Totaro leads Horizon hoops to first-round playoff win

29-0 Hawks advanced to state semifinals Friday night; finals run Saturday, 8:30 p.m.

BAKER CITY - Horizon Christian School opened defense of its Class 1A boys basketball state championship Wednesday with a 53-42 win against Country Christian in the final eight tourney.

Matt Totaro led the top-seeded Hawks (29-0) with a season-high 27 points, 12 rebounds and four steals. Totaro was 10 for 11 from the field and 7 for 9 on free throws.

The victory at Baker City High School put Horizon into Friday’s semifinals, where it was scheduled to play Hosanna Christian at 3:15 p.m. (results unavailable at press time).

Horizon coach Darrin Lingel said the first game at state is always a challenge as players adjust to pressure in different ways. Horizon is also riding a 37-game win streak dating back to last season.

“It was a gutty performance; we gutted one out,” Lingel said.

Totaro was a force throughout the game; he was the most steady player on the floor when players on both teams struggled with consistency.

“He is the best player in the Big Sky this season and arguably the best player in 1A basketball,” Lingel said. “He proved it without a doubt. He was basically our go-to guy. He kept us in the game.”

Equally important was Ryan Aldrich’s defensive effort on Country’s all-league senior Mitchel Cunningham. He was a double-figure scorer during the regular season, but Aldrich limited him to no field goals and two points off of free throws.

“All year Ryan has been a defensive stopper for us,” Lingel said. “ We always look to Ryan. He gets us going in our defense. He sacrifices his body; he is a very selfless basketball player.”

Horizon never trailed after halftime, but Country (20-8) kept within striking distance until the closing minutes behind it’s outside shooting. The Cougars were 6 for 20 on three-pointers, with four different players scoring from beyond the arc.

“We knew that Country was going to shoot a lot of 3s,” Lingel said. “I thought we did a pretty good job of containing them. We did a good job of not allowing them to get any runs.”

Country also was aggressive rebounding, despite a size disadvantage against the Hawks. The Cougars took advantage of 17 offensive rebounds with 15 second-chance points.

Horizon held it’s largest lead of 11 points early in the fourth quarter on a three-point play by Totaro before Country stormed back. The Cougars pulled within four points at 38-34 over the next two minutes, but could get no closer.

Horizon sealed the win by making six of seven field goals in the final period.

Mason Bloomster added 11 points for the Hawks, while teammate Jake Wells had 11 rebounds and eight blocked shots.

“We made adjustments in the second half where we played better defensively,” Lingel said. “ It was one of those games where neither team got any tempo — could never get into any good offensive flow.”

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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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