By Jeremy McDonald
COOS BAY, Ore.–In the last few trips to Coos Bay for the Elite 8 haven’t been kind to the boys of Amity having gone 0-7 in their last two Elite 8 appearances as they looked to find a way to get that monkey off their backs Friday against Blanchet Catholic.
Well, that all changed Friday morning/afternoon when it came down to Warrior Free Throws to hold off a hard fighting Blanchet Catholic team nipping at their heels late in the game.
“Well we call it the curse, the three-year curse and we wanted to break that curse of going two-and-out every year,” said Brandon Wilson on the curse and them breaking it. “It feels amazing.”
Let’s back track to last night as this curse-ender came on the time leading up to the game Friday with the seniors of last years team came by and spoke to the team.
The former Amity Warrior athletes talked about how they let the first loss dictate how they played in the second game before losing their second to end the season, something that they were going to have happen again.
“We had the past seniors from last year give us some talks and they said that the biggest regret they did last year when they did lost the first game was letting it carry over to the second game and then we lost the second game,” starts Clint Hatch.
“They were trying to give us motivation to something that Amity hasn’t done in a long time. I don’t think Amity has ever won a game at Coos Bay.”
The Warriors lived up to their fighting name as they built a 49-41 lead with 3:21 to go. But, the Cavaliers as they’ve done all season long, fought back into the game behind sophomore guard RJ Veliz as a minute later, it was 51-50 with 2:13 left in the game.
That’s when it came down to seniors to seal the deal with free throws in Dylan Stearns and Devin McShane to end the curse.
They missed only four of the 12 or so shots, but they were crucial in that every time they made a free throw or the pair, Blanchet made a shot in response.
“Oh man I had nerves going into that,” said Stearns on the free throws with a smile. “My heart was pounding that whole time.”
Following a timeout following a Jaycen Nelson attempt on the stripe, with five seconds left, the Cavs had one shot at winning the game.
Driving down the court following the inbound and a pass, Veliz’ jumper missed it’s mark as the Amity crew erupted in celebration.
They’re not done just yet, they still have one more game left, against a Salem Academy squad that already defeated a West Valley League team in Horizon Christian; so they can enjoy the win right now. But then it’s back to work.
“It’s really good, it’s first time so it’s unbelievable too,” said Hatch. “They’re a good team so we have to focus up on that and we just have to keep focus and not make much errors anymore and just keep going strong.”
Tip off is at 945 Saturday morning at Marshfield HS.
Follow Jeremy McDonald on Twitter at @J_McDonald81 or like jmcdonaldmedia on Facebook!