The Hood River Valley High School varsity boys basketball team is enjoying one of its finest seasons ever. With an 8-8 record, the Eagles have averaged 68.6 points per game, which ties them with No. 1 ranked Mountain View (15-2) of Bend as the state’s highest-scoring 5A team. The team’s eight wins is the most in ten years – since 2005, when it posted an 8-15 record – and if the boys can manage another win in their seven remaining regular season games, it’ll be the most successful season in team history.
HRV (6-2 home record) hosts the next three Columbia River Conference games – Tuesday vs. The Dalles (1-1 CRC, 2-15 overall), Friday vs. the Pendleton Buckaroos (0-2, 10-7) and Feb. vs. the Hermiston Bulldogs (2-0, 5-11). The Eagles (1-1 CRC) split their first two league contests, including a 69-58 road loss Friday against Hermiston Bulldogs.
“We didn’t rebound very well and we didn’t have very good outside shooting, which were the main reasons that we lost to Hermiston,” coach Steve Noteboom said of Friday’s game. “I’m very pleased about how well we’ve played in our first two league games, especially since we won our first contest over Pendleton. With the style of up-tempo basketball that we’re playing, our opponents usually get a lot of scoring opportunities, so we’re obviously going to have games like this sometimes.”
After leading 12-11 at the end of the first quarter, HRV fell behind 33-25 at halftime. The Bulldogs extended the margin to 54-37 after three. The Eagles responded with an offensive outburst in the fourth, outscoring the Bulldogs 21-15 to trim the final margin to single digits.
The Eagles shot 22 percent (4-for-18) from the three-point line and 37 percent from the field, which was below their season average of 47 percent. A highlight for the Eagles was their 82 percent (14-for-17) free throw shooting, which was a season-best.
The trio of Scottie Ziegner (16 points, team-high eight rebounds), Dallas Buckley (12 pts.) and Skyler Hunter (11 pts.) led the Eagles in scoring. Senior guard Austin Clarke, who is on the injury list with a concussion and hasn’t played for the last two weeks, is expected to return to the lineup Feb. 10.
The top three teams in the CRC advance to postseason play, with the league champion earning an automatic berth in the OSAA state playoffs. The second and third place squads qualify for a March 3 play-in round game. The second place team host’s a matchup and the third place team plays on the road. A play-in berth would be HRV’s first ever and if they advance to the state playoffs, it would be the team’s first appearance since 1947.
The HRV girls (0-2 CRC, 5-12) lost 89-24 in a lopsided home game last Friday against the highly regarded Hermiston Bulldogs (2-0, 14-3), ranked No. 2 in Class 5A. HRV was seeking to get its first league win Tuesday at home versus the No. 12 ranked The Dalles Riverhawks (results unavailable at press time). HRV’s next game is Feb. 10 at Hermiston.
The No. 1 ranked Horizon Christian School varsity boys basketball team extended its Class 1A Big Sky Conference win streak to 42 following two wins last weekend. The Hawks (8-0 Big Sky, 16-3 overall) rolled to a 74-31 win over the Condon-Wheeler Knights (1-7, 4-13) at home Friday.
It tied their largest margin of victory this season, equaling a 43-point home win Jan. 10 over the Arlington Honkers (1-8, 3-16). All 12 players on the Hawks roster scored against the Knights, with senior Jared Davis helping lead Horizon to victory with 18 points and six steals. Senior Wes Johnston scored 15 points, including four three-point field goals. Senior guard Ryan Aldrich had a team-high five assists.
The Hawks, guided by coach Darrin Lingel, had a more intense battle on the road Saturday in Moro as they won a close game 65-60 over the No. 9 ranked Sherman Huskies (6-3, 13-4). Horizon broke a 12-12 first quarter deadlock and built a 28-24 halftime advantage. The Hawks then outscored the Huskies 16-7 in the third to extend their lead to 44-31 after three quarters. The Huskies fought back in the fourth, trimming the margin to five at the end. The result was the time this season the Hawks have won by single digits.
“We played really well in the third quarter in what was a hard fought win,” said Lingel. “They (Sherman) started shooting really well from the perimeter and made four consecutive three-point field goals in the fourth to get within four points. It was the same type of typical and emotional matchup that we usually have between our teams. It included a first half pushing and shoving battle out on the court that intensified to a melee started by Sherman, that included lots of players involved in a brawl type of situation. The referees did a real good job in maintaining control of the game with all the adversity. It was a good game and we made some adjustments and did what we had to do to get the win.”
Davis, who leads the Hawks in scoring while averaging over 20 points a game, had a combined total of 40 in both contests. Senior post Mason Bloomster scored seven points and had five rebounds versus Condon-Wheeler, but he had a more dominating performance against the Huskies with 21 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists. Aldrich (six pts., eight rebs.), Johnston (eight pts.) and RJ Hicks (six pts.) also made key contributions in the win over Sherman.
Horizon, which played at Condon-Wheeler Tuesday (results unavailable at press time), plays its next game Friday on the road versus Arlington at 7:30 p.m., followed by a 5:30 p.m. Jan. 7 home contest against the No. 8 ranked Dufur Rangers (8-1, 12-5). Horizon won 52-44 over Dufur in an earlier matchup Jan. 9 at Dufur.
After losing two tough matchups last weekend, the Horizon Christian girls team is looking to bounce back and get a win at home today in a 7:30 p.m. Class 1A non-league girls basketball contest versus the Portland Lutheran Bluejays (12-8).
Horizon (2-6 Big Sky Conference, 5-13 overall) lost 64-25 Friday at home to the No. 3 ranked Condon-Wheeler Knights (8-0, 17-1), followed by a 45-35 road loss to the Sherman Huskies (6-3, 8-9) Saturday in Moro.
The Hawks are currently in sixth place in the eight-team Big Sky Conference, while holding onto the final qualifying position for a district playoff spot with five league games remaining. Horizon is seeking to reach the Big Sky district playoffs for the first time since 2012.