Eagles’ offense can’t push HRV past Putnam

DALLAS BUCKLEY, pictured above playing in a game from the 2014-15 season, returned Friday night after recovering from a football injury, and will be a welcome addition to HRV’s lineup.

Good offensive production and the return of all-leaguer Dallas Buckley weren’t enough for HRV to put one over on Putnam Friday night in Portland, as the Knights extended their win streak this season to four, defeating HRV (1-3) 84-65.

The third quarter has proved to be a difficult one for HRV this season and the game against Putnam was no different, said HRV Head Coach Steve Noteboom.

“It’s kind of the same story that we’ve had,” he explained. “We played well for two or three quarters, toward the end of the third quarter, we had some turnovers and they hit some key threes.”

HRV hung with Putnam in the first quarter, only getting outscored 28-24, but the Knights pushed their lead out to nine by the end of the half, going up 45-33. Putnam continued to edge HRV in the third and then ran away with it in the fourth quarter despite HRV putting up 20 points in the final frame, as the Eagles provided the Knights with too many trips to the foul line. Noteboom said Putnam’s size and perimeter shooting, including nine three-pointers from two of the team’s guards, proved too difficult for HRV to overcome.

Skyler Hunter led HRV’s scoring with 20 points, followed closely by Parker Kennedy who had 19, along with a team-high nine rebounds. Noteboom was especially pleased with Hunter’s effort from behind the arc, as he said the senior has been “struggling from the outside” as of late, but hit four three-pointers Friday night. Noah Noteboom led in the assist category, with five.

Buckley, a senior who has been sidelined this season due to injuries he sustained playing football for HRV in the fall, was the team’s third-highest scorer with nine points and will provided some extra oomph to the Eagles’ offense.

“We definitely miss him because he has decent size and he’s one of our better scorers and he was a second-team All-League last year, so missing one of our All-Leaguers can make a big difference,” Noteboom said.

Noteboom added that as the team’s health improves, he expects the team’s record will rise in tandem — even more so as the Eagles work out the early-season kinks in the lineup before league play begins Jan. 22 with a home game against Pendleton.

“As a coaching staff, we’re trying to figure out who should be playing and when… we’re still experimenting with different rotations as well as different philosophies on the court,” he explained.

HRV was scheduled to play Gresham in Hood River Tuesday evening at 7 p.m. (results not available at press time) and then head to Dallas this weekend for the Dallas Holiday Tournament. The Eagles kick off the tourney with a Friday game against Grants Pass, which starts at 5:30 p.m.

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