Link to Owner Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr.

FONT

MORE STORIES


INDEPENDENT FILE PHOTO: PHIL HAWKINS - New girls head basketball coach Kyle Buse has been a part of the Gervais sports scene for years, including running summer youth camps at Gervais High School with help from the varsity players. To be coaching the Gervais girls varsity basketball team is a dream come true for Kyle Buse.


Buse, who has been coaching youth and junior varsity basketball in Gervais for five years, and has coached softball in the past, replaces Adam Vasas, who shifted to the boys basketball team upon Dan Murray’s resignation after last season.

Buse has been a basketball coach since he was in high school, helping with a youth league. His entire team has already played under his leadership, including his assistant coaching staff.

“I worked my way up to varsity,” he said. “To start my varsity career with this group is pretty special. I coached a lot of them in seventh and eighth grade. They’ve played for me in JV. So it comes full circle.”

Even the wealth of youth on the team, which only has four seniors and two juniors, works in his favor, as they know him from JV. But what he’s focusing on the most this season is making sure the new members can work well with the veterans.

“Team bonding is the biggest challenge because we have newer players,” Buse said. “With JV players moving up, you’re going to have that. It just takes time.”

The diversity is not always a challenge, though.

“They bring an intensity and energy, that’s what I like about the sophomores,” Buse said. “They re-energize the program.”

Buse is looking to his team’s four seniors —Jelayna Bastidas, Tiana Jaramillo, Zina Oral and Ariana Rios — and high scoring junior Andrea Villegas to step things up this season.

“I expect a lot from my seniors, not only in leadership, but also on the court,” he said.

But this year isn’t without its casualties already. Senior Caitlin Davidson’s torn ACL last year later got infected, causing major setbacks in her recovery.

“I’d really like to get her out there, maybe on senior night (toward the end of the season),” Buse said.

A similar mishap last year benched Oral for the season due to a broken foot, but she got back on the court over the summer and will be running the point guard position this season.

With 30 girls in the program (including JV), there will be a number of backup underclassmen players, allowing for those on the court to pressure harder and pick up the pace. The team focus will be on defense among the sophomores, while offense is led by Bastidas, Rios and Villegas.

LINDSAY KEEFER - Senior post Jelayna Bastidas will be counted on for her leadership and skills both on and off the court for Gervais this season.“We’re motivated by Dayton, who won the state title last year with a team of mostly freshmen,” Buse said. “It could happen here. We’re geared up for that.”

The goal is to make the state playoffs among the top three teams of the PacWest Conference, a lofty feat considering last year the team ranked last in the conference.

“This league is tough. Salem Academy was No. 2 in the state last year, Scio was in the top 10, Colton and Blanchet are always tough,” Buse said. “So we’re not going to have any nights off. It’ll be a competition every day. We have lots of catching up but we can do it.”

Gervais has had nine wins in the past two seasons, but Buse is confident the preseason will help the team rise to the next level. The season starts at 7 p.m. Wednesday at home against Horizon Christian.

“We emphasize this family atmosphere, from JV and varsity down to the youth teams to the parent support,” Buse said. “We say ‘family’ at the end of every practice because we’re all family. We’ve got to stay together. It’s that attitude, that mindset that’s one of the biggest things we enforce on how we view ourselves. When I got here, it was ‘We’re Gervais, we’re supposed to lose,’ but now that’s changing. I saw that in July when it was 95 degrees and we had people in here working hard. They’re motivated. And the journey starts Wednesday with Horizon.”

Lindsay Keefer covers Hubbard, Mount Angel and St. Paul. She can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 503-765-1193.

***

Coach: Kyle Buse

2014 season: 5-19, 1-11 PacWest Conference — eighth place

Graduated seniors: Cassidy Rush and Vanessa Lopez .

Returning impact players: Jelayna Bastidas (Honorable Mention all-conference), Andrea Villegas (Honorable Mention all-conference), Zina Oral, Ariana Rios, Tiana Jaramillo

Go to top
Template by JoomlaShine