Salem Academy Hangs On To Defeat Gervais For TRC Title

By Jeremy McDonald

GERVAIS, Ore.–  Salem Academy probably played their most physical game of the year to close out the Tri-River Conference League Playoffs Friday night against one of the State’s most aggressive teams in Gervais.

And they needed to step up their physicality just because of that reason, something that helped the Crusaders close out the TRC League Tournament Championship.  Relying on their aggressive defensive play to deny the Cougars a chance to force Overtime with 2.6 seconds left when they collapsed on Gervais’ Josie Schultz and made the possible lay-in opportunity a very difficult one in the closing seconds.

Grace Hinkle and Aly Herber seemed to play an important factor in this one, the two missed the lone regular season match-up between the two squads back on January 17, and contributed well.  Adding that extra wrinkle for the Crusaders on the court on Friday in the rematch.

“We were ready, we’ve been practicing all week, we were ready for them.  It was good to have me and Grace (Hinkle) back.  It feels good and we’re ready for anything,” Herber said.  “It’ll make us better and ready for next week.  It’s win-or-go-home, we knew what was at stake (Friday), we knew we needed to win.  It feels good.”

“This is what we’re going to see at State.  This is exactly the kind of play we’re going to see.  Same team and everything,” laughs Gervais’ Olivia Boyd.  “It’s going to be very cruical to our  games at State.  Coach was just talking about it in the locker room, he was talking about how we need to play without fouls and focus on the little things.”

Salem Academy held on to defeat Gervais 42-40 Friday night at the TRC League Tournament Championship game at Gervais High School (Picture By Jeremy McDonald)

Boyd was named TRC Player of the Year and the Cougars Enrique Sandoval was named Coach of the Year in the league with the squad entering the postseason 20-4 on the season.  Boyd describes it as a lot of time putting in the work and crediting her team in helping her get to this point.

“It’s just showing up.  The whole team, we all worked hard and showing up every single day, putting in all the work.  For me and I know for these other girls, we’ve been doing it since we were this tall, so it’s all been built up from then,” describes Boyd.

With Salem Academy entering the postseason 22-3, and the number-one seed out of the TRC, they’re looking to use Friday’s game as a springboard to the 2A State Playoffs.  Hoping they can encompass and harness that TRC League Tournament Championship game physicality into the postseason that starts next Saturday.  Both teams will have home playoff games to open the Field of 16 with a chance of a trip to Pendleton on the line.

“Keep doing what we did tonight, moving on from it and get better.  Ready for our next challenge.  We played good defense (Friday), I think we made a few too many turnovers, but we’ll clean that up.  We got a week of practice, so we’ll be ready,” Herber said.

Herber finished with 20 points and eight rebounds for Salem Academy. Olivia Boyd finished with 15 points and six steals in the defeat for the Cougars.

Photos By Jeremy McDonald


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s