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Young Hawks team flashes potential

Boys basketball: Horizon is edged by Portland Adventist in a back-and-forth contest
by: DAN BROOD ZACK ATTACK — Horizon Christian junior Zack Selland goes up to the basket between Portland Adventist defenders during Saturday’s non-league game.

TUALATIN - The Horizon Christian High School boys basketball team is looking a bit different these days.

But some things still seem the same.

The young Hawks, despite lacking some consistency and cohesiveness at times, still seem to be putting forth plenty of effort and are flashing plenty of potential.

They showed that Saturday when they were edged 61-57 by Portland Adventist in a back-and-forth non-league game played at Horizon Christian High School.

'It's a lot different than last year,' said Horizon Christian junior wing Calvin Anderson, who is one of just a few returnees from last year's Hawk team that won its second straight Class 3A state championship. 'It's a building year and we have a lot of young players, but I think we have big potential.'

'We have good players and ability,' Horizon Christian junior wing Zack Selland said. 'But we just haven't gelled yet.'

With the win, Portland Adventist improved to 6-1 on the season. Horizon Christian moved to 2-5 on the season with the setback.

The slow start to the season probably isn't unexpected for the Hawks. After all, they graduated six seniors from last year's team and Jordan Tebbutt, the two-time Class 3A Player of the Year, transferred to prestigious Oak Hill Academy in Virginia for his senior season. To make matters tougher, the Hawks' top two returnees from last year, juniors Michael Loomis and Wyatt Houston, are currently out of action due to injuries.

'It's a whole new ball game,' Horizon Christian coach Dave Brown said. 'We're real young and real inexperienced. We haven't been able to practice with the full team yet.'

Still, the Hawks are showing flashes of good play. They certainly did that in Saturday's game with Portland Adventist.

After trailing 9-4 in the early going, Horizon Christian went on an 18-0 run that covered the final 4 minutes and 25 seconds of the first quarter and the first minute of the second quarter.

Anderson got the run started with a layup off an assist from Selland. Sophomore Connor Marleau followed with a three-pointer from the left side off a pass from sophomore Parker Belan, tying the game at 9-9 with 2:53 left in the opening period.

Anderson then went 2-for-2 from the free throw line to give the Hawks their first lead of the game, at 11-9, with 2:13 left in the quarter.

Anderson scored five more points before the period ended, and Belan added a pair of baskets to give Horizon Christian a 20-9 lead at the end of the first quarter. Senior guard Cameron Egger scored on a drive to the hoop to start the second quarter, capping off the 18-0 run.

'We had a lot of intensity on defense and we passed the ball well,' Anderson said of the run.

The Hawks kept the lead for the rest of the first half, getting a three-pointer by Egger with 13 seconds left in the period to claim a 35-23 lead at the intermission.

But the Cougars came out strong to start the second half. They scored eight straight points to start the third quarter and would go on to tie the game, at 39-39, on a 12-foot jumper by senior Blair Tinker, coming with 3:07 left in the period.

Egger connected on another three-pointer and Selland scored three straight points late in the period to help the Hawks take a 45-41 lead into the fourth quarter.

The Horizon Christian lead went up to 51-45 after Anderson sank an 8-foot jump shot with 5:58 left to play in the game. But Portland Adventist answered with an 11-0 run, giving the visitors a 56-51 advantage with 3:56 remaining.

The Hawks tried to rally. Anderson swished a three-pointer from the left corner and he followed that up with a pair of free throws after he came up with a steal to tie the game at 56-56 with 1:21 remaining.

But Portland Adventist was able to regain the lead, and then put the game away, at the free throw line. Cougar senior Chad Torkelsen went 6-fo-6 from the stripe in the final minute of the game to help Portland Adventist wrap up its 62-57 win.

'We're not 100-percent there,' Selland said. 'We just have to keep it going.'

'It was a good effort, but fundamentally, it wasn't good,' Brown said. 'We'll keep working hard.'

Anderson led all scorers in the contest with 23 points. He also had nine rebounds.

'Calvin played a great game,' Selland said.

Egger had 13 points and three steals. Selland had eight points and he pulled down 10 rebounds.

Ryan Halversen led a balanced Portland Adventist scoring attack with 15 points.

Horizon Christian will be back in action Dec. 29 when it starts play at the Salem Academy Tournament.