For the Hood River Valley High School boys basketball team, take-aways are generally positive, despite a two-loss home stand to start the 2018-19 season.
South Albany defeated the Eagles 58-45 Friday in a game where the Eagles took a 31-29 halftime lead behind Carson Flores’ and Noah Webster’s 10-point contributions, but let turnovers and a tough Redhawk press sap their offense in the third quarter.
Lebanon came to town Saturday and the Warriors prevailed, 49-46.
Coach Christopher Dirks said, “Overall, we have areas to improve, but we still competed against a 5A team that has seen and experienced success in the last few years,” he said of South Albany. “Our early defense was strong in the full court, and gave us a jumpstart in transition.”
Webster, Flores and German Diaz provided most of the offense for the Eagles.
“We watched film before the game on Saturday and identified three things to focus on: Control on offense, rebounding, and communication. This group is prepared to get in the gym and work on our areas of weakness.”
Of the Lebanon game, Dirks said, “After identifying some areas needing improvement, the team responded relatively well. We had better communication coming in and out of the game and while on the court. We did a better job blocking out, giving up half the amount of offensive rebounds we did the night before.
“I think controlling our offense is going to take a few practices to get down. We had a few possessions at the end of the game with the opportunity to take a lead and unfortunately we were not able to capitalize,” Dirks said. Down one with 18 seconds left, the Eagles forced a 10-second call in the back court and had eight seconds to get a shot off.
“It ended up not going our way,” Dirks said. “At the end of the day, we gave ourselves a chance to win the game. As a young team, we will figure out how to take advantage of those situations as the season progresses.” Dirks added, ”With four practices this week, we have time to make some adjustments before we head to Madras for a tournament. This group is prepared and willing to change.”
Before the tournament, the team will host Madras on Friday, with varsity tip-off at 6:30 p.m.
HRVHS girls lose two
The Hood River Valley Eagles dropped to 0-3 in a rigorous pre-season that has seen injuries to players, including sparkplug guard Haylee Baker, who aggravated a pre-season ankle injury in the opening loss at Stevenson.
Friday: Astoria 74, HRVHS 18 (Eagle scoring: Dani Valle 9, Lizzie Weekly 4, Morgan Baker 3, Bailey Frazier 2)
Saturday: Madras 74, HRVHS 37 (Eagle scoring: Barrett Ihde 8, Dani Valle 7, Lizzie Weekly 7, Haley Hughes 5, Morgan Baker 4, Kaitlyn McNerney 3)
The girls played at Cascade in Turner on Tuesday (results unavailable at press time) and heads to Milwaukie for a Friday night game.