HRV girls basketball struggles to score against Sandy

HRV girls basketball Lauren Orr (above) along with Hannah McNerney led the Eagles with 11 points each in Wednesday’s loss.

File photo
HRV girls basketball Lauren Orr (above) along with Hannah McNerney led the Eagles with 11 points each in Wednesday’s loss.

A late rally at the end of the HRV girls basketball game against Sandy wasn’t enough as the Eagles dropped their home opener by a score of 36-31.

Although the game wasn’t highlighted by scoring outbursts, the Eagles had their fair share of opportunities to put the ball in the net — they just couldn’t convert.

“We had great effort, and were in the right spots on the court most of the night,” said Head Coach Donnie Herneisen. “Girls were getting to the rim early and often, we just really struggled to get the ball through the net.”

At the end of the first quarter, the game was tied at eight a piece, with both sides still trying to find their groove.

The only two seniors on this roster, guard Hannah McNerney and forward Lauren Orr, helped keep the Eagles in this game early on, and would only go into halftime down 15-14.

But after halftime, the game turned for the worse for HRV.

McNerney and Orr both were unable to get things going in the third, and neither was the rest of the Eagles team. They found themselves down 23-16 after an 8-2 run by Sandy.

“We had a height and size advantage that we failed to exploit, and Sandy did a good job using their quickness against us,” said Herneisen.

Sandy carried this momentum and got off to a hot start in the fourth, but a resilient Eagles team stuck around and made a final push with only a couple minutes remaining on the clock.

“The final two minutes of the game were pretty exciting,” said Herneisen. “Our girls finally started hitting a couple shots and found that intensity that we had in the early part of the game. If we can find a way to keep that intensity through the whole game, I think we’ll be okay.”

Led by McNerney and Orr, the girls closed the gap in the final quarter, but the third quarter deficit was too much to overcome and a 15-13 advantage in the fourth quarter wasn’t enough for the girls to pull away with the victory in their season opener.

Scoring leaders against Sandy: Hannah McNerney (11), Lauren Orr (11), Lizzie Weekly (4), Haylee Baker (3) and Emily Curtis (2).

For the girls, Curtis is their X-factor and despite her having a stat line of two points and five fouls, and with the team shooting just 21 percent from the field and having 31 turnovers, the Eagles were still very competitive in this game.

“We learned a lot about who we are and who we can be in this game,” said Herneisen. “I think what we really saw against Sandy was the effect of only having five practices before that first game, and our shooting touch is not where it should be yet, which is really not unexpected.”

Herneisen continued, “It’s nice to get that first game out of the way. I think the girls had put a lot of pressure on themselves to perform better this year, and there were a lot of first game jitters to work out.”

Now that those jitters are gone, the Eagles headed to Madras for their next test on Friday, Dec. 1 for a matchup against La Grande in the Madras tournament (results unavailable at press time).

Whether the girls win or lose will determine who and when they play Saturday, Dec. 2 in the final day of the Madras tournament.

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