HOOD RIVER – The Dalles boys’ basketball team trailed by eight points at the half, and battled back to take a one-point lead midway through the third quarter, but Hood River Valley finished the final 12 minutes and 30 seconds with a 32-28 output to hold on for a 66-63 victory Tuesday at Vannet Court in Hood River.
With 34 seconds left, TD’s Dakota Murr hit a layup to inch the Hawks to within a 64-58 deficit.
TD guard Eric Flores then grabbed a steal on the ensuing inbounds pass, drove to the basket for a layup and a foul, making it a 64-60 score with 23 seconds on the clock.
Dakota Kurahara then sank two free throws with 14 seconds left, increasing the Eagle lead to 66-60.
Murr swished another 3-pointer at the four-second mark, but Hood River Valley inbounded the ball and time expired.
“In the second half, we did a much better job of executing the offense, getting the ball into the high post and going from there,” said TD head coach Nathan Morris.
The Dalles managed six first-half field goals and had several miscues that helped Hood River Valley jump out to a 27-19 halftime advantage.
“In the first half, we turned the ball over close to 20 times. When you turn the ball over that many times, it makes it tough to win a basketball game,” Morris said. “We made some mental mistakes when they were trapping us in their 1-2-2 and really didn’t maintain our composure.
In the first three minutes and 30 seconds of the third quarter, the Riverhawks rallied for a 33-32 deficit after a jumper and a foul shot, which capped a 13-6 run.
With the score 34-32, Murr gave TD its first lead of the game, 35-34, with a 3-pointer.
Hood River Valley finished the third period on a 12-3 rally, increasing its lead to 46-38, as Carson Orr drilled a 3-point shot, and consecutive threes by Trenton Hough.
The Eagle cushion swelled to 50-40 in the opening minute of the final quarter, and led 57-44 with 5:40 remaining, after a layup by Jonah Tactay.
Murr hit a 3-pointer, then added two free throws, and Flores dropped a 3-pointer, making it a 59-54 margin and another 3-pointer by Murr made it 59-54 with 2:50 on the clock.
A missed front-end free throw by HRV gave the ball back to the Riverhawks, and Flores made good on a driving layup, inching TD to a 59-56 score.
In the final 2:11, Tactay scored on a jumper, and both Kurahara and Caden Leiblein combined to hit 3 of 4 free throws, but TD missed its final three shots before Murr’s layup with 34 seconds remaining.
Hood River Valley (6-9 overall, 1-2 league) notched 20 field goals, five 3-pointers, and converted 21 of 30 free throws.
Kurahara scored 21 points, Tactay notched 20, Hough had 12, and both J.J. Mears and Orr chipped in five points each.
“I am very happy with the second half. The first half was a little disappointing, but the second half, we played very well,” said senior guard Dawson Hoffman. “Defensively, we gave up a few too many threes and that was the game pretty much.”
Murr spearheaded the Riverhawk offensive charge with 33 points, 32 in the second half, on five two-pointers and six 3-pointers and four free throws.
Flores hit for 15 points, Oscar Fernandez tallied eight, Johnny Miller had four and Josh Nisbet ended up with three points.
TD finished with 23 field goals, nine 3-pointers, and went for 8 for 13 on free throw attempts.
“It is hard to come back when you’re down early and you play only half of basketball,” Morris said.
The Hawk coach did say, however, that he was excited for the way his group played in the second half.
“We made the adjustment we were supposed to make,” Morris said. “At halftime, we put those in and executed, played more relaxed and worked hard on the defensive end. All the things we needed to do as a basketball team, just for 32 minutes.”
The Dalles (2-11, 0-3) heads to Mac-Hi for a non-league game at 5:45 p.m. tonight.
After that, the Hawks make a trip to Hermiston (12-5, 2-1) for a CRC matchup slated for 7 p.m. on Friday.