Persistence pays as Eagles add two to win column

KELSEY WELLS (top) had two double-doubles this week (16 points, 12 rebounds Tuesday and 15 points, 16 rebounds Wednesday) to help the Eagles to wins over Gresham and St. Helens.

Photo by Kirby Neumann-Rea.
KELSEY WELLS (top) had two double-doubles this week (16 points, 12 rebounds Tuesday and 15 points, 16 rebounds Wednesday) to help the Eagles to wins over Gresham and St. Helens.

Two games in two nights with two-point margins both times.

That sums up the encouraging, and dramatic, start of the Hood River Valley Eagles’ girls basketball season.

Juniors Kelsey Wells and Jestena Mattson led the Eagles in scoring for both games, the first a home win Tuesday over Gresham, 45-43, followed by Wednesday’s win on the road at St. Helens, 43-41 (a make-up date). At St. Helens the Eagles got down by seven in the third quarter but rallied.

“The girls were persistent. They kept their heads and their focus after they got down in the third,” assistant coach Devon Wells said.

Against Gresham, the Eagles built a 17-point second quarter lead but let a 26-17 halftime edge dwindle, and hung on in the final minute.

The squad travels to Madison Friday (too late for press time) and then waits until Dec.26-27 for the Gresham tournament.

Wells had 16 points and 12 rebounds Tuesday and 15 points and 16 rebounds Wednesday, while Jestena Mattson tallied 14 points both nights and pulled in six and then eight boards. The Eagles shot 63 percent from the line at St. Helens, after managing just 50 percent in the first win.

“I think we build on the things we did well,” first-year head coach Scott Walker said after the Gresham win. “When we had our heads up and we were moving and passing, we looked pretty good. When we dribbled with our head down and we quit cutting we got into trouble. We always have to work on blocking out.”

HRVHS dominated the first three quarters, repelling small Gresham runs, but in the last three minutes of the game Gresham looked poised to complete the comeback, behind quick inside moves by Irene Medina and Bailey Allen, who had her own eight-minute solo rally in the fourth. Ali Rojas made it 41-36 for the Gophers’ smallest deficit since the first quarter. HRV committed two straight turnovers, and Medina hit two free throws for a 41-38 score. Medina got loose underneath to make it 43-40, and HRV followed with a turnover. Then the Gophers and Eagles traded turnovers and Wells fouled Rojas at 59 seconds. Rojas made one of two. HRV turned it over at 38 seconds, and Rojas attempted a fake and traveled. Davidson was fouled at mid court on a double team after HRV broke the press, and made one free throw to stretch the lead to 44-41. Allen missed another attempt, and Kassidy Davidson, grabbing her eighth rebound, fed Wells who was fouled. Wells made one free throw to make it 45-41, and Allen missed a three-pointer with seven seconds left, the Eagles wisely avoiding a foul on the attempt.

Medina put in a layup at the buzzer, but it was not enough.

Davidson played strict defense and chased down eight rebounds as the Eagles made key baskets in the fourth when they needed them the most.

“They were tough but we pulled through,” Davidson said of Gresham. “We just had to stay with our girls and not let them shoot and hustle back.”

Mattson added the team’s only three-pointers of the game, one coming at the third-quarter buzzer to stave off some Gopher momentum. Those three points proved critical given the Gophers’ dominant fourth quarter, in which senior guard Allen (14 points) went on an eight-point solo rally to bring Gresham to within three points. But poor shooting and turnovers, combined with three offensive fouls, proved to be the Gophers’ counterweights to the rally. Rojas added 13, but only two in the second half.

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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 www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge



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