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The home Braves manage just 22 points over the game's final three quarters in loss to 2A Cougars.

PMG PHOTO: WADE EVANSON - Banks' Hailey Evans takes on a Gervais defender during the Braves' game against the Cougars Tuesday afternoon, Dec. 21, at Banks High School.Sometimes you just don't have it, and the Banks Braves girls basketball team had one of those games in a 53-33 loss to 2A Gervais Tuesday afternoon, Dec. 21, at Banks High School.

The visiting Cougars started slow, but remedied that en route to outscoring the Braves 46-22 over the game's final three quarters, led by junior post Izzy Boyd who scored 18 points and grabbed seven rebounds.

Boyd was one of a quartet of Gervais standouts consisting of sophomore Olivia Boyd, junior Josie Schultz, and Salma Villegas who combined for 37 points and 24 rebounds.

"Gervais is a tough team," Banks head coach Brandon Begley said. "They made it tough on us offensively, but we just gave up so many offensive rebounds."

Despite falling behind immediately from the tip, Banks battled back to take a 11-7 lead after a quarter of action. But Izzy Boyd scored five straight to put the Cougars back in front to start the second quarter, and despite Nya Johnson's best effort and a Maggie Streblow three-pointer that kept the Braves close, Banks managed just seven second quarter points and trailed 26-18 at the half.

The Braves managed to stay within striking distance with their defense, but struggled mightily to create open looks offensively and lacked second chance points due to their inability to get rebounds.

"We were really encouraging the girls to attack because there were gaps in their defense," Begley said. "But we got stuck just cycling through our offense and no one really seemed to want to go."

The Banks coach said they've been prone to offensive funks early on this season and added that in order to take the necessary step forward as a team, they'll need individuals to step up with the ball in their hands.

"Hailey (Evans) has been doing a great job of attacking, but we're still searching for that person who we can count on when we really need a basket," Begley said. "Right now we're kind of doing it by committee, but when we're struggling to score like we were tonight, we need someone to step up."

PMG PHOTO: WADE EVANSON - Banks' Maggie Streblow fights off Gervais defenders during the Braves' game against the Cougars Tuesday afternoon, Dec. 21, at Banks High School.
That didn't happen in the fourth quarter either, as the Cougars scored 12 of the quarter's first 14 points and ultimately cruised to victory.

Despite what was an obvious off night, Begley said he's seen some good things from his team through their first five games. When the team's been good, they've been good. But when they've struggled it's been a tough road, and the coach attributes that mostly to what seems to be a lack of confidence.

"We're really up and down, but I feel like the girls are showing the signs that we want them to," the coach said. "They're doing some really good things, it's just a matter of getting their confidence and getting used to playing as a team and meshing as a unit."

The Braves will travel to Central Oregon to play in the Sisters Holiday Shootout after Christmas and have a handful of nonleague contests between then and their league slate. Begley hopes – and believes – that by their league-opener with Astoria, Jan. 19, they'll have ironed-out their problems and bring their best to the table against their Cowapa League competition.

"We have a long ways to go, but each day we're seeing things that give us hope," Begley said. "I think it could be right around the corner when we really start to play our best basketball."

Banks scorers included: Johnson 6, Evans 6, Leonie Crowell 5, Alex Saunders 4, Streblow 4, Madison Walker 3, Tyler Rose 2, Katie Grossnickle 2, Jocelyn Janecek 1.

Gervais scorers included: Izzy Boyd 18, Villegas 9, Olivia Boyd 8, Ava Sellers 7, Josie Schultz 5, Mayra Perez 4, Sofia Contreras 2.

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