Hermiston boys surprise Eagles with 84-44 rout

The Eagles suffered another setback Tuesday night as they fight for a Columbia River Conference play-in spot, getting rolled 84-44 by the Bulldogs in Hermiston.

It was the second 40-point rout in as many games, as the HRV boys (2-15, 1-4 CRC) were coming off a 96-54 loss to league-leading Pendleton last Friday. And while the Pendleton game came as less of surprise considering no team (as of press time) in the CRC has been able to beat the Bucks, the contest against Hermiston (9-11, 2-3) marked a significant departure from the two team’s last meeting Jan. 28 in Hood River, which HRV won 85-73.

“It was very similar to what happened to us in Pendleton,” said HRV Head Coach Steve Noteboom. “(Hermiston) just shot the ball and we just didn’t come out with much intensity.”

The Eagles were chasing the Bulldogs for nearly the entire game, as HRV struggled to close out Hermiston’s deadly perimeter shooters. The Bulldogs were 14-for-30 (47 percent) from behind the arc, nearly outscoring the Eagles on three-pointers alone. Hermiston outscored HRV 24-8 in the first quarter and then entered the locker room at the half with a 35-16 lead. The Bulldogs poured it on in the third quarter, pushing the lead out to 55-27.

While struggling on defense, Noteboom said his team also had a bad night on the boards and still struggled with three-point shooting, going 1-for-12 (8 percent). Overall, the Eagles went 19-for-51 from the field (37 percent) and were given few opportunities at the foul line, shooting 5-for-7 (71 percent). Ball-handling was also an issue, with HRV giving up a total of 20 turnovers.

“I was pretty surprised; we got down early and couldn’t recover,” Noteboom said.

Dallas Buckley and Parker Kennedy produced half of HRV’s offense with 11 points apiece, and collected 10 and four rebounds, respectively. Tyrone Stintzi added 10 points.

HRV was hoping to rebound against The Dalles (5-14, 2-3) Friday (results not available at press time) and get revenge for the Eagles’ 72-70 loss to the Riverhawks Feb. 2 in The Dalles. Noteboom said he was excited to play The Dalles in Hood River, noting that HRV’s shooting percentage is usually at least 10-percent better in home games than it is on the road. He added he was hoping that sophomore Dakota Kurahara, who is convalescing from a partially collapsed lung, would be able to be in attendance at the game to cheer on his teammates.

After Friday’s game, HRV hosts Pendleton (12-6, 5-0) Tuesday at 7 p.m. to start the final round of CRC play.

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