HRV sophomore Reese Leiblein (14) looks to pass the ball to a posting junior Molly Routson while Ridgeview applies pressure.

Ridgeview High School’s varsity girls basketball team hustled, swarmed, and defeated Hood River Valley 59-30 Tuesday night at Vannet Court. This win pushed the 10th-ranked Ravens’ record to 14-6

Despite the loss, the team’s defense improved, said Eagles head coach Steve Noteboom.

“Our focus was on making it difficult for them to score inside and taking away their scoring opportunities inside the lane. I thought we did that,” Noteboom said. “We were much more aggressive on the defensive end.”

Noteboom said he was also pleased with the team’s effort and ability to handle Ridgeview’s pressure.

“I thought (senior) Morgan Baker was more aggressive on the offensive end and did more scoring,” Noteboom said. “We’ve been wanting her to take the ball to the hoop and be more assertive on the offensive end. I thought (senior) Grace Meyers did a great job getting back on defense. (Junior) Karla Barajas handled their pressure up front.”

Baker led the Eagles in scoring with 13 points, followed by Meyers and junior Molly Routson with six points each.

With the hardships and losses the Eagle squad has faced this season, team members agree it has brought them closer, they’ve learned each other’s playing style and now know when to anticipate their teammates. They also acknowledged there is still room to grow and improve.

Alicia Love, Ridgeview’s head coach, said the win contributed towards the team’s goal of competing in the playoffs.

“It puts us one more step closer to our goal,” Love said. “We’re aiming to get to that next level and win a championship. We’re trying to take it day by day and not look too far ahead.”

During the game the Ravens showed their determination with fast breakaways and out-running the Eagle defense. Love said the team practices drills which simulate intense game situations.

“We do a lot of full court drills trying to simulate transitions like that. We want to get up and go,” Love said. “Our goal is to try to get transition points, so we won’t have to rely on our half-court offense. We’re pretty good in our half-court offense but I’d much rather get easy baskets and not have to stress about it.”

Team play was the Ravens’ strategy Tuesday night as all, but two players scored. Leading scorers for Ridgeview were senior Alaina Clark with 13, junior Paige Pentzer netting 11 and sophomore Jenna Albrecht scoring eight.

HRV faces Crook County High School in an away game Tuesday, Feb. 18 at 6:30 p.m.

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