Photo by RJ Chavez
HRV boys basketball lost its fifth league game of the season on Tuesday night by a final score of 70-54 to Pendleton. The Eagles’ leading scorer versus Pendleton was senior wing Jonah Tactay, above, who ended with 12 points on 4-7 shooting from the field.
As of Friday, February 16, 2018
The HRV boys haven’t gone on a winning streak since early December, when they strung together three wins in a row, the Eagles’ longest of the season.
On Feb. 13, the boys had a great opportunity to go on a two-game winning streak at home against Pendleton.
HRV headed into this game with some confidence after taking down The Dalles at home in their previous game by a final score of 81-67, and the last matchup between the Eagles and Buckaroos favored HRV as they came away with a 62-58 road win.
But on Tuesday night, the boys were unable to keep things rolling in the right direction. Pendleton beat HRV by a final score of 70-54 at Vannet Court.
Early on, HRV built a deficit and unlike the previous games, where they showed a lot of intensity for 32 minutes, the boys instead showed some signs of slowing down. When Pendleton realized that, they jumped all over it.
Pendleton went into the second quarter up 23-15.
Junior guard Carson Flores opened the second with a three-pointer, but despite good defensive effort, the Eagles were unable to build off the three. Pendleton would outscore HRV 11-10 in the second to take a 34-25 lead heading into halftime.
HRV came out on a 5-2 scoring run, including a three-point shot from senior forward Dakota Kurahara that made it a 36-30 ball game, but the following possession, Pendleton would respond with a three to go back up by nine, 39-30.
With three minutes and 45 seconds left in the third quarter, the Eagles cut the Pendleton lead to five after a pair of free throws from Noah Webster, 39-34.
But Pendleton would respond the following possession with a three once again to go up 42-34 and from that point on, the game began to slip away from HRV.
The quarter ended in favor of Pendleton as the Buckaroos went on a 13-4 run to take a 55-38 lead heading into the fourth.
In the fourth quarter, Pendleton would open with a three pointer to push the lead to 20 and for the Eagles, that deficit would creep around 20 for the remainder of the game. The Eagles lost by a final score of 70-54.
“Tuesday night was just a case of not being ready to go,” said head coach Christopher Dirks. “I don't think we played a terrible game, but we were missing an edge that carried us over the last three games to an overtime loss and two wins. We have one game to find it again before we take on The Dalles for a play-in spot.”
Senior Jonah Tactay led the Eagles in scoring versus Pendleton with 12 points.
Behind Tactay was Kurahara and JJ Mears who had 11 and 10 points, respectively, on the night.
The loss moves HRV to 2-5 in league play and eliminates the boys from a top-two finish in league standings as there’s only two games remaining in the season and both Pendleton and Hermiston are currently atop the conference with 5-2 records.
Despite not being able to earn a top-two spot in league standings, a third-place finish is still up in the air as The Dalles and HRV are currently tied for third in the CRC standings at 2-5.
With two games remaining for the Eagles in the regular season, Dirks said he wants to see the edge the boys played with in previous games.
“I want them to leave a stamp on the program, and I want us playing in a post season game,” he said.
The boys final home game of the season was on Friday, Feb. 16 against Hermiston.
HRV’s final game of the regular season will be on the road in The Dalles on Tuesday, Feb. 20 with tip-off scheduled for 7 p.m. at The Pit.