Vale's Kade Haueter pushes the ball down the court during a game against Riverside Friday night. Haueter finished the night with 25 points. (The Enterprise/Pat Caldwell).
VALE – Kade Haueter said he felt good before the game, felt like this night all the intangibles that had conspired to plague the Vale varsity boys basketball team from victory would vanish.
So, four quarters later, after the Vikings clinched a 56-41 Eastern Oregon League win over Riverside Friday night, Haueter, a senior who plays the forward position, didn’t seem surprised.
“We just played our game. I had a good feeling about it. We executed plays better,” said Haueter.
Haueter poured in a game-high 25 points and freshman Adam Diaz chipped in 11 as Vale used a methodical, precise attack to claim the win.
The win broke a nine-game losing skid by the Vikings, a streak where Vale was in a position to win almost every game only to come up short at the end.
Haueter said the key Friday night was slowing down the game.
“Last game we started running with them. When we played up there we felt we should have come away with the win,” said Haueter.
Vale dropped a 57-46 decision at Riverside Jan. 18.
“Better late than never,” said Vale coach Colby Shira. “We played well.”
During the losing streak, Vale was consistently plagued by small, out-of-the-ordinary miscues that opposing teams took advantage of. That wasn’t the case Friday. Instead the Pirates found themselves trailing most of the game – they were down 30-17 at halftime – against a Viking team that could do little wrong.
“It feels good,” he said of the win.
Saturday night Vale defeated Umatilla 58-56 and are 3-6 in EOL standings. Tuesday night the Vikings dropped a close, non-league contest to Ontario, 65-61.
Reporter Pat Caldwell: email@example.com or 541-473-3377.