Battling to see if they could continue their season, the Grant Union boys basketball team fell short, losing to Coquille 68-55 Saturday in the first round of the state tournament.
The Prospectors, who challenged the Red Devils several times in the game, could not overcome the Red Devils’ huge first period that saw the Prospectors down 19-13.
By the end of the first half, the Prospectors were down 31-25, and they could not make up the ground.
Senior Tristan Morris said, despite the loss, he was proud of the way his team played, especially on defense.
“We held their best player (Coquille’s Jeremy Kistner) to just 7 points,” Morris said.
Morris said team played really well as a team this season, especially under first-year head coach RC Huerta.
“This year we came in and played as a team, and coach Huerta brought us together,” Morris said.
Senior Taylor Hunt said Huerta helped him find his role on the team.
“He helped me find a way to do what I can do and help the team, because I am not as good as a scorer as the others, but I can still find a way to help when I can,” Hunt said.
“This is a special group of guys,” Huerta said. “They were willing to do what I asked them to do, and that is rare for a new coach.”
Senior Warner Robertson said the team played hard, and they played smart.
“In some games, you just have to live and learn — that’s what coach taught us this year,” Robertson said.
The No. 14-ranked Prospectors finished the season with an overall record of 15-8, going 10-2 in league play.
“I am content with how we did this year,” Huerta said. “But I am still hungry. I know we can do better.”