 19 rebounds, four assists, five blocks) and Ryan Aldrich (11 pts., four steals).

“It’s early in the season, but one good characteristic that I like about our team is that everyone really displays a heartfelt desire to always play hard no matter what the score is,” said Lingel.

On Monday, Horizon captured its third straight with a 54-50 win over the Nixyaawii Golden Eagles (2-3) at the Moda Center in Portland. It marked Horizon’s second win this year over Nixyaawii, of the Old Oregon League. Horizon recorded a 71-56 home win over the team on Dec. 6.

Horizon girls get second win

The Horizon Christian School girls basketball team (2-3) equaled their win total from last season with a 29-28 home win over the Horizon Christian Hawks of Tualatin last Wednesday. Senior Trista Hicks (14 pts., 11 rebs., four blocks), freshman Paulina Finn (seven pts., four steals), sophomore Jodee Hicks (four pts., six rebs.) and sophomore Haley Becnel (four pts.) helped lead Horizon to the win.

“If there’s one thing that I could change, it would be to not have Brittney Renner suffer a season ending leg injury,” said coach Brian Stevens, referring to Renner’s injury in Horizon’s season opener Dec. 5 versus Crow. “Other than that, I really have nothing to complain about regarding this group of players. I couldn’t be any happier with the strong effort and inspiring performance that they’ve shown so far this season.”

The No. 23 ranked Hawks faced a high caliber Knappa Loggers (5-0) squad (ranked No. 8 in Class 2A) Saturday at home and lost 43-26. Horizon, which trailed just 17-13 at halftime, was led by Hicks (six pts., 12 rebs.) and Hannah Kempf (six pts.), who both fouled out. That left the Hawks shorthanded without two of their best players in the second half, and Knappa took advantage, outscoring Horizon 26-13 to pull away with the win.

Stevens was ejected from the game in the third quarter when he complained to the officials after Horizon’s Jodee Hicks was contacted by a Knappa player as she was shooting, but officials didn’t call a foul. Hicks fell hard to the floor, landing on her back, and Stevens ran onto the court to assist her.

Following the game, Stevens apologized to the officials.

“Prior to the contest against a very good Knappa team, my goal was to just try and manage to keep us within 20 points or less at the end,” he said. “We really wanted to give the girls a chance and they kept their composure and fought hard the entire game and we lost by just 17. After I was ejected, it seemed to inspire the girls to play better and they really did too. Considering that we faced such a tough opponent, I thought the girls actually played a pretty good game.”

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