File photo by RJ Chavez
HRV boys basketball fail to win back-to-back games for the first time since early December of last year after losing on the road in Hermiston by a final score of 71-69. Senior forward Erik Siekkinen (above) ended with nine points, seven rebounds and two assists against Hermiston.
As of Friday, February 9, 2018
The HRV boys basketball team headed into Tuesday’s matchup at Hermiston coming off its most impressive win of the season.
Last Friday night, the boys went into Pendleton and took down the leaders in the Columbia River Conference standings by a final score of 62-58.
The win last Friday was huge for the Eagles and momentum was on HRV’s side heading into the game against Hermiston on Feb. 7.
Up by four points at halftime, the boys were almost able to pull off a sweep of their eastern Oregon road trip, but would fall to Hermiston by a final score of 71-69 to move to 1-4 in league play and 6-14 on the season.
“This game was a little different than most of the blown halftime leads,” said Head Coach Christopher Dirks. “It went down to the wire and Hermiston hit some big shots. Credit to them for that. We are starting to learn how to keep the score within striking distance the whole game. Not allowing ourselves to get in too big of a whole and giving ourselves a chance at the end of a game to do something.”
Against Hermiston, the Eagles had found themselves down by two or three possessions for much of the first and second quarter, but timely three-point shooting stopped nearly every Hermiston run.
Down 17-26, the Eagles closed out the second quarter on a 13-0 run and headed into halftime with a 30-26 lead.
During the scoring run, the Eagles were attacking Hermiston’s defense in both the fast-break game and in the half court set.
German Diaz, Jonah Tactay, and JJ Mears each had a fast-break layup to cut into the 17-26 Hermiston lead, while Dakota Kurahara got it done when the game slowed down with four points from post moves during the HRV run.
Early in the third quarter, the Eagles had pulled out to a 37-30 lead after Mears knocked down a three with five minutes remaining in the third.
Hermiston would respond by going on a 6-1 scoring run to cut the HRV lead to one point, but a timely three by Mears gave HRV a 41-36 lead with two minutes left in the third quarter.
The remainder of this game would go back-and-forth between the two teams, but Hermiston would end up hitting the final shot in regulation and go on to win by a final score of 71-69.
With this loss the Eagles fail to get back-to-back wins for the first time since last year in early December.
With three games remaining on the year for the Eagles, Dirks explains that “this team is showing me that they still want to compete.”
“They want to earn a play in game and they want to do something with this season. Getting Pendleton on the road was huge, would have been great to get Hermiston, but we get them one more time in our gym,” said Dirks.
Tactay led the Eagles in scoring with 19 points on 8-11 shooting from the field and 3-4 from the free throw line. He also pulled in five rebounds, a team-high four assists and two blocks.
Behind Tactay, was Mears who had 16 points on 5-9 shooting from the field, including 4-7 from three.
Erik Siekkinen was HRV’s third leading scorer with nine points and added seven rebounds.
The leading rebounder for the Eagles was Kurahara, who had 10 on the night. Kurahara also had seven points and a team-high four blocks.
The boys were back at home on Friday, Feb. 9 against The Dalles after three-straight road games (results unavailable at press time).
“The game against The Dalles will have major play in implications,” said Dirks. “The winner moves into third-place into CRC standings and whoever that is will have a little more control of their own destiny as far as post season play.”
The boys have two home games against Pendleton and Hermiston next week on Feb. 13 and Feb. 16, before the team ends its regular season on the road in The Dalles on Feb. 20.