Photo by RJ Chavez
HRV Boys basketball opened Columbia River Conference play at home on Thursday, Jan. 18 against Pendleton. Despite a good first half, especially a strong second quarter for the boys as they outscored Pendleton 22-12 to take the lead heading into halftime, HRV was unable to hold onto the lead as Pendleton took the 63-49 win. Above is senior forward Erik Siekkinen.
As of Friday, January 19, 2018
After snapping a seven-game losing streak that dated back to Dec. 14, the HRV boys basketball team were unable to keep things rolling as they dropped their last non-league game earlier this week by a final score of 55-64 on the road at Liberty.
Against Liberty, the Eagles were led by senior wing Jonah Tactay. Tactay was the only Eagle scorer in double-digits with 10 points and added a steal.
Senior guard JJ Mears had nine points and two steals in the loss.
The third highest scorer against Liberty was senior center Dakota Kurahara, who had eight points and eight rebounds.
After the loss to Liberty, the boys had a quick turnaround as they played Pendleton two days later in what was both teams’ league opener on Jan. 17.
In this game, the Eagles struggled in the second-half and were unable to open with a home win, losing by a final score of 63-49.
The loss extends the Eagles current losing streak to two.
In the opening quarter, the Eagles struggled to take care of the ball, which led to Pendleton taking an early 10-7 lead after a 5-0 scoring run from the Buckaroos halfway through first quarter.
Head Coach Christopher Dirks would call a timeout in an attempt to get his players focused, but in the remaining four minutes of the quarter, HRV was careless with the ball and it led to a 15-11 lead for Pendleton after one.
However, the struggles for the Eagles in the first quarter solely pertained on the offensive ball.
On the other end, the boys defense was fast, aggressive and smart. This was a great sign for Dirks and his team heading into the second quarter as their focus could now be put on the offensive end.
At the start of the second quarter, it was back and forth play, much like the first except the Eagles were beginning to find a rhythm on the offensive end.
Senior wing Tactay and junior guard Carson Flores opened the quarter with back-to-back threes to cut the Pendleton lead to a one possession game.
These three pointers came off the boys’ full court press, and they would continue to ride successes in the press in a big way to shutout the second quarter.
With three minutes left, Pendleton was on a 4-0 run and took a 23-20 advantage, but the Eagles responded with an 11-0 run sparked by the full-court press and it led to threes and layups in the open court.
The boys closed the second on a 13-2 run and took a 33-27 lead heading into halftime.
With momentum on the Eagles side, the boys hoped to keep it that way.
However, this game was a tale of two halves.
Flores opened the quarter with a three pointer off a pump fake that got his defender in the air, giving the Eagles a 36-27 lead.
But the Eagles would struggle for the remainder of the quarter on both ends of the floor and Pendleton, in the following four minutes, went on a 11-1 scoring run to go up 38-37 and they would not look back.
Pendleton scored 21 unanswered points, outscoring the eagles 21-5 in the third, to go into the fourth with a 48-37 lead.
The fourth quarter turned into a free throw contest and Pendleton struggled to knock down free throws early on, but their defense on the other end was locked in, not allowing any looks at the hoop for the Eagles, and they would spoil HRV’s home league opener beating the Eagles by a final score of 63-49.
Next up for the Eagles is a home matchup next Friday, Jan. 26 against Hermiston; tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. After Hermiston, the boys will travel to The Dalles for the first matchup of the season between the two cross-town rivals. This game is the first of the doubleheader in The Dalles on Tuesday, Jan. 30. HRV boys will tip-off at 5:30 p.m. against The Dalles boys and the girls varsity teams will close-out the doubleheader at 7 p.m.