Quincy rallies to turn back Cascade, 46-45
Aggressive second-half defense pays off
Quincy senior guard Johan Farias took a deep breath, bounced the basketball and prepared to become a hero or a goat.
He stood at the free throw line for two attempts Thursday with 19 seconds left in the game and visiting Cascade leading by a point.
Swish. Swish. Farias’ shots barely touched the net as Quincy grabbed the lead and Jack fans went crazy. Cascade quickly brought the ball to the front court, passed it around to the left corner, and a Kodiak player launched a high arcing shot that missed.
Farias grabbed the rebound and clung to it like a precious gem. Time expired and Quincy had its second victory in a row, 46-45, boosting its season record to 2-2.
“I was saying to myself, ‘Just make both and the game is over,’” Farias said later.
He acknowledged the Jacks didn’t have the right frame of mind going into the contest.
“We didn’t show up in the first half,” Farias said. “We had to bring energy even though this was a non-conference game.”
There was energy aplenty among the Jacks during the third and fourth quarters. The sharp-shooting Kodiaks, who drilled three-pointer after three-pointer in the first half, found themselves guarded more closely after halftime. After scoring 30 points in the first half, the Jacks allowed Cascade only 15 the rest of the game – including just five points in the final eight minutes.
Quincy coach Wade Petersen put the blame for a 10-point halftime deficit squarely on the defense. It allowed Cascade guard Jose Mendoza to take open shots, and he obliged by hitting five of his seven three-pointers in the first half on the way to 23 points for the game.
Petersen was pleased with the turnaround.
“This is a good learning experience for us going into league,” he said. “You have to know how to finish.”
He added there are many situations that can be replicated in practice, but critical free throws with seconds left and enemy fans screaming isn’t one of them. He praised Farias’ clutch shooting, saying, “You can’t practice that.”
Cascade led 37-30 after one of Mendoza’s three-point shots with 2:28 left in the third quarter. Back to back baskets by the Jacks’ Daniel Garcia and Nick Lopez brought the score to 40-36 going into the fourth quarter.
Garcia hit a jumper with 6:55 left to play and Horning canned a field goal with 5:57 to go to knot things at 40-40. Cascade jumped back into the lead at 42-40, followed by three missed free throw attempts by Quincy.
Trailing 45-42 with 1:49 left, Farias drove the length of the court for a layup, pulling Quincy within 45-44 with 1:26 to play. That set the stage for his game-winning free throws.
Farias led Quincy’s scoring with 12 points, followed by Garcia’s 10 and eight from Horning. Eight Jack players scored during the win.
“When nobody cares who scores the ball, it makes for a real good team,” Petersen said.
There are still things to fix, he acknowledged. The coach wants his offense to execute plays a little more crisply, but the season is young and the Jacks have proved they know how to overcome adversity.
Farias agreed that improvement is needed.
“We just have to limit our mistakes and we’ll be good,” he said during an interview after showering.
Then he walked across the gym to accept a hero’s welcome from Quincy backers who waited after the game for an impromptu celebration.
Next up, the Jacks on Friday take on East Valley of Yakima at home. For a look ahead at the Red Devils and what the Jacks will be up against, see the QVPR Scouting Report.
Score by quarters:
Cascade 12 18 10 5 — 45
Quincy 6 14 16 10 — 46
Cascade scorers: Jose Mendoza, 23; Wyatt Guthrie, 8; Lucas Allen, 8; Christian Merritt, 4; Spencer Flodin, 2.
Quincy scorers: Johan Farias, 12; Daniel Garcia, 10; Mark Horning, 8; Daniel Chevez, 5; Nick Lopez, 4; Phil Tobin, 3; Gonzalo Guerrero, 2; Rafa Guzman, 2.
Free throws: Cascade, 8 of 19; Quincy, 4 of 10.
— By Steve Kadel, firstname.lastname@example.org