St. Helens has four players in double figures in both victories
The St. Helens Lions looked like a much different basketball team on Wednesday than the one that lost to Scappoose a week earlier.
Since their loss in the first game, St. Helens picked up a win over The Dalles-Wahtonka, and added wins last week over Hood River Valley and Madison.
'We looked okay, but we still need to fix some things on defense. We are a work in progress,' coach Jerry Allen said. 'Sometimes we don't exercise good shot judgment on offense. We want them to have a great shot every time.'
Like his mentor Mike Doherty (now the coach at Newberg) often says, Allen is pleased with the progress the team is making but not satisfied.
'We've had some conversions and I think we can play better. We can get a little bit better each time out. Different guys are going to step up. When we're all shooting well and making good decisions (on both offense and defense) we can win by 20. It's all a matter of getting on the same page.'
The Lions ran an up-tempo game against HRV, surging out in front of the visitors and leading by as much as 20 in a 70-61 win.
The Lions had four players in double figures in the contest-Nathan Hunter, Jake Ramiskey, Jared Bonney, and Brandon Underwood.
Long was the high scorer in the game with 16 points, 10 of those in the first period, and Ramiskey set much of the pace of the game. He would hit three treys in the first half, two in a row to start the second quarter and led a 14-2 surge by the Lions.
While the squad was up 33-13, a 20-point margin, just over three minutes into the second period, HRV had a 17-6 edge in the last five minutes of the half to bring it back to the same 7-point deficit that existed at the end of the first period.
The Lions made another big run in the third, and didn't let up enough on defense for Hood River to recover this time.
The Lions flat outhustled HRV in the second half and took a 15-point lead into the final period, enough for them to cruise to the win.
St. Helens 61, Madison 48
Friday night, the Lions nabbed a slim lead in the first period, boosted that to an 11-point advantage by halftime, and cruised to a 13-point win.
St. Helens would again have four players in double figures-Ramiskey, Bonney, Underwood, and Tanner Long.
We've had some success (this season), but we've had some guys scoring on us. I know we can score, but if we can play great defense we can limit them to one shot. When we play some really good teams it is going to be glaringly obvious how we have to play defensively,' Allen added.
He said he expected league play to be very tough on the team this season.
'We play in one of the best leagues in the state and they are going to bring it and bring it every night,' he said. 'I know 80 percent of the coaches personally and I know how competitive they are. We'll shake hands before a game, but I know they're going to try and get me and they know I'm going to try and get them. It's a friendly rivalry for the coaches as well as the players.'
St. Helens faced a good Wilson team at home on Dec. 13. This Friday they host Lebanon for their fourth game in a row at home.
St. Helens 61, Madison 48
Madison 12 10 15 11-48
St. Helens 14 19 15 13-61
Madison (48)-Daniel Baker 18, Magic Myles 10, Smith 8, Wright 6, Groves 5, Williams 1, Leblue, Huynh, Enterline.
St. Helens (61)-Jake Ramiskey 15, Jared Bonney 14, Brandon Underwood 10, Tanner Long 10, Hunter 6, Galvin 3, Macedo 2, Loeks 1, Bumgardner.
St. Helens 70, HRV 61
HRV 11 21 11 18-61
St. Helens 18 21 19 12-70
HRV (61)-Justin Schultz 19, Ryan Wheat 14, Schmidt 9, Fults 6, Kopecky 5, Hunter 4, Soto 2, Walker 2, Wagar, McKee.
St. Helens (70)-Nathan Hunter 16, Jake Ramiskey 15, Nathan Hunter 12, Brandon Underwood 12, Jared Bonney 12, Galvin 5, Long 4, West 2, Beisley 2, Macedo 2, Bumgardner.