HRV basketball’s path to the playoffs more difficult after TD losses

After having 11 days off from competition due to some poorly-timed winter weather, the HRV boys and girls basketball teams got back at it with a game at The Dalles Friday. However, neither game went well for the Eagles.

After defeating The Dalles 66-63 in their previous meeting Jan. 31 in Hood River, the Eagles boys (6-10, 1-3 Columbia River Conference), fell behind in the second half to lose 76-60 at the Riverhawks (4-13, 1-5). Unless either team is able to pull off an upset against Pendleton (10-4, 5-0) or Hermiston (13-6, 3-2), it seems likely that the battle for the final play-in spot will come down to the final meeting between The Dalles and HRV Feb. 21 in Hood River.

Full stats weren’t available for either HRV game at press time, but HRV Head Coach Christopher Dirks said the third quarter ultimately doomed his team after a competitive 16 minutes.

“We played a really good first half and then really struggled in the third quarter, only scoring three points… I hate to blame things like this on weather, but this is the third time this season where we missed a chunk of practices and then showed up for a game and we just don’t look ready to go,” he explained Monday. “There (were) definitely things to build upon and bright moments. We’re going to focus on those going forward and hopefully steal one on Tuesday (at Pendleton).”

JJ Mears and Dakota Kurahara both achieved double-doubles in the game. Mears had 17 points and 10 rebounds and Kurahara had 16 points and 11 rebounds. Carson Flores, a sophomore, moved up from JV and also had a productive night, scoring 10.

The girls’ (6-8, 0-4) route to the playoffs is even more difficult, as the team fell to The Dalles (7-9, 2-4) 45-29 on the road Tuesday, marking the second time the team has lost to the Riverhawks this season. With Pendleton and Hermiston leading the conference with 4-1 league records, the Eagles would have to pull off some huge upsets to get the final play-in spot.

HRV Head Coach Donnie Herneisen said that he is focusing more on getting that first CRC win that has eluded the Eagles for the past five years, as making the playoffs is appearing more and more unlikely. To do that, the team needs to improve its shooting. The lead scorers Friday — Emily Curtis and Ann Marie Goodman — only scored a combined 14 points.

“We definitely struggled with shooting again. We have not been able to put the ball in the hoop with much consistency lately. It’s not that we aren’t getting the shots we want, we just aren’t making them,” he said. “On the flip side, we haven’t been on the court much lately. I hate making excuses, but when you only practice on Monday and then play a game on Friday, I’m not sure that our expectations should be super high.”

HRV hosted Pendleton Tuesday night, then hosts Hermiston at 7 p.m. Friday. The boys travel to Hermiston Friday.

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