By Jeremy McDonald
GERVAIS, Ore.– Head Coach Kyle Buse said that they had their Senior Night emotion before the game so that they could focus on the task at hand of beating Colton Tuesday night, but hey it’s Senior Night, it was bound to happen right?
Slowly, but surely it did.
After the guys won 66-56 to start off Senior Night, it took until the second half when the Lady Cats of Gervais answered the offensive bell and turned a 15-8 halftime lead into a 44-25 lead with 1:04 left in the game.
Now, 1:04 is an important time in this because prior to that moment, maybe a few minutes leading up to that, all five of Buse’s Seniors were on the court:
Natali Herinckx, Nancy Gullien, Alyssa Ventura, Karina Ramos and Daisy Correa were all on the court at the same time.
“It was overwheleming because it was going to be our last chance to get things right and we made things right on the court, we left it all out there, I was so teared up. I was speechless, I was like, ‘this is it. We’re done. We did our time’ Now it’s time for our freshman to take our place,” said Ventura on the moment.
Emotions were there obviously, Buse called timeout and said, ‘you’re all seniors, play like it’ to try to get them to settled back in.
“A lot actually because he’s been a great mentor and leader to us, he taught us the game of basketball very well so we’re going to miss him,” said Ramos on Buse talking to them on the bench. “All his screaming and telling us what to do on court, ‘do this and that’, so we’re all going to miss that.”
Now, back to 1:04. Time on the clock, Gervais up 44-25.
By the Stats table, kneeling down were the five freshman. The ref called them in and to a giant roar of applause, the Seniors walked off the court. Emotions were high, but they knew the time was right.
“Very emotional I wanted to cry,” laughed Ramos on the moment.
“Knowing that we trained them and we grew up with them and we were basically their role models at one point, and we still are,” said Ventura on passing the torch. “They look up to us and it was just overwhelming because they were going to take our place on the court and that’s going to be our next level right there.”
Even Buse, the level-minded Mad Man, even got choked up a little bit.
“That is probably where the emotion came to life,” said Buse. “Chokes me up a little bit because they knew…that I told them, if we’re up by 20 do you want to come off? Do you want to finish the game? And they put it in my hands like, ‘you can decide when we’re up’.
“So it was a good opportunity, I said I wanted to recognize you guys in a situation. I wanted it to be by 20 points, get the game in hand and really that was first time in three-years. I’ve said it to every senior, ‘do you want to come off? I want to be able to recognize you’ and we had the opportunity tonight and they did, they got recognized.”
The final score was 44-28 Gervais and as they shook the Lady Vikings hands they went back to the bench when they gave Buse a group hug before going into the locker room for their post-game meeting.
With one game left before league, the Lady Cats sit 14-8 and 6-5 in PacWest Play as they finish the season at Blanchet Catholic Thursday with a chance to finish league with a winning record in hand for the League Playoffs.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald