By Jeremy McDonald
GERVAIS, Ore.— The offense of Gervais Girls Basketball seemed as if it has arrived three games into the season.
The highest point total that the Cougars scored last season was 50 (twice) and already surpassed that total in three games this season with 58, 51 and 61 points with two wins in the win-loss column.
It didn’t seem as if the slow first half bothered them much as they built a 58-20 lead on a Scio team that eerily resembled them last year with how much youth is on their Varsity roster this season.
Araceli Vasquez led the way with 20 points in three quarter to continue her hot streak, Jasmine Fernandez added another 11 points in the same span. Lilly Welburn scored eight of her 10 points in the third quarter as much of the bench saw action in the reminder of the 61-34 win over the Loggers Wednesday night.
And after their 60-58 Overtime loss off a crazy shot to win it for Riverdale in the closing seconds of both team’s season openers last Friday, Gervais answered the bell the following morning against Umatilla (51-16 win) as Head Coach Kyle Buse has been able to work his depth with giving his JV and Swing players valuable Varsity minutes the last two games.
“It’s also paying off with one through 17 in our program right now and anyone that is going out there is ready to play and that really showed tonight, the same thing with the Umatilla game. We had our JV in there, we had our swingers in there and they struggled a little bit,” said Buse admittingly to the differences in what the JV and Swing players are used to. “It’s a big jump for them, but it’s a good experience.”
Though every game won’t be like the last two, Buse knows that the extra rest will pay dividens for his squad down the stretch in being able to rest and recover for those big time games like the Kennedy’s, the Willamina’s, the Yamhill-Carlton’s later on in which they’ll need fresh legs in those grinding games that’ll demand them to play all four quarters.
“It helps putting our starters on the bench in the fourth and having them sit there, they stay engaged in the game,” starts Buse. “But it does throw them off a bit that when they’ll get a game that is deeper into the fourth, but I think that rest will give them. My girls are primed and ready to go if they need to go back in there, they’re experienced in that. This isn’t their first game where they put all the workload up front and been able to hand it off and trust in their other teammates to get the job done too.”
With Bonzana coming to town Friday, the Antlers will present a playoff-like challenge as did Riverdale last week as the Cougs look to continue their momentum against them to close out Week 2 of the season.