As of Saturday, December 27, 2014
Members of The Dalles boys’ basketball team were waiting for that spark to provide the light to snap a seven-game losing streak.
They got it in a big way Saturday, as Colin Noonan scored 15 points and Devin Wilson added 11 in the Riverhawks’ 55-52 win over South Albany Saturday, Dec. 20 in the finale of the Hood River Valley Tournament at Vannet Court in Hood River.
“It was a great team win,” said Riverhawk head coach Bob Townsend. “The kids played hard, and we finally put a full four quarters of basketball together.”
After one quarter of basketball play, the Riverhawks inched ahead of the Rebels by a 10-9 margin.
Both teams rattled off 14 points each in the second quarter, so The Dalles still held its slim one-point lead at 24-23 at the break.
Townsend and his coaching staff worked a game plan for the second half and things ran smoothly in the third quarter with The Dalles working a 14-8 output to lead 38-31 with one quarter still left to play.
South Albany (2-5 overall) tried to make a late comeback bid and outscored TD 21-17 in the final period, but wound up three points short of a tie.
With a front line of six players standing 6-foot-2 inches or taller, the Rebels were led by Dominick Crittenden, who scored 18 points.
Cruz Vasquez and Jaden Guilford added 11 points each for a South Albany team that hit on 13 of 20 free throws.
Townsend was happy with the defensive effort against a Rebel team that had scored a season-high 68 points Friday night in a 17-point win over Hood River Valley.
“Our defense was very solid the entire game,” Townsend said. “We limited their direct drives to the basket and rotated well.”
Coby Conlee had nine points, Eric Flores was good for seven and the post duo of Colton Walker and Tanner Byers chipped in with six points.
One key factor in this first win was the clutch performances put forth by the Riverhawks from the free throw line.
In the fourth quarter when South Albany was staging its comeback, The Dalles sank 13 of 15 free throws to seal the win. Overall, the team hit on 20 of 27 from the line.
“I was very proud of the team playing short-handed without Angel Esiquio,” Townsend said. “We executed very well down the stretch, out of timeouts, and had clutch free throw shooting.”
On the first day of tournament play, the Riverhawks lost 49-33 to Madison.
The Dalles (1-7) next heads out to the three-day Wilsonville Holiday Inn Invitational Basketball Tournament starting on Monday, Dec. 29 with the first game scheduled for 8 p.m. against the No. 7-ranked Wilsonville Wildcats (4-1).