WALDPORT — Winning is often the culmination of many factors on the basketball court. You need strong coaching, talent and, maybe above all, the ability to fight through adversity.
The Waldport boys basketball team has all three.
But putting all of that together for four straight quarters is something the Irish are learning to do and, after a year with their backs against the wall, a hardened group of players and coaches can be expected moving forward.
“I think, offensively, we’ve learned to be more patient with the ball — finding a good shot rather than forcing stuff,” Waldport boys head coach Michelle Severson said. “And I think, defensively, we’re clicking a little bit better and understanding where we need to be.”
And the same goes for Severson. Being her first season on the bench for the varsity boys has been a challenge, like most coaching jobs are, but the excitement for the rest of this season and the next is something that is on her mind.
“I’ve enjoyed it,” Severson said. “They are great boys to work with and I feel like they are super coachable, so that’s always a plus when it comes to coaching. I’m looking forward to next year.”
On Tuesday, Feb. 11, the Irish ran into a stout Reedsport Brave team losing 76-46. The game was a microcosm of Waldport’s season as a whole.
A rough start, but as the game went on the Irish found their footing and had many notable moments. Waldport could only muster four points in the first quarter, while being outscored 20-4.
Zak Holsey and Levi Fruechte were the only ones to get on the board in the first quarter, each hitting a jump shot.
But the Irish roared back in the second quarter; Waldport outscored Reedsport 19-13 behind 10 points from Holsey, seven points from Fruechte and two points from Jason Tramp. The Irish looked energized and intent on making a statement.
And they did, forcing the Reedsport coach into a fit of rage at the play of his team. Severson and her boys were causing the Braves issues on both sides of the court. But the Irish couldn’t match the Braves scoring in the second half.
Waldport had cut the deficit to single digits on occasion, but ultimately lacked the firepower to overcome Reedsport.
The Irish scored 14 points in the third and nine in the fourth, off the mark compared to the Braves 23 and 19 points in the final two quarters, respectively.