Photo by RJ Chavez
Regular season basketball has come to an end for the HRV boys basketball team as they finished the season 8-16 and 3-6 in league play after Tuesday’s 64-53 victory at The Dalles. The win against the Riverhawks moved the Eagles to third-place in the final Columbia River Conference standings, earning the boys a play-in game for the state playoff tournament next Wednesday. Against the Riverhawks, the Eagles were led by Dakota Kurahara’s (above) 19 points, nine rebounds and three blocks. .
HRV boys basketball had its final game of the regular season on Tuesday, Feb. 20 in The Dalles.
Before the final matchup between the Eagles and Riverhawks, some premature trash talk took place.
The Dalles senior guard Dakota Murr went on Instagram Monday night and heated things up between the Eagles and Riverhawks a day early with his post that read, “Senior night tomorrow, come watch us catch an easy dub,” referring to The Dalles being ready to easily get the win over the visiting Eagles on the Riverhawks’ senior night.
However, the boys from HRV had a different plan for Murr and The Dalles heading into The Pit.
Coming off a 65-56 loss to Hermiston on senior night last Friday, HRV looked to be the spoilers in The Dalles on Tuesday.
And they were.
HRV, in its final game of the regular season, went into The Pit and came out with a 64-53 win over The Dalles.
After the game, HRV’s junior guard Carson Flores fired shots back at Murr in his Instagram post saying, “Easy dub?”
With the Columbia River Conference coming to an end after this school year, both teams gave their communities an entertaining three matchups in the CRC’s final season, as each game was competitive with a little bit of rivalry trash talk sprinkled along the way.
But HRV would come away with the last laugh as the Eagles took the season series 2-1 over the Riverhawks and would finish at third place in the final CRC standings with a 3-6 record in league play and an 8-16 record overall.
In the Eagles’ win on Tuesday, both teams came out with a sense of purpose — to get the win — as the loser would go home for good and the other would get a shot at a play-in game for the state tournament.
Over the first two quarters of play, HRV jumped out to a commanding 17-point lead.
In the third, HRV was able to hold onto its first half double-digit lead heading into the fourth quarter, but in the fourth, Riverhawks guard Murr “started doing his thing,” said head coach Christopher Dirks.
Murr and company cut the Eagles lead from 11 to just seven, the first time the Riverhawks had been within single-digits of the Eagles since the first quarter, with only a couple minutes remaining on the game clock.
But HRV was able to prevail as they knocked down free throws late in the game to secure the Eagles’ biggest win of the season; as the win sends the boys to either Sandy or St. Helens for a play-in game next Wednesday, Feb. 28.
“This was the best basketball the guys have played all season. They were inspired, competitive, and determined to win,” said Dirks. “All 14 guys were engaged in the game the entire time. German Diaz, Noah Webster, Erik Siekkinen, and JJ Mears played outstanding defense on their top players. Guys were communicating on and off the floor. Tanner Wells had a great game on the glass. Dakota Kurahara was productive in the paint. Carson Flores was solid in his time on the court. Just every guy that stepped on the floor had an edge to them. They knew they weren't going to lose that game. It really looked like everything we have been working towards finally came together.”
HRV game leaders: Kurahara nearly had a double-double as he led the team in scoring with 19 points and had nine rebounds. The Eagles’ second leading scorer was Mears who had 17 points and a team-high four assists. Flores had eight points and two assists. Wells was a few points shy of a double-double as he had seven points and led the team in rebounds with 10. Siekkinen and Tactay both had seven points.
After the game, Dirks described the boys locker room as “hyped!”
“They were jumping around hugging each other yelling. It was a pretty cool atmosphere to be a part of,” said Dirks. But the message after all of the excitement “was that this isn't the end. Now we get to keep playing ‘til we lose.”
After this final week of regular season play is over for basketball across the state, the boys will know whether they’ll be in Sandy or St. Helens for a play-in game on Feb. 28.
The boys had played both of these teams at home earlier this season and went 1-1. In the first game of the season the Eagles beat Sandy 65-57 and at about the mid-way point of the season HRV loss to St. Helens by a final score of 50-40.
Before the play-in game, Dirks reflected on this season’s varsity roster and what these boys have meant to HRV’s basketball program:
“With this being my second team, and the roster being borderline the same, I would say that the boys are figuring out how to show up on game day with a killer instinct.”
“I have been telling these guys for two years now to leave their stamp on the program. Leave a mark that says what HRV basketball should look like and what it should feel like. Younger guys in the program have been telling me that we are fun to watch, and the JV and freshmen teams are learning how to win games. Overall this team has helped me take big steps in sending this program in the right direction and I am pleased with where we are.”