Bens Babbles: HRV boys turning over a new leaf for the new year

December 31, 2011

You could see it in their faces as the final seconds ticked away: This one hurt.

The Hood River Valley boys basketball team badly wanted to knock off Parkrose and get its first win of the season Friday night, but it was not to be.

But in and of itself the dejection was a good thing. HRV expected to win this game. Still, it's not every day you see a coach and a star player grinning broadly after coming out of the locker room after a narrow loss. It wasn't because they didn't care; it was because they did, and they saw reasons for optimism.

The Eagles could have folded after going all-out in the fourth quarter to force a tie, having the 6'0 Ryan Wheat win the overtime tipoff over 6'9 Parkrose center Orlando Vance - only to see the Broncos score the first four points of the quarter.

But they didn't. They kept right on fighting until time ran out. And their disappointment showed. And that disappointment was precisely the reason Steve Noteboom had a big smile on his face. This team cares. They believe they can be better, and want to be better. That desire would make any team happy.

Somewhere between mediocrity and excellence is respectability. You to achieve that before getting to the excellence phase.

Just look at the NFL's Detroit Lions. In 2008 they were winless. In 2009, they won two games, followed by five the next year. This season they are in the playoffs.

Respect is what this group wants. When I talked to the captains before the start of the season they said they were tired of being the league joke. Tired of being trounced on their home floor by 20, 30, 40 points.

To be sure, hanging with Parkrose is a little different than hanging with Jesuit, but it was the passion that the Eagles displayed in loss, and the fact that you could see they were buying in to Noteboom's process on the court that set this loss apart from the many that preceded it.

"It was fun to see," Noteboom said of his team's effort. "We put on a good show, and I want to keep doing that."

News Year's is always the time we are supposed to be turning over a new leaf, and with the Eagles opening league play against Hermiston next Friday, now is as good a time as any for the process to start.

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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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