Girls basketball team ends season
A season of highs and lows came to an end with more highs and lows for the Quincy Lady Jacks basketball team.
After a listless performance at Ephrata on Jan. 25, the Lady Jacks came close to their first league win in five years the next night, on the road against Othello.
On the Huskies’ Senior Night, The Lady Jacks played some of their best ball of the season, hanging with the hosts well into the third quarter.
Quincy trailed by only four points at the start of the fourth quarter, 39-35, despite playing most of the game without Avery Vander Veen, who had tweaked an ankle at the start of the game. In the fourth quarter, Othello put some daylight between themselves and their guests, taking the game by a score of 64-51.
Jane Kennedy had 16 points, Jacqueline Dearie had 14, Emily Wurl had eight, Bryonna Gray and Hailey McKee had five points each, Piper Horning had two, Gaby Arroyo had one.
The Lady Jacks continued their strong play for one more quarter.
Three days later, Quincy closed the first quarter ahead of Toppenish, 12-8. In the second quarter, Toppenish went on a 25-4 run to take a 33-16 lead into the halftime break.
Quincy improved a bit in the third quarter, scoring 13 points to Toppenish’s 16, but the comeback proved too daunting for the Lady Jacks, who had to put up with a buzzer-beating three-pointer at the end of the game to seal the Wildcats’ 75-38 win.
“I was hoping we would play the same way (as against Othello) today,” Coach Cory Medina said after the Toppenish game. The combination of it being the Lady Jacks’ Senior Night, the gym full of people for the season finale got to the girls a little, Medina said.
Kennedy had eight points, Dearie had eight as well. Corina Cervantes had five, McKee and Wurl each had four, Hailee Blancas had three, Gray had two, along with Horning and Arroyo.
Against both Toppenish and Othello, the team kept shooting threes to no avail. Asked why a team that struggled to break the 50-point mark all season would keep shooting from outside instead of driving to the hoop for a higher-percentage shot, Medina replied, “Great question.”
“If you find the answer to that one, let me know,” Medina quipped.
All jokes aside, Medina could not hide his frustration after a fifth consecutive season without league wins.
“I have to start questioning what I can do better or if somebody else can do better,’” Medina wrote in a text message after the interview.
The pipeline of hoops talent he’s trying to build will take years to bear fruit. Medina compared that to Toppenish, which has an AAU team in every grade except second grade, and which has players on varsity who play ball all year round.
“And they are the ninth team in our league. We are tenth,” Medina said, adding that Quincy has two teams, one for third- and fourth-graders, and one for fifth- and sixth-graders.
On the other hand, 83 children showed up to the latest youth basketball camp in January. Furthermore, changes in how teams are allocated may mean a 2020 move to the Caribou Trail League, a 1A league that might allow Quincy to do better than against 2A schools.
The 2019 team will be comparable to this year’s team, Medina said. The 2020 team is a major question mark as it will be without Dearie, Gray and Blancas.
Before closing the book on the season, Medina had nothing but thanks for his charges.
“I’m grateful for this group,” Medina reiterated. “They played hard and played more than any other year. I just hope this next group of seniors do the same thing so that the program keeps growing.”
By Sebastian Moraga, email@example.com