Slow start dooms Jacks in hoops opener
The Quincy Jacks boys hoops team could not overcome an early 17-3 deficit and dropped their 2018 season opener to the visiting Cascade Kodiaks, 52-38.
The Jacks played the Kodiaks from Leavenworth tough the rest of the way, inching within five points during the second quarter, but did not get any closer.
Quincy was playing with a thin roster, with Daniel Gamiz and Max Molina out. The bench got even thinner early in the game when Milton Molina, Max’s mercurial sibling, got the short end of a foul call and mocked a referee by clapping. The ref awarded Milton the first technical foul of the Jacks’ season, briefed head coach Scott Bierlink, and Bierlink kept the junior on the bench for the rest of the game.
Inexperience may also have played a role, Bierlink said.
“We kind of got blitzed right out of the gate,” the first-year head coach said. “We had some young guys who weren’t quite ready to play, and that maybe falls on me as a coach.”
The Quincy youngsters weren’t ready for the level of intensity the taller Kodiaks brought to Woodworth Court at first, Bierlink said. Once the nerves settled, that made a difference.
In-game injuries to Macario “Mike” Vega and foul trouble did not help. The team required a lot of energy making a comeback, and the hometown squad looked a little gassed toward the end.
Nevertheless, the Jacks showed some positives, like Aiden Heikes’ debut at point guard. The freshman was the first ninth-grader in more than half a decade to start at point for Quincy, said Bierlink, who was an assistant for 11 years before getting the top job this fall.
“Maybe Jay Cedergreen, back in ’07,” Bierlink said, before adding that Heikes looked a little nervous at first but settled down.
“Defensively, I kind of liked what we did,” Bierlink said. Offensively, the team struggled to put the ball through the hoop.
“I knew coming into the year that we were going to struggle to score offensively,” Bierlink said. “We don’t have a whole bunch of guys who can fill it up. We are going to have to win games and compete (by) playing defense and doing the little things. We are going to work at it, we are going to compete and we are going to find a way to get better.”
Felipe Zepeda led the team with 13 points, followed by seven points from Heikes and Louis Merred, respectively. Joahan Fregoso had five points, Vega had three, Andy Guerrero had two and Izaac Solano had one.
Bierlink, after his first-ever game as head coach, thanked the fans for their support.
Next for the Jacks are contests Friday and Saturday, first hosting Selah and then visiting East Valley-Yakima.
Tipoff is at 7:15 p.m for both.
By Sebastian Moraga, email@example.com