HRV girls basketball team struggles against Putnam

The HRV girls basketball team had a game Tuesday night that would be best left forgotten — minus the lessons learned that will help the team in its next contest.

The Eagles (0-2) had one of their worst shooting nights in the past two years after Tuesday’s game in Portland against Putnam High (2-0), putting up 20 points against the Knights, who scored 43 against the Eagles.

Putnam put HRV in a hole early with a 15-point first quarter and all but eliminated the Eagle’s offense, save for a lone field goal. HRV was able to stop the bleeding by matching Putnam’s eight points in the second quarter, but trailed 23-10 at the half.

HRV’s offense picked up in the beginning of the third quarter and seemed to finally be favoring the Eagles, but Putnam poured it on in the latter part of the quarter, scoring 14 points to HRV’s eight.

“We scored a couple of buckets right off of the bat in the third and got it into single digits, but then had a defensive let-down,” HRV Head Coach Scott Walker explained.

The last quarter was a defensive battle between the two teams, with Putnam only scoring six and HRV ending the game like it started, scoring a single field goal. The Eagles had a rough shooting night regardless of where they shot from, going 10 for 31 from the field and missing all six of their three-point shots and all five of their free throws, while sending Putnam to the line 20 times throughout the game.

However, Walker put the loss on himself, not his players, who are still in early-season form.

“We have to learn how to make shots with pressure on us and that means that pressure in practice has to improve. It isn’t a lack of effort. It is a lack of understanding and coaching on my part,” he said. “I have to do a better job of preparing them. If we play better defense in practice, then our game shooting will get better.”

One of the bright spots of the game for HRV was winning the turnover battle. The Eagles tallied 17 steals on the night compared to Putnam’s 13, which Walker said marked a “huge positive turnaround from the last game” against Franklin High School. Walker said a large part of that was due to senior guard Mykan Malone, who recorded seven steals and “played a great defensive game.”

For the second game in a row, senior wing Marlie Bloomster was HRV’s leading scorer, responsible for nearly half of the Eagles’ offense with eight points, as well as recording five rebounds and three steals.

HRV will be hosting the Pink Basketball Tournament this weekend to raise awareness for breast cancer. The Eagles were scheduled to play Canby at 7 p.m. Friday (results not available at press time), with the winners of Friday’s games to face each other Saturday at 5 p.m.

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