Hawks rock Big Sky championship

Undefeated, boys are top-ranked in class 1A state

Top-ranked Horizon Christian School accomplished one of its season goals Saturday, winning the Big Sky Conference boys basketball championship in Hermiston.

The title gave the Hawks (27-0 overall) and seven other district champions a bye in the first round of the Class 1A state playoffs, which began Tuesday. Horizon will play a state playoff game at 7 p.m. Friday. Horizon is the No. 1 seed in the playoffs. Its Friday opponent will be the lowest seed of the 16 teams remaining after Tuesday’s round. Friday’s eight winners advance to the state tournament Feb. 27 to March 2 at Baker City High School.

Horizon defeated South Wasco County 65-49 for the Big Sky crown, a day after it survived an intense battle against Sherman in the semifinals, 60-54. The Huskies were the last team to defeat Horizon (February 2012), which extended its win streak to 35 games. Sherman defeated Echo in Saturday’s third-place contest, earning the league’s No. 3 seed in the state playoffs.

The Horizon-South Wasco game was a battle throughout, especially in the first half when there were nine lead changes and four ties. South Wasco led by as many as seven points early in the second quarter, before Horizon closed the half with a 15-7 scoring run to take a 28-27 lead. Nathan Duling’s basket to start the second half gave South Wasco its last lead, as Horizon outscored the Redsides 14-7 the rest of the period.

The Horizon advantage was six points before Matt Totaro scored in the lane. A short time later he added a three-point play to push the margin to 49-38. Reserve guard Jared Davis took over from there. During the next three minutes, the quick sophomore scored 13 points, including two three-point plays.

Davis finished with 16 points and four assists. Senior post Jake Wells led all scorers with 19 points; he added 10 rebounds, five blocks and four steals. Mason Bloomster scored 14 points, on 4-for-5 shooting from the field, and Totaro finished with 11 points.

The Hawks had similar scoring balance in the semifinal game against Sherman. Wells, Totaro, Bloomster and Micah Engel scored in double figures. Engel and backcourt mate Ryan Aldrich were the catalysts for Horizon early in the game, when their teammates were struggling to score. Known more for their in-your-face defense, they combined to score the Hawks’ first seven points, and Aldrich assisted on three Horizon baskets in the period.

Jailin Conboy, who led all scorers with 25 points, made three three-pointers and added a layin to pull the Huskies within 56-52 with 2:31 left. That’s as close as Sherman would get, as it was hurt by two missed front ends of one-and-one free throws and a turnover in the final minutes.

“I told the team after the game that we have some things we can improve on and we can grow through this,” Horizon coach Darrin Lingel said after the Sherman game. But his comments were apropos to the South Wasco contest, as well. “It is kind of nice to play a game like this and get a ‘W’ out of it.”

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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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