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Posted on Nov 30, 2019

Bierlink looks to change the culture of Jacks basketball

After finishing the 2018-2019 season with a winless 0-20 record, Jacks basketball head coach Scott Bierlink is focused on changing the culture of the team.
Maintaining a standard of excellence is the theme of the season, claimed Bierlink, adding, “It’s time, it’s effort, not making any excuses [and] being a good teammate.”
Bierlink felt that culture change began last season over the last 10 games. The Jacks came close to victory twice in the second half of the season; the first time, just a four-point loss to Othello on Dec. 21, and the second an eight-point loss to Wapato on Jan. 18. Bierlink then rounded up about 20 players over the summer for tournaments and other games.
“Hopefully this year we can build off some of the stuff we did last year,” said Bierlink. “If you look at our last 10 games, we really made a big improvement.”
Quincy returns sophomore Aidan Heikes, senior Izaac Solano, senior Andy Guerrero and senior Connor Donovan. All the senior players will be vital toward building the standard of excellence, said Bierlink who is expecting leadership from them. Bierlink is also expecting a big season from Heikes, who started at point guard for the green and gold last year as just a freshman.
“I look for him to have a really good year, he is probably our hardest worker,” said Bierlink. “He’s in the gym all the time [and] really made good strides.”
The Jacks begin the season with a non-league matchup on the road against Cascade on Dec. 3 before jumping right into the CWAC schedule against Selah at home on Dec. 6 and East Valley Yakima on Dec. 7. Following the two home games, Quincy gets a break from league play with a matchup against Wahluke on Dec. 10, but finishes the remainder of the schedule with CWAC contests.
“There’s no slouches in the CWAC, so we have our work cut out for us,” said Bierlink.
According to Heikes, the goal for the season is to make it to the district tournament at the end of the season. Along the way, they’ll have to pick up some wins to even qualify; only the top eight teams qualify for the post-season.
Even if the team does not reach its goals, Bierlink said building the culture and the winning mindset will make this season a success.
“Whether or not the wins follow, I think we can build a base for kind of how we want to move forward with this program,” said Bierlink. “We want to work hard, but we want to have some fun with it.”

By Miles King, sports@qvpr.com