As of Friday, February 2, 2018
The Horizon Boys basketball team seems to have found their groove as they’ve now won four straight games and currently sit at second place in the 1A-6 Big Sky League standings with an 8-2 record.
The boys latest victory came on the road on Jan. 30 as they beat South Wasco County by a final score of 56-49.
But this was no walk in the park for Horizon, despite South Wasco County heading into this game with a 1-8 league record.
After the first quarter of play, the teams were tied at 14 apiece.
But after the first quarter is when Horizon began to amp up their defensive pressure.
In this game, South Wasco County was playing with only a five-play roster, which meant that five would have to play a full 32 minutes of game time.
On the other hand, Horizon had a nine-player roster, and knowing South Wasco County would eventually slow down during the span of 32 minutes, Horizon’s head coach Darrin Lingel used his team roster size to the Hawks advantage.
All nine players for the Hawks saw action on Tuesday night and Horizon’s ability to sub in multiple athletes was crucial in the second quarter.
The boys went on a 13-6 run in the second quarter, starting with energy on the defensive end of the floor that turned into opportunities on the offensive end.
The Hawks went into halftime with a 27-20 lead.
After a nice halftime break for South Wasco County, they came out and had the highest scoring quarter by either team on Tuesday with 18 points.
The 18-point third quarter by South Wasco County cut the Hawks lead down to just one point heading into the fourth, 39-38.
But eventually, the wear and tear of a full 32 minutes of competitive basketball would be too much for South Wasco County and the Hawks would come out defensively in the fourth quarter after a bad defensive display in the third. They held South Wasco County to 11 points and scored 17 in the fourth to come away with the 56-49 win.
The Hawks were led by junior Derek Johnston, who had team-highs in points, steals and blocks with 18, four and two.
Bailey Holste was the Hawks’ second-leading scorer with 14 points. Holste also added five assists, three rebounds, one block and one steal.
The only other Hawk in double digits Tuesday night was Andrew Wells, who had 10 points on an efficient 5-6 shooting from the field. Wells also had six rebounds.
During the Hawks’ game winning streak, Lingel has felt that what has been most impressive from this team is that “they have persevered through some moments where we play very sloppy,” said Lingel. “Most of the game, not all, have been closer than what you would expect. The challenge with any young team is to become consistent in all facets of the game. Skill levels of every player are different (and) thus presents challenges in becoming consistent, but what has been nice is through these challenges the boys have been able to get wins.”
With four games remaining in the season before the Districts Tournament, Lingel’s message is simple to his team: “Be committed to playing at your maximum potential.” “If every player plays to their God-given potential, we will be happy with the results as we move to districts and if we are fortunate, to go on to state.”
The Hawks played at home on Friday, Feb. 2 versus Ione (results unavailable at press time).
The following day on Saturday, Feb. 3, the boys travel to Mitchell to go up against Mitchell/Spray with tip-off scheduled for 5:30 p.m.
The Hawks will have one road game next week before ending their season at home versus the number one ranked team in the 1A-6 Big Sky League standings, Sherman. This matchup between the current number one and two teams starts with tip off at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 10.