BOYS BASKETBALL: Lions face Reynolds, HRV, The Dalles; Indians go to Cascade

PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP PHOTO: LON AUSTIN - St. Helens senior Chris Beatty gets into the Redmond defense and goes up for a shot.If the St. Helens Lions can come up with some home-court advantage

this week, they'll happily take it.

The Lions' next three games — and their final games before the start of the Northwest Oregon Conference season — will come over an eight-day span.

St. Helens will play Reynolds at 7:15 p.m. on Friday, Hood River Valley at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 2, and The Dalles at 7:15 p.m. Friday, Jan. 4.

"It'll be nice to be home. We need that," says coach Zach Waldher, whose team last played Dec. 19, dropping a 52-48 decision at Redmond.

Waldher, in his first season, is trying to get the Lions on the same page and get some breaks with the officials in time for the NWOC campaign.

"We came out pretty strong against Redmond," he says, "but I wasn't very excited about the officiating. Personal fouls wound up at like 36-11, and they had 15-plus more free throws than we did."

As a result, the Lions' early 20-point lead and eight-point halftime margin went poof.

"We should have won that game, but you can't change the calls, so we've got to keep plugging again and keep working," Waldher says. "And maybe we could have done some different things as coaches. That's something we'll look at.

"But every week, it starts with the fundamentals for us, because we're such a young team."

Junior Gavin Knoke leads the Lions with 16 points per game this season. Senior Chris Beatty is next with 11 points per game. Senior Hunter Wetherbee and junior Canon Beisley are both at about 6 points per game.

St. Helens will take a 1-5 record into the Reynolds game. Reynolds is 1-9. Both teams got their win over Glencoe; the Lions beat the Crimson Tide 54-43 on Dec. 11, while the Class 6A Raiders opened their season with a 61-49 victory at home over Glencoe.

Hood River Valley, a member of the 5A Intermountain Conference, is 4-5, with road victories over La Grande (61-56) and Madras (83-73) and wins at home versus Reynolds (67-60) and Centennial (75-68).

The Dalles, which also is in the Intermountain, is 2-6. The Eagles won their opener 63-49 at home against Lebanon and snapped a six-game losing streak with a 52-50 home win over Crescent Valley on Dec. 21.

• The Scappoose Indians boys basketball team will finish its nonleague slate with a pair of road trips.

On Friday, Scappoose is set to play at Cascade at 7 p.m.

A trip to Molalla is in the offing, with that game scheduled for 8 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 4.

Then comes the Northwest Oregon Conference for the Indians, who have moved up to Class 5A this school year after a long run in 4A.

Scappoose's first NWOC game will be against Hillsboro on Jan. 8 at Scappoose.

The Indians went 1-3 last week in the Abby's Holiday Classic hosted by North Marion. Scappoose defeated Scio 54-41 in its first game at the tournament. North Marion then beat the Indians 68-39. Scappoose finished the three-day run with a 64-27 loss to Valley Catholic, a team that had downed the Indians 80-35 in the season opener at Valley Catholic on Nov. 28.

The tournament results left Scappoose with a 2-5 record.

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