Hawks season comes to an end

Horizon girls basketball ended its season last Tuesday, Feb. 20 with a 39-20 loss on the road to Damascus Christian in the opening round of the 1A OSAA State Championships. Above is Fionna Marsalis, who returns to the Hawks' roster next season.

Photo by RJ Chavez
Horizon girls basketball ended its season last Tuesday, Feb. 20 with a 39-20 loss on the road to Damascus Christian in the opening round of the 1A OSAA State Championships. Above is Fionna Marsalis, who returns to the Hawks' roster next season.



On Feb. 17, the Horizon girls basketball team beat the Ione Cardinals at the Big Sky Tournament by a final score of 54-46, earning a third-place finish in 1A-6 Big Sky League standings, which secured the Hawks a playoff appearance for a second straight year.

With a 13-12 overall and 9-5 league record, the girls headed into the opening round of the 1A OSAA State Championships as the 29th ranked team in the state under 1A classification.

As one of the lower ranked teams in the state playoffs, the girls would have a tough matchup in the first round against Damascus Christian, the number 10 ranked team in state.

Damascus Christian finished its regular season with a 20-6 overall record and were on an eight-game winning streak before losing in the championship game at the Valley 10 District Tournament to the number one ranked team in the state, Country Christian (23-5 overall, 12-0 league).

Despite the Hawks not being the favorite Feb. 20 on the road at Damascus Christian, the girls would put up a fight.

In the first quarter, the girls stuck around with Damascus Christian as they trailed by single-digits heading into the second.

As the second quarter ended, the Hawks went into halftime still within striking distance, and a few good possessions to open the third would put the pressure on Damascus Christian.

However, in the third, Damascus Christian began to pull away.

With a double-digit lead heading into the fourth, Damascus Christian would go on to win by a final score of 39-20 to knock the Hawks out of the state tournament.

The Haws finished the season with a .500 record at 13-13 overall.

Horizon is best known for its successful boys’ program, but the girls have began to build a resume of their own.

The Hawks this season came off a historic year, as they won the 1A-6 Big Sky League title and clinched a spot in the 1A state tournament last season — both program firsts.

This year, the girls were able to continue the growth of the program, winning third-place at districts and cinching another berth in the state playoffs.

And the future continues to look bright.

Of the eight girls on this year’s roster, only two are seniors, one a top-three scorer this season: Alexis Ruiz.

Although the girls will need to fill in a huge spot on the roster that Ruiz leaves, the Hawks return sophomore Fionna Marsalis and junior Kaitlin Wenz, the two other players for the Hawks in top-three in scoring this season.

Returners from this year’s roster: Marsalis (sophomore); Wenz (junior); Marena Decker (junior); Hailee Borrego (junior); Carmen Ramirez (junior); Sydney Wells (freshman).

Seniors from this year’s roster: Ruiz and Kathleen Robison.

As Ruiz leaves, she hands the keys to the program to Marsalis and Wenz, which makes for an important off-season of growth on the horizon for the Hawks.

“I look forward to continuing to build on solid skill foundations and off-season work that will allow these student athletes the opportunity to build on Big Sky Tournament success the last two seasons,” said head coach John Comb. “I was incredibly encouraged by our defensive prowess and we will look to fill the holes left by our seniors as we head into the offseason.”



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