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Gaston rides emotional roller coaster

BASKETBALL: Hounds continue up and down season with two blowout losses in league play
by: Chase Allgood, Gaston senior Sherfan Sher tries to get off a shot between Vas Walker (No. 1) and David Laughlin of C.S. Lewis Academy during the Gaston Holiday Tournament on Dec. 28.

Gaston's boys basketball team is up one minute, down the next. Sometimes the emotional highs and lows span several games, sometimes it's an in-game roller coaster ride.

The latter was the case on Dec. 28 when the Greyhounds played host to C.S. Lewis Academy in the first round of the Gaston Holiday Tournament.

After trading jabs with the Watchmen for four quarters, Gaston held the ball for one final shot with the score tied at 64-64. When that shot didn't fall, head coach Lono Waiwaiole expected the Greyhounds to regroup and take their chances in overtime. What he didn't expect was for Gaston to be whistled for a foul with 0.3 seconds left while chasing after the long rebound.

C.S. Lewis Academy made one of the two ensuing free throws to snatch a potential victory away from the Hounds.

'We sort of gave that game away,' Waiwaiole said. 'But I don't want to linger on that. I wanted to move past it.'

Gaston (4-9, 1-3) did move past the loss, beating Perrydale 53-43 in overtime the following afternoon to take third place in the tournament. That win was even more impressive considering that Perrydale had whipped the Greyhounds by 30 points the week before.

'That was a wonderful win for us,' Waiwaiole said. 'We showed that we've come a long way since we played them the first time.'

Almost inevitably, the high of beating Perrydale was followed quickly by two lows - a 29-point loss to De La Salle and a 62-point bludgeoning against Knappa, both in Northwest League play.

'Those teams are head and shoulders above us, that's for sure,' Waiwaiole said. 'We could do things to keep the score closer, but I'm not interested in that. It's more important to get some of these guys experience and build for the future.'

Gaston played host to De La Salle (9-3, 4-0) last Thursday but simply couldn't keep up in an 87-58 loss. Two nights later the team traveled to Knappa (10-2, 4-0), where the Loggers rolled to a merciless 103-41 victory.

'We're the first team in the league to play all three of the top teams (Knappa, De La Salle and Portland Christian). There's no question we're way behind all three of them,' Waiwaiole said. 'We didn't play to keep the score close. We play to win the game, and if that's not possible then we play for other things, like getting experience for next year.'

Gaston will try to rebound this week with games against Faith Bible (0-11, 0-4) and Corbett (2-11, 1-3).