The Quincy boy’s basketball team enters the new year with a winless record, (0-8) with 12 games remaining. Even though the season may not be going as well as they had hoped, the team has reason for optimism: its young players.
The varsity roster currently is comprised of five seniors, two juniors and five sophomores. Of those sophomores, Aidan Heikes, Saul Alvarez and Trey Bierlink play big minutes and significant roles for the green and gold.
Often, Heikes or Bierlink lead the team in scoring from night to night. Heikes had a 24-point outburst in a 90-72 loss to Wahluke on Dec. 10. Bierlink scored 22-points in a 79-59 loss to East Valley Yakima on Dec. 7. Alvarez has also put up big games, such as 20 points and eight assists during the Wahluke game.
Unlike Alvarez and Bierlink, Heikes played on the varsity team his freshman year. His teammates and fellow sophomores agreed he would be one of the bigger leaders on the team with that year of experience going forward into their final two seasons.
“Aidan should probably be the biggest leader because he was varsity freshman year,” Bierlink said. “He already has a year’s experience ahead of us.”
The program has been struggling for years and these sophomores are well aware of it. Working hard together, learning from head coach Scott Bierlink and putting in the time in the gym and weight room will help turn the program around, Alvarez said.
Getting bigger, faster and stronger will be a focus for the players in the off-season, he added, which sophomore junior varsity player Tim Bensch echoed.
“We’re going to definitely have to work on getting quicker so that we can have a better defense and not just rely on offense,” Bench said.
Varsity Senior Andy Guerrero said he and his fellow senior players didn’t find the success they had hoped in their four years, but the up and coming group of sophomores have a chance to succeed.
“All these guys have put in a lot of work over the summer and in the fall,” Guerrero said. “There’s a really good opportunity to be successful over the next two years as they continue to grow.”
Heikes said, with confidence, he believes the young core of this team will be capable of turning the program around, especially with the varsity experience of the team’s younger players. Along with a determined work ethic, the team can go farther than those before them.
“We have to set a good example for the freshman so that we’ll just keep building winning classes,” Heikes said.
By Miles King firstname.lastname@example.org