As of Tuesday, January 5, 2016
The Hood River Valley High Eagles girls basketball team continued its early season struggles in a 39-22 nonleague loss to the Kelso, Wash., Hilanders Saturday in Hood River. The Eagles, guided by Coach Scott Walker, played most of the game without their best player, senior Marlie Bloomster.
Bloomster, HRV’s leading scorer who averages 14 points a game, played just the first four minutes and was unable to continue competing because of suffering from flu-like symptons.
“Marlie was too sick to continue playing,” said Walker. “We really missed her scoring ability inside and her rebounding as well. A highlight of the game was that we shot 9-for-11 (81 percent) from the free throw line, which was the best we’ve ever shot as a team from the line.”
Freshman wing Emily Curtis led the Eagles in scoring with seven points. The Eagles (1-8) were hoping to snap a five-game losing streak Tuesday with a road game in Salem versus the McKay Scots (results unavailable at press time). Bloomster was expected to return to the lineup versus McKay (2-7). HRV’s next contest is Jan. 9 versus the Jefferson Democrats at 7 p.m. at Madison High School in Portland. HRV’s next home game is Jan. 12 versus Heritage of Vancouver, Wash.
HRV boys show improvement in close loss
The Hood River Valley High Eagle boys basketball team made a valiant effort in nearly overcoming a double-digit deficit, but just fell a little short in a 54-52 road loss to the Woodburn Bulldogs (4-4) Saturday. It marked the sixth of eight consecutive road games for the Eagles.
The road-weary Eagles (1-10), guided by Coach Steve Noteboom, now have time to practice, recuperate from some injuries, and get some much-needed rest. The Eagles don’t play their next game until Jan. 12 against the Tualatin Timberwolves, which will be their seventh straight on the road. HRV’s next home game is Jan. 22 against Pendleton, which will open league play for HRV.
“It was a good game and we played much better, but we still came up short,” said Noteboom. “In the previous three games, we had too many turnovers with over 20 in each game. We had just 14 on Saturday and our goal is to limit turnovers to 15 or less, so that was good. We also had 11 steals, so these two things were good signs that indicate we’re getting better. We certainly need more practice time and we need to get everybody healthy.”
The Eagles trailed just 19-17 after the first quarter, but then were outscored 16-7 in the second as Woodburn built a 35-24 halftime advantage. The Eagles fought back, trimming the margin to 45-39 after three. The Eagles continued their strong comeback effort in the fourth, as they outscored the Bulldogs 13-9 to narrow the final margin to just two points.
HRV shot 19-for-40 (47 percent) from the field, but they shot just 2-for-10 (20 percent) from the three-point line, which was a key factor that hurt the Eagles in the close loss. The Eagles did a good job in free-throw shooting as they were 8-for-11 (72 percent) at the line.
The Eagles were led in scoring by DallasBuckley (14 points), Tyrone Stintzi (12), Skyler Hunter (11), Noah Noteboom (nine) and Zak Ellsworth (six). Buckley and Stintzi led in rebounding with eight boards each.
Injuries to seniors Buckley (concussion) and Parker Kennedy (ankle injury) have hurt the Eagles, who have had everyone healthy with their team at full strength for just one game this year. Kennedy, who didn’t play Saturday against Woodburn, leads HRV in scoring and rebounding. Kennedy is expected to return to the lineup Jan. 12 against Tualatin. A limited amount of practice has also hurt the Eagles, who have had just two practices since Dec. 11.
“It’s been difficult with injuries to two of our best players,” said Noteboom. “These road games have also made it tough because we just haven’t had the time to practice and make adjustments. We’ve had academic issues and injuries that have limited the amount of practice for some kids. That makes it difficult to try to help the team improve when you have situations like these. With more practice time and having everybody healthy, it’s going to make a big difference for our team. I’m still excited about what the team is capable of doing and I think that we’ll be able to turn things around soon.”