The Horizon Hawks boys basketball team built a big lead over the hosting Hood River Valley High School Eagles Friday night, and held onto the win despite a furious fourth-quarter rush led by Eagle reserves.
The final score was 59-49, Horizon, in the second-annual basketball game between the varsity squads of the two Hood River high schools.
Both teams returned to action Saturday: Horizon (7-1) defeated Class 1A rival Triad at home, 65-49, and HRVHS lost at South Albany, 48-46.
The HRVHS-Horizon matchup started out as a blowout in favor of the taller and more experienced Horizon team — last year’s 1A runner-up and currently ranked 1A No. 1.
Horizon went up 9-0 on a pair of run-outs, before the Eagles’ Parker Kennedy made it 9-2 on a layup bank shot. It was 12-2 at the end of the first and the Hawks got up 17-2 before HRV began to chip away.
Leading scorers for the Hawks were Mason Bloomster and Matt Totaro with 15 each and RJ Hicks with 9.
For HRVHS, Noah Noteboom and Kennedy scored nine each and Scott Zeigner had eight.
Neither team managed an offensive rebound until early in the second quarter, and the second and third quarters amounted to a defensive tussle with cold shooting, turnovers and steals by both teams.
HRVHS’s offense started to click when Kennedy hit a jumper and Zeigner stole the ball and drove the length of the court to make it 17-8.
The score was 21-11 on a falling-away three from the corner by Austin Clarke, and Noteboom put back a teammate’s airball to make it 21-13. But that was as close as HRVHS would get. Horizon capitalized on Eagle turnovers and made several steals to increase its lead to 39-17 at the half and 48-25 at the end of three.
The Eagles got a late-game rally in the fourth with scrappy buckets by Daiden Gibbs, Dallas Buckley and threes by Gibbs and Noteboom to narrow the final margin to 59-49.
“Some of our kids are friends with some of their guys, so at times it felt like a little more pickup ball,” Horizon coach Darrin Lingel said of the game. “We have to work on execution, both offensively and defensively. We need to just keep getting better at doing the things we need to do well, and being consistent. We have to be more of a blue collar team: clock in, do our job at high level, clock out and go home and not worry about the static and things going on around us.”
For the Eagles, the late-game run was a case of too little, too late, but it showed that the team has the scrap and shooting touch needed to mount a rally.
“They did some really good things that they’ve been doing the last several years. We didn’t shoot the ball very well and they played a good game” HRVHS coach Steve Noteboom said of the Hawks. “We shot 22 percent in the first half and couldn’t get our press going, and had 19 turnovers for the game, which is a lot for us.”
Horizon plays its annual game at Moda Center (formerly Rose Garden) in Portland on Jan. 8 against Gaston, a top 10 team in 2A.
“We’re looking for a good contest. I don’t know a lot about them; we just need to go out and try to play our game,” Lingel said. Tipoff is 1:45 p.m.