Photo by Ben Mitchell
Jodee Hicks moves the ball up the floor.
As of Friday, February 3, 2017
The juggernaut that is the Horizon girls basketball team coasted to its sixth-straight Big Sky District win Tuesday night as the Hawks (15-5, 9-1 league) steamrolled the Condon/Wheeler Knights (8-10, 5-4) in Hood River 59-23.
The Hawks, currently in second place in the league, are closing in on a berth in the Big Sky tournament for the second season in a row (check the “Sports Briefs” section at the top of Page A8 for a correction on the tournament format).
Horizon’s offense has been a high point all season, and the team became the first out of 62 schools in Class 1A to hit 1,000 points this season. Head Coach Brian Stevens said that the team’s record following the pasting of the Knights was the best in the program’s history.
The Knights never had a chance as Horizon creamed Condon/Wheeler 17-4 in the opening quarter. And as impressive as the Hawks offense has been, equal credit should be given to their defense, holding the Knights to single-digit scoring in every quarter and limiting the team to just nine points in the first half.
“Our girls were really patient in running their offense against the 2-3 zone,” he said. “Our ball movement was solid — finding players in the post and cutting. Our press defense led to many steals and layups.”
Stevens was generally pleased with the team’s performance, although he did note that the Hawks missed “eight uncontested layups.”
Surprising absolutely no one who has kept up with the team this year, Paulina Finn once again dominated the stat sheet for Horizon, tallying 23 points, 12 rebounds, four assists (all team highs) and four blocks and eight steals. Haley Becnel also had a double with 10 points, six steals, and six rebounds, as did Jodee Hicks with 10 rebounds, four points, and a team-best five blocks. Other scorers included Alexis Ruiz (nine points, five rebounds, two steals, two blocks), Kaitlin Wenz (eight points, eight rebounds, team-high nine steals), and Morena Decker (five points, three rebounds, two steals).
The team played Arlington (14-5, 9-1) Thursday in a game that was moved from Friday due to the weather forecast and the Hawks got an upset over the ninth-ranked team, defeating the Honkers in a come-from-behind 47-46 nail-biter of a victory. That win shook up the Big Sky Conference, vaulting Horizon into the first-place spot. Look for more coverage in the Wednesday edition.
Horizon hosts Dufur (6-9, 4-5) on Saturday at 4 p.m. (weather dependent) and continues their home stint Tuesday with a 6 p.m. matchup against South Wasco County (9-7, 6-3).