Eagle boys end slide, but follow with loss

When a team is mired in a six-game losing streak, it can be difficult to find a light at the end of the tunnel.

But despite its recent struggles, the HRV boys basketball team said “enough is enough,” and snapped a three-week losing streak on Friday with a 53-44 win over Summit.

“We were really sick of losing,” said senior forward Todd Shypertt, who led the Eagles with 17 points.

“It was really important to get a win on Friday so we could get the streak out of our minds. Every team has its time, and I guess this was ours,” he said.

Fellow senior Andy Holmson also stepped up his game, scoring 12 points and recording six steals.

Junior post Brian Crosswhite tallied eight points in a starting role, while Heath Goin had seven, Ryan Pratt five, and Tyler Monzie four.

“When we execute, we can do some really good things,” coach Phil Vesel said. “Against Summit, we proved that we can compete on any given night. We’ve just been lacking consistency.”

Case in point was Saturday’s 51-40 road loss to Crook County. The Eagles came out sluggish and didn’t handle the Cowboys’ pressure like they did in a Jan. 17 home win.

“The biggest difference between Saturday’s game and the game here was that we panicked with their man-to-man defense and made a lot of careless turnovers,” Vesel said.

Vesel noted that his team hasn’t played well all season on the second day of back-to-backs.

“I don’t know what it is,” he said. “For some reason, we just don’t come out with the same intensity for Saturday games.”

HRV will play another set of back-to-backs starting Thursday at home versus Pendleton. The Eagles then host fifth-place Mountain View on Friday.

HRV (2-9 IMC, 6-15 overall) currently sits tied for seventh in the Intermountain Conference with three games remaining, and the players are confident they can steal a couple more wins along the way.

“The seniors want to finish on a strong note,” Shypertt said. “But we’re going to need all five starters to contribute. You don’t beat teams like Pendleton and Mountain View unless you play all four quarters.”

Both Thursday and Friday’s games begin at 7 p.m. at Hood River Valley High School.

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Senior point guard Andy Holmson won the Hustle Player of the Week for the fourth time this season after recording 24 hustle points over the weekend, which included 9 steals.

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