The three Illinois Valley High School basketball teams faced off against the Central Linn Cobras Feb. 10 for their final home games of the season. While the junior varsity boys defeated their opponents soundly, both varsity teams struggled to keep up with the Cobras’ tenacity.
In the first half of their game, the JV team’s synchronicity was unmatched. Their passes were strong and their intention was clear- they were determined to win. They worked together to gain an impressive lead on the Cobras, and although the opposition tried to gain the upper hand, the Cougars countered them on the court after every attempt. By halftime, the score favored the home team 29-13.
The second half of the junior varsity game was similarly impressive. The Cougars were quick and aggressive, scoring five points within the first minute. It became abundantly clear that the Cobras still had not shaken off the earlier blow to their morale. By the end of the third quarter, the score was in the Cougars’ favor 44-15. This trend continued as the Cobras failed to find their stride in the final quarter, only managing to score six additional points. By the end of the game, the Cougars had successfully defeated their opponents 54-21.
Varsity Cougar basketball teams feel the Cobra strike
When the IVHS girls varsity game began, the previous JV victory had set everybody’s expectations high. Sadly, the Lady Cougars had a shaky start on the court. The Cobras made five points within the first 30 seconds, which seemed to set the tone for what was to come. Though sophomore Evalynn Guzman made an impressive 3-point shot in the first half of the game, the intense interceptions of the Cobras led to a firm advantage. By halftime, the score sat at 29-8 with the Lady Cobras in the lead.
During the second half of the game, the lady Cougars were still grappling with their opponents’ prowess. Though the home team tried desperately to keep the Cobras at bay, their attempts were almost futile. They were up against the No. 2 team in the league; all that the Cougars could do was restructure their strategy and attempt to keep up. They worked together seamlessly, with Guzman making a few more 3-point shots when she was able, but in the end the Cobras bested the Cougars 49-23.
IVHS boys also defeated by Central Linn Cobras
Things looked promising for the varsity boys at the beginning of their game, with the Cougars scoring 2 points almost immediately. Unfortunately, the Cobras countered this by making two points of their own and slowly gained the upper hand. The boys played roughly, and quickly, sprinting across the court in their haste to keep their opponents from scoring. Despite their best efforts, the Cobras had a 30-point lead by halftime, with the score at 50-20.
When the game resumed, the Cougars’ ferocity shone clearly – their teamwork was much sturdier and determination was evident, but they still struggled to overcome their opponents. Several free throw attempts were made and completed by the Cougars, and sophomore Zack Dugas managed to make a 3-point shot for the home team. Still, their cohesive teamwork was no match for the fluidity of the Cobras’ movements. At the end, the varsity boys were defeated on their home turf 67-43.
Despite the loss and the fact that they were missing two of their starters, coach Tony Hess said, “The boys did pretty well, and some of them got to grow up a little,” and added, “The senior players made some good contributions.” Hess also said he was looking forward to seeing what the senior players’ next adventures would be after they graduate.