Deep, mature, talented Horizon Hawks aim high

Senior Derek Johnston, driving in game last season, and sophomore Caleb Lingel, in practice this week at left, are expected to take on big scoring duties and help keep the Hawks in “attack mode.”

Photo by RJ Chavez
Senior Derek Johnston, driving in game last season, and sophomore Caleb Lingel, in practice this week at left, are expected to take on big scoring duties and help keep the Hawks in “attack mode.”

First two at home

The Hawks face two tough teams at home to start the season, according to Coach Lingel.

Perrydale comes to town Nov. 30 in the first-ever game against the two schools.

On Dec. 1, Trinity Lutheran visits.

Horizon Christian School boys basketball team this year is more mature and looking for redemption.

The 2018-19 season gets underway Nov. 30.

“We’re excited this year. Last year we under-achieved, we were a better team than it showed, but we didn’t get as far as we wanted,” said coach Darrin Lingel. The team made districts, but lost in two close contests.

“We now have a year of maturity, and we had a good summer, and fall, and a good first week of practice.

“Our schedule is a tough schedule and I’m glad it’s that way,” Lingel said.

That fact starts with the first two games of the season, at home against Perrydale and Trinity (see sidebar.)

The team has the makings of a triple threat:

Quickness and penetration ability? Check: Sophomore Caleb Lingel and senior Bailey Holste.

Multiple three-point threats? Check: Derek Johnston, Alex Petshow, and Lingel.

Size and length? Check: seniors Kyle Brown, Johnston and Petshow.

“We have some cool threats,” said Lingel, promising a team that will press all the time every game, with the bench strength to carry it off.

“We’re not a real tall team, but tall for 1A, and we have a variety of guys who are between 6-1 and 6-3 or have bulk (Petshow, Johnston, and Brown).

“Our size and length will help, anytime you have that you can shrink the court, and passing lanes aren’t easily seen,” Lingel said.

“Caleb can break you down, and we have three-point shooters in Alex, Derek and Caleb, and in Kyle Brown we have an inside post, a good defensive player,” Lingel said.

“Last year we were super-young, with two players with significant varsity experience, in Johnston and Holste.

“With four seniors, we are more of a mature team this year,” Lingel said.

Petshow returns to the program after three years at Jesuit but he knows the system and his teammates.

Lingel said “the guy that makes things go is Caleb Lingel,” his son. Caleb is an offensive weapon, having scored 30 points in a fall league game.

“He’s still on his way through the process and developing skill sets, but he has a good first step, and he’ll break you down.

“We’ll be in attack mode, we’re going to attack the basket, and with good off-ball movement, and it’s one of our focuses this year, to get the ball moving and look for best shot opportunities through that movement. We have guards who can penetrate and guys who can hit threes.

Lingel said opponents will have to slow the tempo, but the Hawks plan to increase the tempo and defensive pressure.

“All game long, we’ll be relentless when it comes to pressure,” said Lingel, adding that he has a deeper bench this year, including Kai Robertson, sophomore; Josh Rogers, freshman; Alex Whitaker, freshman; Skyler Leeson, sophomore; and J.J. Holste, sophomore.

“They’re all talented kids. We’ll probably go eight, nine deep to be able to pull it off,” he said of the full pressure defense.

“We have high expectations and high goals,” he said. “We’re going to work really hard to make that happen.”

Those goals are winning the Big Sky Conference and making it to State.

“That’s our goal, to get to Baker City, and I think we have what it takes to win State,” Lingel said.

“We have the team to do it, we have the skill sets, and the bench, and as long as (the players) understand the competitive spirit needed to make it happen, we will do well.

“I think we have a good shot, (at State.) If we perform at our level, and up to our God-given potential and are competitive, we will be in Baker City.”

Lingel said Sherman and Dufur will be the top competition in the Big Sky.

“I’m not saying anyone can’t beat anyone on a given night, but those two teams specifically are good teams, and we should do well against them,” he said, based on last year’s results and how they played them in summer ball.”

Lingel is assisted again this year by Joe Petshow and Mike Totaro.

“Trinity and Horizon are among the top two teams in the 1A state,” Lingel said. “That is going to be a big game. Trinity is tall and long, and they are younger, mostly sophomore, but they have some really good athletes, good skilled players.”

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