Eagle boys hoops falls to Franklin at buzzer

Scott ziegner (top) lays one in for two of his team-high 15 points in this week’s home game against Franklin.

Photo by Adam Lapierre.
Scott ziegner (top) lays one in for two of his team-high 15 points in this week’s home game against Franklin.

Austin Martin’s last-ditch three point attempt from the top of the key met the top of the rim on its way down, and with a clang the Franklin Quakers escaped with a 47-43 win over the Hood River Valley High School Eagles on Dec. 30.

The Quakers were led by 6-9 sophomore post Joseph Smoyer’s 20 points.

Scott Ziegner led the Eagles with 15, while Austin Martin had eight –– including two threes –– and Austin Clarke scored six in the non-league game against the 5-4 Quakers.

It was the third down-to-the-wire loss by two points for the Eagles, who are 0-5 for the season.

The team moved on to host Horizon Christian School Friday in a crosstown rematch at Vannet Court, and will travel to South Albany Saturday. Results from the two will be in the Jan. 8 News.

After hitting two first-half threes, Martin was the go-to player for the potential tying basket with 27 seconds left, with the score 46-43.

Down by seven most of the fourth, the Eagles battled back and got within two (44-43) when Parker Kennedy found a cutting Austin Clark under the hoop with 55 seconds left.

With 29 seconds left, Smoyer was at the line after a timeout and made one of two, making it 46-43 with 27 seconds left.

Martin took the inbounds pass deep in the backcourt, and after two quick passes Martin had the ball at the top of the key. He squared up and had a clean release, but the shot was a tad short and hit the rim. Martin got a pat on the back from Clarke as he walked off the court.

HRVHS built a 12-11 first-quarter lead but the game started sloppily; both teams matched each other with turnovers in each of their first two possessions and were tied 8-8 in the first quarter.

Franklin applied a rigorous press and Smoyer dominated after a slow start, scoring 10 in the second quarter. Meanwhile, the Eagles did not score until the 4:03 mark in the second, going up 14-13, for its last lead of the game.

Smoyer’s dominating size played a large role in the game, as he snarled HRV offense and defensive tactics.

A nifty give-and-go between Zeigner and Clarke put the Eagles to within five at the half. HRV followed with a strong start to the third quarter, with Martin hitting a three then grabbing the defensive rebound and Ziegner scoring to bring the Eagles to within two. Smoyer and Quaker guard Noah Jacobsen didn’t let up though and stretched the margin back to 37-31.

What followed were several more hard-fought possessions, with half-court traps done well by both teams, and ensuing scrambles for loose balls.

Eagle hustle plays and key buckets, combined with the Quakers’ 3-for-9 foul shooting in the last two minutes, kept the win within reach. The fourth quarter was one of twists and quirks. Early on, Ziegner dove for a loose ball, rolled over with it to make a pass and was called for a travel. Later, a key Hood River free throw by Kam Walker was waved off because of a teammate’s lane violation.

At 39-34, Ziegner tied up a Smoyer rebound, and while the possession went to Franklin, it was a hustle play that would help put the ball back in Hood River hands with two minutes left and Hood River down by three. Kennedy then had a key hustle play to gain posession as he leaped in and tied up a Franklin player to win the possession. Kennedy scored on creative use of a Ziegner screen and a jump stop to get around Smoyer, putting it at 41-38.

It was 45-41 when Franklin’s Trey Penney was left all alone under the hoop. That defensive miscue and a couple of ill-timed turnovers in the last 90 seconds helped spell defeat for HRVHS.

Dating back to the 2012-13 season, this loss means a winless 2013 for the Eagles.

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