The Hawks remain perfect in WVL play with a 66-28 win

TUALATIN — Sure, it’s well known that the Horizon Christian boys basketball team boasts plenty of offensive firepower.

But, guess what, the Hawks can be pretty darn good on defense as well.

Sheridan found that out the hard way.

Horizon Christian, playing a swarming style of defense, forced Sheridan into a 12-for-33 shooting night from the field and 26 turnovers as it ran to a 66-28 win over the Spartans in a West Valley League game played Monday at Horizon Christian High DAN BROOD - UP FOR TWO -- Horizon Christian High School sophomore guard Trent Pihas goes up to the basket for a layup during the win over Sheridan.

“Defense is basically our game,” said Horizon Christian sophomore guard Trent Pihas, who scored 17 points and had four steals in the victory. “We swarm where the ball goes.”

“Coach (Dave Brown) stresses defense in practice,” Horizon Christian junior forward Parker Belan said. “Last year, we didn’t do as well as we wanted on defense. We’re really focusing on defense this year. We want to give 100 percent on both sides of the court.”

Sheridan fell to 3-7 in West Valley League play and to 9-10 on the season with the loss. Horizon Christian, ranked No. 1 in the latest Class 3A coaches poll, upped its league-leading West Valley League mark to 10-0 while also improving to 18-1 on the season.

“The key for us has been our defense, communication and chemistry,” Pihas said of the team’s success this season.

“It all starts on defense,” Belan said. “If we get stops on defense, we know our offense will come.”

Belan seemed to hit the nail squarely on the head in regard to Monday’s game with Sheridan, as the Hawks’ ball-hawking defense led to an offensive outburst.

The Spartans actually took a 2-0 lead on a follow-up basket bay junior post Matt Bushbaum coming 40 seconds into the game.

Pihas answered back with a steal and layup — and the Hawks took flight from there.

Horizon senior Michael Loomis sank a 19-foot jumper off a pass from Pihas, senior Calvin Anderson buried a three-point basket and Loomis added a three-pointer of his own to give the Hawks a 11-2 lead with 3:14 left in the first quarter.

Anderson would sink another three-pointer in the period and he also had a steal, leading to a breakaway one-handed dunk, helping the Hawks claim a 21-6 lead at the end of the quarter.

Horizon senior Zack Selland had a follow-up basket to start the second quarter. That ignited a 12-3 Hawks run. Loomis and Pihas each had a pair of baskets, including a three-pointer, during the scoring spree, which gave the home team a 33-9 advantage with 1:22 left in the DAN BROOD - NO STOPPING HIM -- Three Sheridan players close in on Horizon Christian senior Michael Loomis (44) in Monday's game. Loomis scored 20 points in the Hawks' victory.

Loomis added a pair of free throws with 33 seconds remaining in the quarter to give Horizon a 35-11 halftime lead.

Pihas scored six points in the third quarter, and Belan added four rebounds in the period, which ended with Horizon Christian holding a 47-23 lead.

Junior post Isaiah Hall took over for the Hawks in the fourth quarter.

Hall scored nine points in the period, sinking a three-pointer in the process, to help Horizon Christian wrap up the 66-28 victory.

“We concentrated on defense and we played within ourselves,” Brown said. “I was pleased with our younger guys tonight. Isaiah Hall played real well and Trent played a great game.”

Loomis led the Hawks in the victory with 20 points. He scored 16 of his points in the first half.

Pihas added his 17 points on a 7-for-8 shooting night from the field. Anderson had 10 points, five rebounds and a pair of assists.

Belan had a team-high seven rebounds to go with three assists and a pair of steals.

“We do block-out drills every day,” Belan said. “We want to win the battle of the boards.”

Horizon, as a team, made 26 of 52 shots from the field in the win.

Senior guard Joey Hertel led Sheridan with 15 points.

Prior to Monday’s win, Horizon Christian scored a 66-40 win over Cascade Christian in a non-league game played Saturday at Northwest Christian University in Eugene.

Loomis paced the Hawks with 33 points in that victory. Anderson added 19.

On Friday, Horizon Christian rolled past Amity for a 72-32 home victory in a league contest.

The Hawks were scheduled to host Gervais in a league contest on Wednesday. Results of that game weren’t available when the Times went to press.

Horizon will be back in action Friday when it hosts Dayton in a WVL game starting at 7 p.m. at Horizon Christian High School.

On Monday, the Hawks will take on Westside Christian in a league contest starting at 7:30 p.m. at West Hills Christian School.

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