Photo by Ben Mitchell
LAUREN ORR, shown here in a game last week, had a double-double against Heritage with 13 points and 10 rebounds.
As of Friday, December 9, 2016
Last year, there weren’t many games that the HRV girls basketball team had an opportunity to win. Of the team’s 19 losses throughout the 2015-16 season, only three were by margins of 10 points or fewer.
The Eagles are only four games into their 2016-17 season and the team has found itself in the unfamiliar position of being able to win every single game they’ve been in. However, making the next leap — figuring out how to win those games — has thus far proved to be a challenge for the green team.
‘We have a mostly young and inexperienced team and I think we’ve actually shown a ton of growth already...’
One of those close losses last season was to Heritage High of Vancouver, Wash., where HRV lost by a field goal. The Eagles traveled to Heritage (2-1) Tuesday evening and played a tight game with the Timberwolves that was tied with just a minute to go. HRV (1-3) couldn’t close it out, though, having trouble shooting and playing defense in the final 60 seconds, ultimately losing 44-39.
Tuesday’s contest resembled Saturday’s loss to Madras, which saw HRV leading by a point with less than three minutes to go. Again, the Eagles’ opponent outshot them and took advantage of free-throw opportunities to pull out a five-point win.
Head Coach Donnie Herneisen said that the inability to close out games has come from a variety of sources — whether it’s late-game turnovers, flubbed defensive assignments, or missed shots — but that in general “right now, it’s 100 percent an experience issue — for coaches and players.” But despite those issues, Herneisen is pleased with the direction the team is heading and the progress his athletes have made.
“We have a mostly young and inexperienced team, and I think we’ve actually shown a ton of growth already — both from the beginning of the season and from last season to this one. Game experience — being in those close, high intensity games — is the only way we have to prepare for the next one,” he explained. “Those are situations we are not in a position to simulate right now, so I really welcome those games. That’s fun basketball. Of course, we’d like to be on the other side of the outcome, but that will happen as we learn.”
And while Heritage was a team that finished with a 5-14 record last season, the team isn’t exactly a pushover. Herneisen noted that Heritage, a school that has about 1,000 more students than HRV, has fielded a girls basketball team this year that is almost entirely composed of seniors. As for Madras, the White Buffaloes finished first in their conference last year and made it to the quarterfinals of the 4A state tournament.
Lauren Orr had another standout game for HRV, achieving a double-double with 13 points on 3-for-9 shooting and 12 rebounds, adding two assists, two blocks, and three steals. Emily Curtis hit double-digits with 11 points, going 2-for-10 from the field. The team struggled from the field, going 10-for-38 (26 percent) but shot 70 percent from the foul line (16-for-23).
HRV next hosts 6A Roosevelt (1-0) at 7 p.m. Tuesday.