Horizon boys edge Arlington for first Big Sky win

Hawks fall to Dufur Rangers on Friday

The Horizon Christian High Hawks boys basketball team got a split of Big Sky Conference weekend games after pulling out a 47-44 win at home Saturday over the Arlington Honkers. The No. 17 Hawks (8-6 overall, 1-2 Big Sky) faced the No. 12 Dufur Rangers (8-2, 3-1) Friday and lost 53-45 at Dufur High School.

Horizon, guided by Coach Darrin Lingel, led from start to finish versus Arlington (7-5, 2-1) to get its first league win of the season. Horizon jumped out to a 13-9 first quarter advantage. Led by senior Ian Walker (18 points, seven rebounds), Horizon then built a 23-16 halftime lead. Horizon extended the margin to double digits after three at 38-28. Arlington rallied in the fourth while outscoring Horizon 16-9. After Arlington trimmed the margin to 46-44, Horizon senior Quinn Roetcisoender sank a free throw to give the Hawks a 47-44 lead with six seconds remaining in the game. Horizon then played tough defense to prevent Arlington from having a chance to score in the final seconds of the game.

“We had a tough time with free-throw shooting (7-for-12, 58 percent) and there were four times that we missed the one-for-one situations, and you have to make those down the stretch,” said Lingel. “In the fourth quarter, we missed free throws and then (Arlington) scored two points on their ensuing possessions to trim the deficit. I’m glad that we were able to hold on for the win. We’re an inconsistent basketball team right now, though. Until these kids learn to become a more consistent team, then we’re going to continue to have kind of an up-and-down season.”

Roetcisoender led Horizon in scoring with 11 points and had a game-high seven steals. Senior Luke Holste was also in double digits with 10 points.

In the matchup versus Dufur, there were five lead changes and three ties in the first half, with the Rangers up 31-24 at halftime. The two evenly matched squads traded baskets in the third, with Dufur leading 42-35 going into the fourth. Dufur outscored Horizon 11-10 in the final quarter, though, and the Hawks were unable to narrow the final margin.

“We had a good, close game against Dufur,” said Lingel. “The same things that we’ve struggled with all season continued to be a problem for us. We have to make adjustments to become a better team. If we don’t improve, though, then it’s going to be difficult for us to win against stronger teams. We need to rebound better and take care of the ball in order to beat good teams.”

Holste (12 points) and senior Ethan Evans (14 points) led Horizon in scoring. Dufur had a 35-19 rebounding advantage, which was a key factor in their victory.

Horizon, currently in fifth place in the Big Sky, can now focus on possibly extending its win streak with contests versus opponents in the lower half of the eight-team conference. The Hawks were scheduled to travel to South Wasco County Tuesday evening, but that game was put off due to an ice storm forecast to hit the region. Horizon is on the road Friday to play the struggling Mitchell Spray Loggers (1-8, 0-3) at 7:30 p.m., then returns home to play the Ione Cardinals (1-11, 0-4), who are currently last place in the league, Saturday at 5:30 p.m.

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