December 3, 2005

Aggressive play was paramount in Tuesday night’s victory for the Hood River Valley High School girls’ varsity basketball team. The girls traveled to the Mt. Hood Conference’s to face Centennial in both team’s season-opening game.

After falling behind 21-17 at half time, Hood River outscored Centennial 31 points to 20 in the final two periods — including 17 in the fourth — to take the come-from-behind victory at 48-41.

“We did many things well,” said head coach Phil Hukari. “We rebounded and battled for the boards and we played aggressive defensively, challenging shots and getting in their faces.”

Offensively, Chelsey Elliott dominated the court with 17 points, followed by Meredith Danko with nine.

“We were also aggressive offensively,” Hukari said. “We attacked the basket and there was no backing down … The girls played with a lot of heart, which is a key for us having success this season.”

As typical in the pre-season, the game was very much a measure of how the girls are progressing and what they need to work on as a team and individually before the first league match — which is scheduled for Dec. 10 at home against Crook Country. The girls had planned to attend Thursday’s David Douglas tournament but they did not make it due to the weather.

Based on what he saw against Centennial, Coach Hukari said, “We have to take care of the ball better and get into our offensive set more often. We may have surprised Centennial with our aggressiveness, but their team is in a building mode like us, and we caught them on a bad shooting night. I hope it had something to do with our defense. Also — like last season — we must improve from the line and not miss lay-ins … Overall it was a very positive start to the season.”

Leading Scorers

Chelsey Elliott 17

Meredith Danko 9

Abby Walters 6

Jamie Abbott 5

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