When looking back at how the winter basketball season transpired, The Dalles boys basketball coach Nathan Morris was proud of his team’s accomplishments.
In a weather-shortened campaign, the Riverhawks almost matched last season’s overall win total and equaled league victories with two in four fewer games and were nearly identical in their offensive and defensive numbers.
After securing the Intermountain Conference’s third seed as a playoff qualifier, The Dalles had senior guard Josh Nisbet named as a first-team honoree and junior swingman Jacob Hernandez earned a spot on the second-team list.
“The Dalles was able to make the playoffs for the first time since the 2009-2010 year, which is a great accomplishment by itself,” Morris said. “We had great senior leadership this year, with Oscar (Fernandez), Jack (Bonham), and Josh being three-year contributors at the varsity level. I am so proud of the young men those individuals have developed into.”
On the year, the Riverhawks started with eight losses in their first 10 games, until a January hot streak got them back on track.
TD went 6-1 in a seven-game stretch until losing to Ridgeview on Feb. 1.
Following that game, the Hawks had 18 days off due to snowy weather conditions, before wrapping up the season 1-3 with the lone win coming on Feb. 21 against Ridgeview.
Nisbet hit double figures during league action in four of six contests for 14.5 points a clip, with his big game coming on Feb. 19 at Hood River Valley, a 66-57 loss, where he rattled off 30 points, 19 coming in the second half.
Nisbet also added 16 points versus Ridgeview, 15 against Crook County and 14 in a January matchup with Redmond.
When it came to counting the votes, Morris said that Nisbet earned all-league based on his overall play.
“During our league conference call, three different opposing coaches commented that they told their younger players to specifically watch how Josh plays the game and to model their effort, attitude, and leadership off of him,” Morris said. “I have never had other coaches give such high praise about a player’s character. We are going to miss him immensely.”
Last season, Hernandez rose to the occasion with 18 points or more in five league contests, finishing with 16 points a game on 40 percent shooting from the 3-point line to score second-team recognition.
In six IMC games this past winter, Hernandez reeled off 17.6 points a game, as he sank double figures in every matchup, including 30 points versus Pendleton on Jan. 25 and a 23-point effort in a 61-54 win over Crook County on Jan. 11.
“Jacob put a lot of pressure on teams by consistently attacking the rim,” Morris said. “His best league games were a crucial win against Crook County and Pendleton.”
Morris can’t wait to get working again next season, because he feels like the talent will be just as impressive.
Hernandez will shoulder much of the offensive load in 2019-2020, Aidan Telles and Dalles Seufalemua are solid contributors, and Shayne Floyd, Conner Cummings, Tristian Bass, Spencer Taylor and Jaxon Pullen could be valuable complements to the varsity squad.
“We had an unprecedented three freshmen on the varsity roster by the end of the season, and I am extremely excited about what those guys and the rest of the freshmen class are going to accomplish if they put in the work,” Morris added. “We are also very excited about our sixth, seventh, and eighth grade classes. The future of Riverhawks basketball is very bright.”