Dufur High School came back from a deficit and upset Horizon Christian School’s varsity boys basketball team 44-39 Saturday, Feb. 8 in Hood River. At one point, the home Hawks had a nine-point lead over the Rangers.
Two players from HCS team played with a slight illness, head coach Darrin Lingel said.
“Caleb (Lingel) was sick today and Josh (Rogers) was sick today,” Darrin Lingel said. “Caleb had stomach problems. He was going to throw up the whole game, but he fought through it today.”
In the first half Horizon had the lead 19-13. The Rangers, however, looked hungry and chased down the lead in the second quarter.
Hollie Darden, head coach for the Rangers, said the team adjusted their defense to fit the Hawks offense.
“They started out shooting the ball pretty well in the first quarter, we gave them some easy looks in transition and things like that,” Darden said. “I think we picked up our defensive intensity in the second quarter, we forced some turnovers, got some easy looks and they missed a few more shots.”
Dufur’s strengthened defense snuffed out Horizon’s offensive opportunities in the second and third quarter. The Hawk boys only managed to score eight points in the second quarter and six in the third.
One Ranger player that played a pivotal role in the team’s win was Cooper Bales. The junior had a double-double scoring 21 points and rebounding 11 times.
“He struggled a little bit shooting the ball in the first half and really got going in the second half,” Darden said. “He’s been the guy that does a really nice job of scoring and transitioning for us. He’s our floor leader. So, as he goes, we go in terms of intensity. He doesn’t say a lot but he leads by example.”
The downfall for the Hawks squad was not rebounding enough, Darrin Lingel said. Top rebounders for Horizon were juniors Jesse Williams with seven and Caleb Lingel with six, and soophomore Alex Whitaker with six.
In comparison, top rebounders for Dufur, excluding Bales, were juniors Trey Darden with 11, Caleb Olson with eight and Jacob Peters with six.
“Our Achilles heel today was rebounding. We got to rebound the ball better,” Darrin Lingel said. “We can’t allow them to have three and four opportunities to take the jump shot and that’s what we did.”
Horizon returns to the court Friday as they host Ione/ Arlington at 7:30 p.m.