By Jeremy McDonald
DAYTON, Ore.– They called themselves ‘The Underdogs’, others could make the reference to the fame Disney movie in calling them a ‘Cinderella’ story.
From finishing fourth in the PacWest to being within four at one point late in the first quarter to the two-time 3A State Champs in Dayton while making their star player visibly flustered during the process is a journey all within itself.
In the Dayton stands, a sea of blue. Some parents from another team were heard saying with a sense of surprised, ‘Gervais got here early’ with about 12 minutes until tipoff as they had to find new seats as the Blue Machine filled the stands with the sea of Maroon.
“I think it’s really cool because Gervais is known for being a small town and we really don’t have that much fan support,” said Boys Basketball Post Brett Gieselmen. “But when it’s a big game, I like to see all the fans come out.”
Boys Head Coach Ben Schultz, like Gieselman, were at every game as the Gervais crowd packed Colton to start the PacWest League Playoffs. They traveled to Sprague High School and the team fed off of it as they did in Colton as freshman Isabel Vasquez hit the game-winning shot that got them to this point Friday on the road.
“Colton, packed place was good. At Scio, even though we were at Sprague, it was a great game coming down to the last shot and the fans were in it the whole time,” said Schultz. “It reminds me back when we were playing, the Girls made that run at the State Championship, the fans were always packed, we were yelling, we were screaming and we had a band and everything.
“Hopefully this is a good stepping stone for things to come in the future.”
The fans supported the girls as they fought to keep it close by halftime before the Lady Pirates pulled away late in the game to end the run that was improbable, but was a building stone to what is to come in the future.
“It was a huge step for this team and program. I will miss these seniors but excited for the off season and the next steps we will be taking on our journey,” said Girls Head Coach Kyle Buse. “It was huge. We went two steps farther than last season. Next year we will be back just better seating.”
Though they are graduating Andrea Villegas and Fabi Benavides, they are returning the bulk of their roster like Vasquez, Natali Herinckz, Daisy Correa and Karina Ramos to name a few from this year to next year to build upon this success.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald