Horizon holds Dayton to just 27 percent shooting

COOS BAY — Horizon Christian’s boys basketball just knew that Dayton would get in its way at some point at state.

And the Hawks — still stinging from last year’s 58-35 loss in the Class 3A state title game — were ready.

Top-ranked Horizon Christian — which lost just once in the 2013 West Valley League race to, yep, Dayton — ran into the Pirates for the fourth time this year in Friday’s Class 3A state semifinals at Marshfield High School, but this time there was no doubt about the MILES VANCE - UP IN ARMS -- Horizon Christian junior Parker Belan (24) goes up to the basket between Dayton's Nathan Bernards (left) and Corwin Hiatt during Friday's Class 3A state tourament semifinal game.

The Hawks used a lockdown team defensive effort to shackle the Pirates on Friday, holding Dayton to 27 percent shooting from the field and riding that effort to a dominating 53-30 win that sent them into the state championship game for the sixth straight year.

“We would have liked to have seen them in the finals to avenge our last season’s loss, but regardless of where we’d see them, we wanted them,” said Horizon Christian senior Michael Loomis, who led all scorers with 20 points and also grabbed nine rebounds. “I’m not going to lie about that.”

“It’s always a battle between us two and we’re always up for the challenge,” added Horizon Christian senior Calvin Anderson, who finished with 18 points and four rebounds. “It’s a cutthroat game and we’re always just going right at each other. When we see each other on the schedule, it’s ‘go’ time.”

Dayton, led by Corwin Hiatt’s 10 points and eight from Forrest Garcia, hung close with Horizon early, trailing just 11-9 when Hiatt took a Nathan Bernards pass and scored inside to close within 11-9 with 1 minute, 52 seconds to go in the opening quarter.

Loomis answered with a jumpshot from the corner that gave the Hawks a 13-10 edge at the end of the first period, then led an 11-1 run at the start of the second that extended his team’s lead to 24-11. Loomis got that stretch started with a turnaround jumpshot from the baseline and a pair of free throws, followed by a pull-up three-pointer by Anderson, a pair of Parker Belan foul shots, and then a Trent Pihas fast break basket assisted by Anderson for that 24-11 edge with 3:36 left in the half.

The Pirates responded with a 6-0 run of their own that featured two Hiatt baskets and cut the Horizon Christian lead to 24-17 with 2:27 remaining in the half, but Loomis hit a late “three” and another two foul shots to push the Hawks’ lead back to 29-19 at the half.

Dayton never got any closer the rest of the way, either. The Hawks put together a 13-4 edge in the third quarter, boosted their lead to 42-23 and just kept rolling the rest of the way. In that third period, Horizon held the Pirates to 1-of-10 shooting from the floor and forced four turnovers.

It was that kind of defense that carried the day for the Hawks.

“We just got some lockdown defenders,” Anderson said. “Connor Marleau came in — he hasn’t been starting all year — and he locked up (Dayton’s Justin) Sutton, and Parker Belan did a great job. I’d argue he’s the best defender in the state. He’s a go-to guy.”

“Defensively, we came out and locked them up,” Loomis added. “Our defensive rotations, our talking — it was fun to watch.”

Contract Publishing

Go to top
Template by JoomlaShine