By Jeremy McDonald
MOLALLA, Ore.– Following their three-point loss to Jordan Valley to start the day at Country Christian, the Gervais Girls Basketball team could’ve packed it up for the day and possibly prepare for a 8am, 9am game back in Molalla Friday.
They had a lead in that game that slipped away, and to boot, their Head Coach in Kyle Buse having to leave after the first game to attend to something elsewhere that pushed Gervais Graduate Jessie Rush into the lead role for the first-time.
“At first I was pretty nervous but the girls are easy, they know what they are doing so it was easy coaching them,” “It was nerve-racking for me coaching-ever being thrown into a varsity game, but it was easy. The kids did great, they knew what they were doing and they did awesome.”
But, like Buse, she and the Lady Cats squad around her as they defeated Columbia Christian 37-11 with Gold Beach to go.
They didn’t want the day to end with a ‘L’ after falling behind 5-0 early to the Panthers, eventually taking a 16-15 lead off a Daisy Correa lay-up she was pushed on and a Free Throw to break a 15-all tie with Gervais battling back-and-forth.
“I think it’s really cool how we finished, especially with less than ten seconds getting those last two shots,” said Correa. “I feel like towards the end, we didn’t want to go home without a loss and so we came back and obviously we stepped up our game. We knew we were tired, but we kept playing hard and honestly that was a really great finish.”
The Cougars wouldn’t be denied of their victory as Correa turned a three-point lead to five, and a Alyssa Ventura trey a moments later put it to eight with Gervais pulling away for the double-digit win to go 2-1 on the first-day of the Tournament and with a ‘substitute’ Head Coach.
Rush points to the trust she built with this team previously before stepping in to help this summer.
“I think they respond to me good because I played with them in these past summers so they know that I know what I’m talking about and they listen really well,” said Rush. “They put everything that I tell them to do in everything they are doing.”
Jokes float around about giving the real Head Coach in Kyle Buse a hard time about Coach Rush, but one thing is for certain:
The girls won’t say who’s the better coach out of the two with Buse coming back for Friday’s triple-header.
“I know you want me to say it that she’s better than Buse, but I won’t say she’s better than Buse,” laughed Correa.
Game-time for the Gervais Girls will be at noon, 4pm and 9pm at Country Christian in Molalla.
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Photos By Jeremy McDonald