After suffering its fifth loss in a row last Friday night at home to Stevenson by a final score of 66-64, the HRV boys basketball team was back in action at home on Jan. 3 against St. Helens, looking to snap its longest losing streak of the season.
But the Eagles were unable to stop the bleeding, and the losing streak extends to six after a 50-40 home loss to St. Helens.
The loss puts the Eagles at 4-8 on the season and 5A OSAA ranking has HRV just inside the top-30 at 29 in state.
Versus the Lions, HRV had troubles finding the bottom of the net in the first half.
Early in the first quarter, the Eagles were tied with the Lions 4-4, but for the remainder, St. Helens used their size advantage down low.
With one big man at 6 feet, 7 inches and the other at 6 feet, 6 inches, the Lions took it to the Eagles, whose tallest player available, outside of the 6-foot, 6 inch Carson Orr, is Erik Siekkinen at 6 feet, 3 inches.
The Lions pounded the ball inside the paint in the first, taking an early 11-8 advantage.
In the first quarter, the Eagles’ advantage was clearly in athleticism as they tried to utilize their speed to get out and run in the open court in hopes to make the big men of St. Helens work up and down the floor.
And in the first, the Eagles were making the Lions work on the offensive end as HRV’s defense was flying around in the half-court set, making it difficult for the Lions to find a good look at the hoop.
But some careless play with the ball on the offensive end from HRV, after a good defensive possession, led to St. Helens getting out and running in transition, finding their big men open and running the middle of the floor for easy opportunities at the hoop.
It seemed that in the beginning of the second quarter, the Eagles were going to have a much better quarter offensively than they did in the first — they tied the game at 11 after two steals on defense that turned into a layup and free throw.
However, before each of the two steals by the Eagles on defense, HRV had opened their first two offensive possessions with turnovers, a sign that the sloppy play from the first quarter was carrying over into the second.
And after tying this game at 11 with six minutes left in the second quarter, St. Helens would respond by holding HRV scoreless for the remainder of the second quarter, and the Lions headed into halftime with a 20-11 lead.
After halftime, the Lions came out in a press and added to their 9-0 run in the second by going on a 5-0 run to start the third quarter.
St. Helens would go up 25-11 before senior forward Erik Siekkinen put an end to the Eagles eight-minute scoring drought with a layup.
Midway through the third, it felt the Eagles were finding their way back into this game, but St. Helens would keep responding on the other end, not allowing HRV to gather any momentum.
But with four minutes left in the third quarter, the Eagles finally cut the lions lead to single digits, 30-21.
HRV’s zone pressure forced St. Helens into making mistakes and the Eagles were doing something they hadn’t been able to do up to this point of the game — find the bottom of the net.
Senior guard Peiyton Slatt hit huge back-to-back threes with under a minute remaining in the third quarter to cut the St. Helens lead to just two heading into the fourth.
HRV opened the fourth quarter with a layup and at 32-32, this was a 0-0 ball game to begin the final quarter.
The Eagles were on a 11-4 run before St. Helens responded to the Eagles opening fourth quarter layup with a three-point basket.
St. Helens then responded after hitting the three-pointer by forcing two turnovers on back-to-back Eagle possessions, and those HRV turnovers turned into five points for the Lions and they went up 40-32 with five minutes left in this game.
The Eagles were unable to get anything going after that opening layup in the fourth and three missed opportunities in a critical time helped the Lions put this game away, going up 46-32 with three minutes remaining.
St. Helens held onto the 50-40 road victory and handed the Eagles their sixth straight loss, a losing streak that dates back to Dec. 14.
Unable to pick up a after six attempts, the boys had a good chance to end their losing streak on Friday, Jan. 5 as they were on the road in Woodburn against the 3-6 Bulldogs (results unavailable at press time).