At this point in the season, The Dalles head coach Brian Stevens isn’t hanging his hat on moral victories.
He wants his players to take tough losses as learning tools that can help them achieve greatness later in the year.
Playing in their first home game since Jan. 14, the Riverhawks went to battle against No. 11 Ridgeview and trailed 25-24 at the half, until a 14-6 third-quarter run enabled the Ravens to secure a 49-40 win Friday at Kurtz Gym.
“Last year, we had a lot of fun, moral victories, but this year, the lesson from this game isn’t going to be the moral victory, it is going to be about learning how to be patient and execute down the stretch,” Stevens said. “They got to see a team do that and what it looks like when you are seasoned and play a lot of basketball, compared to our team that isn’t seasoned and doesn’t play a lot of basketball.”
In the final 5:42 of the third period, the Ravens held a 29-28 lead and then went on a 10-2 run to extend their lead to 39-30 entering the final quarter.
Kilee Hoylman, who hurt her left hand early in the game, inched the Hawks closer at 43-32 with 2:52 left after a pair of free throws, and then Faye Davis and Paige Pentzer combined for 2 of 4 free throws at the 1:49 mark, which swelled the lead to 45-32.
Rainie Codding added a layup, Hoylman had a rebound and a putback and Lauryn Belanger swished two shots from the line, inching the Hawks closer at 45-38 with 1:24 left.
Over the final minute of regulation, TD missed its last five shots, went 2 of 5 from the line and had three turnovers come back to haunt them.
“We gave ourselves an opportunity to win, but couldn’t get the big baskets when we needed them,” Stevens said. “We missed four point-blank shots in the fourth quarter in the last four minutes and then you add the late free throws and you can’t do that against quality teams.”
Pentzer scored 15 points, Alaina Clark ended up with 12 and Marley Sargent tacked on 10 points for the Ravens (12-6 overall, 4-0 league), who hit 20 field goals, six 3-pointers, and converted 12 of 20 free throws.
The Dalles (9-9, 3-1) tied for second place with No. 17 Pendleton (11-5, 3-1), sank 12 field goals, two 3-pointers, and hit 14 of 19 from the line, 6 of 11 in the final period.
Codding had 18 points, four rebounds and an assist and Hoylman chipped in seven points, six rebounds, four assists and five steals.
Belanger totaled seven points, four boards, an assist and a block; Jenna Miller grooved in five points, 10 rebounds, a steal and two assists; Gus Decker tallied three points, two rebounds, an assist and a steal and Pearl Guzman logged two rebounds, a steal and a blocked shot.
“Our girls came in and battled hard in the first half to a one-point game at the half,” Stevens continued. “Second half, Ridgeview settled down and simply out-executed us. People are going to miss some shots, we are going to miss and make some free throws, but Ridgeview was very patient on offense and that was the biggest difference.”
The Dalles was at Hood River Valley (1-15, 0-4) Friday, and after that, hosts Redmond (2-13, 1-3) at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, and hosts Crook County (3-12, 1-3) at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 13.
Ridgeview’s 31-15 second-half run drops TD
On the court against three-win Ridgeview, The Dalles boys basketball team fell behind 29-26 at halftime and managed just seven field goals in the second half of a 60-41 loss at Ridgeview Friday night in Redmond.
Jacob Hernandez, who posted 16 points, tallied four of the team’s baskets, Dalles Seufalemua notched two, Shane Floyd hit a basket and Mason Caldwell drilled 1 of 2 free throws to account for all the Hawks’ second-half offense.
All told, TD connected on 18 of 40 field goals, 2 of 17 from long distance, and tallied 3 of 6 free throws.
Along with his 16 points, Hernandez added five rebounds and three steals, Styles DeLeon contributed seven points, a rebound, three assists, a steal and a block, and Jaxon Pullen reeled off five points, three assists and a block.
Seufalemua scored four points, Spencer Taylor pitched in four points and five rebounds and Aidan Telles tacked on two points, four boards, two assists and a steal.
Ridgeview (4-13 overall, 1-3 league) totaled 21 field goals, two 3-pointers, and dropped 16 of 22 from the line, as Nolan Conroyd paced the offense with 33 points.
Up next, The Dalles (7-12, 1-3), which has lost three in a row after a three-game winning streak, host Hood River Valley (8-8, 1-3) Friday, then head to Redmond (10-8, 3-1) for a league matchup slated for 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 11, and make a trip to Prineville to play against No. 11 Crook County (11-5, 3-1) at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 13.