Hoopa Sweeps South Fork in First League Games of the Season

Hoopa Warrior Milton Stewart got ready to sink a jump shot on Friday, Jan. 4. The Warriors defeated the South Fork Cubs 65-61, putting Hoopa 1-0 for league, and 13-3 for the season. / Photo by Kristan Korns, Two Rivers Tribune

By KRISTAN KORNS, Two Rivers Tribune

All four of Hoopa Valley High School’s basketball teams – both boys and girls JV and Varsity – defeated their rivals from South Fork during the season’s first league games on Friday, Jan. 4, 2013.

JV Girls

The JV Lady Warriors squeaked out a win, with everything coming down to the last four seconds of the game.

The scoreboard read 20-19 in favor of Hoopa with 2:30 left in the game, when Carlie Estrada sank a two-pointer, widening Hoopa’s lead to three points.

But in the last seconds of the game, South Fork scored another two points and a foul was called against the Warriors.

With the score at 22-21, and with only 4.2 seconds left in the game, South Fork stepped up to take two free throws and missed both.

Winnie Carpenter said, “We beat them before, but we got overconfident. I felt like we could do better.”

Jessica Ammon, the Women’s JV Coach, said that the team took two weeks off from practice, and needs more work on fundamentals.

“But it’s a win,” Ammon said. “We’ll take it.”

JV Boys

If one nail-biter wasn’t enough, the JV Warriors looked as if they would follow up with a second.

Hoopa dominated the scoreboard during the first half of the game, and even widened their lead in the beginning of the third quarter to 12 points, 31-19.

Hoopa Valley High School JV basketball player Miles Obie charged past the opposing team during the season’s first league game on Friday, Jan. 4, 2013. Hoopa JV Men defeated South Fork 46-36. / Photo by Kristan Korns, Two Rivers Tribune

But the Cubs began an onslaught that took away the entire lead, and tied the score at 33-33 with 3:21 left.

The Warriors’ defense responded by increasing the intensity and completely shut down the Cubs’ offense, while Hoopa’s offense scored another 13 points.

Only a wild shot from the other end of the court with no time left, gained three points for South Fork, ending the game with a 46-36 victory for Hoopa.

Ben Sanderson said, “We just needed to pick it up on defense and pick up some points, and we did.”

Varsity Girls

Varsity Women’s Basketball Coach said, “They have an advantage because they’re taller, but last game we beat them by two points.”

Before the game, Center Lillian Jarnaghan said, “We feel confident.”

But that confidence didn’t translate into points in the first half.

Hoopa ended the first quarter down by 10 points, 4-14. The Warriors then closed the gap by more than half, but were still down by four at the end of the second quarter, 18-22.

During Half-Time, Junior Jurnie Wilder said, “This is like our worst game. We’re not making any of our shots. We just need to run our offense and we’ll be good.”

Lady Warrior Jurnie Wilder sprinted for the basket in the game against the South Fork Cubs on Friday, Jan. 4, 2013. The Lady Warriors beat the Cubs 49-47 in their first league game of the season. / Photo by Kristan Korns, Two Rivers Tribune

Hoopa ran their offense in the third quarter, but so did South Fork. The Cubs maintained their four point lead, and the third quarter ended 31-35.

Two and a half minutes into the fourth quarter and it was a different story.

Two free throws and two two-pointers from Lillian Jarnaghan tied the game at 37-37 with 5:29 left.

South Fork gained four points, but a two-pointer from Lillian Jarnaghan followed by a three-pointer from Wilder put Hoopa a point ahead.

Both teams fought hard as the clock ticked down, and the score see-sawed back and forth.

The stands shook as the hometown crowd clapped their hands and stamped their feet for the Lady Warriors.

With just nine seconds left in the game, the Lady Warriors trailed the Cubs by one point, 46-47.

Then, Senior Alexis O’Rourke sank a jump shot and the crowd went wild.

A free throw from Lillian Jarnaghan brought the final score to 49-47, closing out the game with another two point victory for Hoopa over South Fork.

Varsity Boys

Varsity Basketball Coach Joe Marshall said, “It’s been a pretty close game the last few years. They’re our biggest challenge in our little four.”

The level of that challenge wasn’t clear at first in Friday’s last game of the night.

The Warriors opened up a four point lead by the end of the first quarter, and widened that into a seven point lead by the end of the second quarter, going into half-time with 28-21 on the scoreboard.

The Cubs started to make their move, sinking several two-pointers in a row, and coming within a point of the Warriors on the board.

With the score at 30-29, Marshall called a time out and put three fresh players on the court.

“Okay, I’ve got my new crew in,” Marshall told the team. “You’ve got to move the ball. Move move move. Break them down.”

Their rivals must have been given the same advice, because both teams intensified the pressure, and neither one showed any signs of slowing down.

Hoopa added five points to the scoreboard, and South Fork added six, tying the game 35-35 with 2:41 left in the third quarter. Then, the Cubs sank five free throws in a row, going into the fourth quarter with a five point lead.

The Warriors spent the fourth quarter clawing that lead back, point by point. Clapping, stomping, and shouts of “Hoopa!” from the hometown crowd filled the air.

With only 22 seconds left in the quarter, and with Hoopa still behind, Tahn Blake snatched the ball from South Fork.

Brandon Colegrove took the pass and sank a two-pointer that tied the game 53-53, with only four seconds to spare.

Overtime

South Fork gained two points, but a free throw by Tule O’Rourke, followed by two-pointer from Milton Stewart and a three-pointer from Charlie Moon put Hoopa comfortably ahead.

The crowd grew louder and louder and their enthusiasm and energy seemed to wash over the hometown team, while the visitors wilted.

The final score was 65-61, putting the Warriors at 1-0 in league play, and 13-3 for the season.

Tule O’Rourke said, “When we were down by five I was worried, but once we went into overtime I knew we had it.”

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