HRV boys snap 28-game skid, get first league win with victory over Hermiston

January 11, 2012

In the Columbia River Conference boys basketball opener between the Hood River Valley Eagles and the Hermiston Bulldogs, one thing was certain: A long losing streak would continue for one team.

It was a confident and determined Eagles (1-0 CRC, 1-9 overall) squad that snapped a 27-game skid dating back to Dec. 14, 2010 with a valiant come-from-behind 57-53 win over the Bulldogs (0-1, 1-10) Friday at Hood River Valley High School. It marked HRV's first CRC victory, following a 0-12 league mark a year ago and got first-year head coach Steve Noteboom his first win. It also marked Hermiston's eighth straight loss; a dramatic change from a year ago when the Bulldogs went 18-8 and won the CRC title.

"I don't think many people expected us to beat Hermiston," said Noteboom. "It sure feels great to get our first-ever league win and that's exciting. This is just the beginning and with some fine-tuning of our game, I think we'll continue to improve and hopefully our momentum will continue."

Things looked bleak for the Eagles early in the second when Hermiston took a double-digit 21-10 lead after a 7-2 run. Things got worse before it got better for HRV. Hermiston took advantage of Eagle turnovers and missed shots and extended the margin to 30-15 midway through the quarter, forcing an Eagle timeout.

The Eagles responded with an 8-0 spurt with baskets by Wheat, senior guard Cole Hunter (11 points) and senior forward Tory Schmidt (six points), trimming the margin to 30-23 at halftime.

"This is a great way to start league and it gives us lots of momentum, which hopefully will continue throughout the season," said Hunter. "We can put all the nonleague games behind us now."

The Bulldogs had things going their way for most of the third, though, and built a double-digit lead at 46-36. With the clock ticking down in the quarter, the momentum started to shift in the Eagles' favor. Junior guard Luke Kopecky (three points, seven rebounds) ignited a rally with a steal and breakaway layup just before the buzzer sounded, making it 46-38 after three.

The Eagles took control of the contest in the fourth. Senior guard Cody Walker (four points) capped a 12-5 run with a 10-foot jumper in the lane, making it 51-50 with 2:09 left, forcing a Bulldog timeout. Wheat scored six in the game-changing rally to help lead the Eagles' comeback effort.

"It sure feels good to finally get a win," said Wheat. "I was a little worried before the game, but after we started to get into a good rhythm, then I knew that we could win. It was tough falling behind, but we battled hard and we did a good job making a nice comeback. This was by far the best game we've played this season."

The Eagles knotted the score at 52-52 when Hunter drove into the lane and banked a clutch shot off the glass. Hunter was fouled, but missed a free throw on the potential three-point play with 1:26 remaining.

After Wheat rebounded a missed Bulldog shot at the other end, the Eagles regained possession and called a timeout with 56 seconds left.

After an inbound play, Walker passed to Wheat in the paint and Wheat used his height advantage to sink a key jumper that proved to be the game-winning basket.

Wheat was fouled and converted a three-point play for a 55-52 Eagle advantage with 44 seconds left.

On Hermiston's ensuing possession, Ramon Contreras was fouled and went to the line as a nearly full Vannet Court home crowd yelled loudly to distract him. The noise and enthusiastic vocal support provided by HRV's fans helped lift the Eagles to victory as Contreras missed both free throws. Both teams struggled at the line as Hermiston shot 42 percent (9-for-21) and HRV shot 50 percent (9-for-18).

"It's nice seeing such great support from our fans and that's what we need to have at our home games," said Noteboom.

HRV outscored Hermiston 19-7 in the fourth to get the win.

"It's always easier to come out and play with a strong effort on your home court," said Noteboom. "We need to be disciplined enough to play the same way on the road. We struggled in preseason, but that was primarily because the kids were still trying to get familiar with what I wanted them to do."

The Eagles played on the road Tuesday against t Pendleton and return Friday to face The Dalles-Wahtonka as part of a girls-boys double header. The HRV girls, which lost to Hermiston 74-33 Friday, face TDW at 5:30 p.m. and the boys face the Eagle-Indianst at 7 p.m.

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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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