HRV boys a victim of bad breaks

Sports commentary

In many ways, the final eight seconds of Friday’s two-point loss to Gresham characterized the past two weeks for the HRV boys basketball team.

These guys can’t catch a break.

After playing catch-up most of the fourth quarter versus Gresham, HRV finally knotted the score at 63 on a great hustle play by Nate Armerding, who found Eric Nelson under the hoop for an easy two. Then, in a flash, Gresham was right back on top when the clock read double-zeros.

Ever since the Eagles’ improbable home win over state-ranked Central Catholic on Jan. 3, the team has been struggling to find a rhythm. A Jekyll-and-Hyde loss to Sandy; a disappointing home loss to Barlow; a blowout loss at Centennial; now a heart-wrenching buzzer-beater loss to Gresham.

The talent is there. The work ethic is there. What is it that has sent the Eagles from second to seventh in a matter of weeks?

One heck of a conference, that’s what.

Before the season, coach Tom Ames knew that every game in the Mt. Hood Conference would be a dogfight. He knew his team would have to show up to play every night if it expected to be around for state. And excluding the second half of the Sandy loss on Jan. 8 and the first half of the Centennial loss on Jan. 15, the Eagles have been in every game.

The only difference between HRV and Centennial or Barlow right now is the others have made shots when they have had to. Had HRV made two or three jumpers down the stretch against Barlow or Gresham, we’re not talking about a four-game losing streak.

That’s why it’s important for the players, coaches and fans to keep in mind that there are eight conference games left. A 3-5 record can become 9-7 or 10-6 very quickly.

Senior starters Brendon Charles, Armerding and Nelson don’t want to finish their high school careers in disappointment.

They’re going to do whatever it takes to make sure HRV is on the other end of those last-second shots. Better yet, they’re going to ensure that there are no last-second shots.

Eight games left. Nothing to lose. And if this team goes down, you can bet it will be swinging.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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