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No. 1 HV lives up to ranking

On Monday, the Hidden Valley boys basketball team climbed — to the top of the Class 3A state poll.

On Tuesday, the Mustangs completed an unbeaten Skyline — Conference season with a 60-37 victory over Phoenix.

Jordan Hayter scored 13 points and Nick Hayter and Josh — Gotfried tallied 12 each for the Mustangs, who finished Skyline play with — a 12-0 record and pushed their overall mark to a tidy 23-1.

Phoenix (13-11, 7-5 Skyline), meanwhile, finished tied — with Henley for third place. Representatives of the two schools were scheduled — to flip a coin at 7 a.m. today, with the winner getting the No. — seed — and a home playoff game Saturday. The loser of the flip was to receive — the No. 4 seed and a home date against Mazama, the No. 5 seed, on Thursday.

"We've been stressing tough defense all season, but especially — these past few games because we know how important it will be in the playoffs," — Jordan Hayter said. "One of our goals is to be the best defensive team — in the state."

The Mustangs, who played man-to-man defense throughout — Tuesday's contest, held Phoenix scoreless until the 2:37 mark of the first — period.

then, they had a 10-0 lead.

Marty Joseph finally got Phoenix on the board when he — sank a free throw, but the Pirates didn't collect their first field goal — until Justin Krafft rebounded in his own miss with 48 seconds remaining — in the period.

The Pirates compounded their shooting woes by committing — eight first-period turnovers.

The upshot was a 15-3 Hidden Valley lead.

"Whenever one of our guys got beat, someone else slid — over and helped out," Jordan Hayter said. "Our rotations were good. They — didn't get a lot of good looks the whole game."

However, Phoenix played some credible defense of its own, — holding Hidden Valley to just eight points in the second quarter, and — trailed 23-13 at halftime.

The Pirates crept to within 28-20 on Joseph's three-point — play with 4:29 left in the period and - helped along by a boisterous crowd — - finally seemed to have generated some momentum.

But it quickly turned sour when Nick Hayter and Gotfried — drilled back-to-back 3s for Hidden Valley. On the Mustangs' next possession, — an errant pass somehow found its way to 6-foot-6 Mustang post Cody Crowe — near the basket. He laid the ball in and suddenly, Hidden Valley had padded — its lead to 36-22.

"Those two 3-pointers really hurt," Phoenix coach Kevin — Dixon said. "We were in a zone (defense) and we didn't come out and guard — their shooters.

"But Hidden Valley's a good team. Athletically, they're — just better than us."

The Mustangs closed the third quarter on a 15-2 run to — take a 43-22 lead and led by as many as 26 points in the fourth.

Junior forward Marty Joseph was the lone Pirate in double — figures with 10 points.

Hidden Valley coach Norm Hayter said he was flattered — to have his team ranked No. — for the first time in school history - the — Mustangs are actually tied for No. — with Central of Independence - but — admitted it won't mean much if they take an early exit from the state — playoffs.

Hidden Valley hosts a subtournament game on March 4, with — the winner advancing to the 3A state tournament in Corvallis.

HIDDEN VALLEY (60) - J. Hayter 13, N. Hayter 12, Gotfried — 12, Crowe 9, Sager 9, Dillon 4, Draper 1, Kasler 0, Kirchner 0, Jiron — 0, Matthews 0, Demith 0. Totals: 19 17-25 60.

PHOENIX (37) - Joseph 10, Shepherd 6, Krafft 5, Ritchie — 4, Sinner 4, McKinnis 3, Ono 2, Decuir 2, MacIntyre 1, Bursk 0, Smith — 0, Sanders 0, Barrett 0. Totals: 12 11-17 37.

Hidden Valley 15 8 20 17 - 60

Phoenix — 10 9 15 - 37

3-point goals - Hidden Valley 5 (J. Hayter 2, Gotfried — 2, N. Hayter 1), Phoenix 2 (McKinnis 1, Shepherd 1). Fouled out - Shepherd.

JV score - Hidden Valley 59, Phoenix 43.