After a five-game road stretch, including three over the weekend at Gresham High School’s Holiday Tournament, the Hood River Valley School varsity girls basketball team focused on its return to Vannet Court, and on snapping a four-game losing streak.
The Eagles (2-6) play next on Jan. 3 against the Horizon Christian Hawks (2-6), 5:15 p.m. at home
“We’re looking forward to coming home and playing Horizon Christian,” said coach Scott Walker. “It will be nice having a couple of practices before that game. We haven’t had a chance to have any practices at all prior to our last four games.”
Hood River got off to a rough start in the Gresham tourney, which featured games against three 6A opponents. In their first contest, HRV lost a tough 57-19 game to the Reynolds Raiders (3-7). The Eagles had a much better performance in their next two games, trailing late in the fourth quarter by small margins, but were just unable to pull out victories.
They lost 38-24 against the Barlow Bruins (7-3) and lost 52-45 the following day to the Sprague Olympians (4-6). The Eagles shot just 5-for-13 (38 percent) from the line in the game.
“We’re just not a very good free throw shooting team yet,” said Walker. “We had lots of turnovers, we had trouble taking care of the ball and we just didn’t play very well. Turnovers, poor free throw shooting and lots of missed layups hurt us. Despite our problems, though, we still had a chance to win the last two games, which were really close. Jestena Mattson stepped up and did a real good job Saturday against Sprague with a career-high 18 points and nine rebounds. She had an improved defensive effort and she just played a great overall game.”
Juniors Mattson and Kelsey Wells were the Eagles’ top performers in the three-game tournament. Mattson led the Eagles in scoring and Wells was HRV’s top rebounder.
“I think the next five preseason games are going to be very competitive contests for us and we’ll have a good chance of winning some of those games,” said Walker.