By Jeremy McDonald
ST. PAUL, Ore.– There was a lot of adversity that challenged Gervais Tuesday Evening at St. Paul.
Overcoming fouls and the challenges that the Buckaroos threw their way at every corner and every play of the game.
But they battled, hard.
Down double-figures entering the fourth quarter, the Cougars did not quit, they did not roll over and call it a day; they cut into it and taking a 57-56 lead with 1:50 left in the game.
“We preach at practice, no matter what the score is, until that final horn sounds, you play and you play hard,” said Cougars Head Coach Ben Schultz. “You never know what’s going to happen and they did that. We had to rely on some other guys and they did well, it speaks volumes of fourth game coming in, with a new coach, them playing as hard as they did. It speaks volumes for what they can do.”
St. Paul ties it on a free throw a moment later as Derrick Jarmillo gives his Gervais squad a 2 point lead before the Bucks ties it as both sides cheer their teams on.
Tied at 63, Gervais drives down and barely miss a lay-up, and while everyone was wanting the clock to roll for the third time in the contest, their was a scramble for the ball was award a foul to St. Paul as they went 2 for 2 with four seconds to go 65-63.
Looking to tie it, Elvis Vallejo drives to the hoop, lays the ball up with the time expiring only to see it barely go off it’s mark.
As the Buckaroos celebrate a victory that felt was there’s, the faces of the Cougars said it all as they fight back tears:
‘We’re fired up. We want this. We won’t take this anymore.’
“It hurts a lot but we got to forget about it because as a team we played good tonight,” said Jaramillo. “We did put up Sixty-Something points, we played really well and that’s what we have to look at.
“Just being a little pissed off because of this loss we will be able to carry it ourselves.”
Jarmillo scored nine points in the contest as Vallejo led the Cougars with 24 points.
The Lady Cougars defense as strong in their 30-21 loss to St. Paul to start the Varsity Doubleheader as their defense gave a offense that’s slowly coming along a chance to mature four games into the season.
“That’s where we’re at right now, our offense is a little sputtering,” said Head Coach Kyle Buse. “We’re trying to figure out things, where we’re going. This was a big game for us, mentally. The girls put a lot of pressure on them, I was putting a lot of pressure on them. Our offense isn’t there yet, I was happy with our defense and once our offense comes,, we’ll be making some strong strides forward.”
There was glimpses of strong play by both sides of the ball as Gervais turned a 12 point deficit to a two-possession game midway through the fourth quarter before both sides traded shots for the last part of the game.
What sticks out best for the offense according to Buse was that last made shot, a double screen play that had Andrea Villegas score a three-pointer off of; this was because of what Buse expects from his players at the end of practice every day.
“I’ll go back to that last shot,” said Buse. “We end practice every day with, ‘You have to make a shot before you leave’, you know walk out of the gym on a good note. We did that today, we walked out with that great shot, great execution. Espically with a offense that’s struggling right now.
“Of course, we didn’t walk out with the win, but we walked out with a little bit of motivation. We have a home game Friday, we don’t have many home games this month, being able to come into this good mental game and then go back into a home game Friday I think excites us a little bit.”
Both Gervais teams will be at home Friday when they host Sheridan. Girls tip off at 6, Boys to follow afterwards.
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Photos from the Boys and Girls Games (Pictures By Jeremy McDonald)