HOCKINSON — It took a while before the Blue Crew made a sound.
Once Hockinson got going, though, the Blue Crew never shut up, never sat down.
After all, the Hawks gave their loud and proud student section plenty to scream about Friday night, ruling the second half to beat R.A. Long 68-54 in a crucial Class 2A Greater St. Helens League boys basketball game.
“The nice thing about a small community is everyone is here for each other,” said senior Alan Haagen, who led the Hawks with 25 points.
“We definitely have one of the best fan bases in Clark County,” added senior Taylor Ellensohn, who was key in a fourth-quarter push that turned a close game into a blowout. “They don’t just come to home games. They go on the road with us, too. It really helps. They motivate you.”
Haagen made five 3-pointers, Nate Gunderson had a double-double with 10 points and 14 rebounds, and the Hawks used a 14-0 run in the second half to take control.
Hockinson improved to 4-2 in league play, while R.A. Long dropped to 3-3. Mark Morris is in first place at 5-1. The top two seeds in the league earn home games in the district tournament.
Hockinson scored the final seven points of the third quarter to take a 48-44 lead. The Hawks then scored the first seven of the fourth quarter. Jack Klodt, who had 13 points, had four points sandwiching a Haagen 3-pointer to make it 55-44.
Ellensohn was instrumental with two steals and an offensive rebound in the opening minute of the quarter. On the first steal, he intercepted a pass then saved the ball from going out of bounds. On the other end of the floor, the Hawks missed a shot, but Ellensohn tipped the rebound out of traffic and to a teammate, leading to Haagen’s 3-pointer.
The crowd — the Crew — went wild again.
“You can definitely feel it,” Ellensohn said of going on such a run, hearing the home crowd.
“We didn’t want to get into that, though,” Haagen cautioned. “We had a run like that against them in the first game (an R.A. Long victory), so what was mostly on our minds was to keep building on that. Let’s not be happy with this.”
In fact, the Hawks outscored the Lumberjacks 22-4 in a 7-minute, 28-second stretch.
“It was lock-down D,” said Haagen, adding that all of the Hawks were disappointed with their defense in the first half.
“We wanted to make sure we got focused,” he added.
The Hawks held the Lumberjacks to 18 second-half points.
“We have a lot of intensity,” Ellensohn said. “We have a trust factor that we’re going to make the plays for each other.”
The Hawks will need some help to get a league title, but this victory goes far in that quest for a home playoff game.
“We hadn’t really talked about a league title,” Hockinson coach Trevor Person said. “Our goals are (associated with) late February. We’re just trying to take steps to there.”
A home game, with the entire community behind them, could not hurt their chances. Friday, the Blue Crew went into silent mode until the Hawks scored 10 points. R.A. Long started strong, and it wasn’t until the final minute of the first quarter that Haagen scored back-to-back baskets to get the Hawks to 11 points.
It got real loud, and then in the second half, the Hawks gave their fans more reason to scream.
HOCKINSON 68, R.A. LONG 54
R.A. LONG — Owen Bertram 7, Payton Miller 9, Lamar Swagerty 5, Bryce Eisele 6, Brady Hulings 13, Hunter Jones 7, Matt Fugelberg 0, Morgan Baker 7. Totals 18-35 (2-11) 16-28 54.
HOCKINSON — Nate Gunderson 10, Jack Klodt 13, Alan Haagen 25, Taylor Ellensohn 6, Jess Krahn 2, Austin Steimle 2, Taylor Rennaker 7, Casey Turner 0, Littleton Davidson 2, Brian Prigmore 1, Jared Broer 0. Totals 25-52 (8-18) 10-14 68.
R.A. Long 16 20 8 10–54
Hockinson 11 20 17 20–68
JV — Hockinson won.