Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Following a near-perfect regular season in which they won 20 straight contests after a season-opening loss to Class 2A Irrigon, the Horizon Christian High Hawks boys basketball team continued its stellar success in league playoffs over the weekend. The No. 1-ranked Hawks (22-1 overall, 9-0 Big Sky West Division), guided by coach Darrin Lingel, captured a fourth consecutive district title with a 74-64 win over the Ione Cardinals Saturday at Hermiston High School.
“The kids played real hard and I’m extremely proud of them for accomplishing one of our goals,” said Lingel. “It was a hard-fought championship contest versus Ione with both teams competing very tough in a well-played game. We had a good game plan, which was to keep Jailin Conboy (nine points) under control and not allow him to score too much and the kids executed it very well.”
As district champs, the Hawks earned a first-round playoff bye and will host an OSAA/U.S. Bank/Les Schwab Tires second round state playoff contest March 1 against an undetermined opponent, at either 6 or 7 p.m., at the “Hawks Nest” at Horizon Christian High School.
If Horizon wins Saturday, it will advance to the state tournament quarterfinals March 6-8 at Baker High School and will be seeking to win a second 1A title in three years. Horizon won the 2012 title and lost in the finals last year.
Horizon led all the way in the district championship game versus the Big Sky East Division Champion and No. 8-ranked Cardinals (18-5, 11-3 Big Sky), led by the dynamic duo of junior Mason Bloomster (19 points, 13 rebounds, four steals) and senior Matt Totaro (23 pts., 10 rebs.)
“Going into districts, we felt really strong, confident and we had a high level of team unity and we all felt really good about our chance to win the title,” said Totaro. “We played great defense in the first game then our confidence level was really sky high going into the championship game against Ione. They’re a very good team too and I wouldn’t be surprised if they qualify for the state tournament in Baker, too.”
Horizon senior point guard Micah Engel led the Hawks with seven assists and scored four points. Junior Ryan Aldrich scored nine points off the bench to help contribute to the Hawks offense.
The Hawks opened the district tournament Friday and won 49-32 over the Nixyawii Golden Eagles (17-5, 8-2 Big Sky).
The 49 points by Horizon was its lowest point total of the season. Much like the Ione contest, it was the one-two punch of Bloomster (15 pts., 10 rebs., five blocked shots) and Totaro (18 pts., 10 rebs., four assists, four steals) that helped lift the Hawks to the victory. Junior Wes Johnston also scored nine points to contribute to the Hawks offensive attack.
“The two goals we set this year were to win districts and win the state title,” said Totaro. “We got our first goal and now we’re going to try for our second one. It’s a huge advantage having to play just one playoff game to reach the state tournament and it’s a nice bonus having it at home too. We’re all feeling pretty good, we’re playing at the top of our game and everyone is making significant contributions and we’re getting strong play off the bench.”
Totaro and Bloomster received All Big Sky Conference First Team Awards for their performance; Engel earned an All Big Sky Honorable Mention Award.
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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