A coaching debut, a tough loss for Y-C
Yamhill-Carlton assistant coach Mike Buehler was sitting in the head coach’s spot on the bench Tuesday for one night but was ready for the challenge.
It was a big one
The Tigers (2-12, 0-1) took on No. 6-ranked Banks (11-3, 1-0), and Buehler had to summon all of his young coaching knowledge to lead Y-C against the Braves, with regular head coach Buzz Ready serving a one-game suspension for receiving two technical fouls in the loss last Thursday at Estacada.
“It was an exciting challenge,” Buehler said. “I work with these girls every day in practice so it’s exciting to get in the head position. Buzz got suspended for two technical fouls the other night, but he told me just to relax and try not to overthink it.”
Buehler was not able to get his first win as a varsity coach as the Tigers lost 60-13, dropping their fourth in a row. The temporary coach knew he and the team had to accomplish a tall order if they wanted to challenge the Braves.
“We knew we’d have to play a perfect game to have a chance with them,” Buehler said. “And not let them get out to an early lead, but they got some baskets and we weren’t able to respond.”
Yamhill-Carlton had a hard time finding offense and holding on to the ball. The Tigers did not score their first basket until the 2 minute, 24 second mark of the first quarter, and ended it shooting 1-of-8 from the field with eight turnovers, and trailing 16-2. Yamhill-Carlton had slightly more success in the second, scoring seven points, but finished the half shooting 3-for-13 while committing 16 turnovers. The result was a 29-9 Banks lead. The new, young varsity coach had to summon words of encouragement of his own during the break.
“I told them they had to stay focused and composed for the big things,” said Buehler of his halftime speech. “Don’t rush shots, and force the ball into bad passes. Stay composed and stay within our offensive set. The biggest thing is trusting their teammates.”
Unfortunately, the Braves’ offensive firepower was too much for the Tigers. Banks came out of halftime on a 6-0 run forcing Buehler to take a timeout. The Braves held Yamhill-Carlton scoreless until 1:47 of the third quarter. The Tigers scored again a minute later, but ended the quarter trailing 45-13.
Banks continued to step on the gas in the fourth and held Y-C scoreless for the entire fourth quarter while going on a 15-0 scoring run to end the game.
The turnover troubles followed the Tigers into the second half, and they committed 12 turnovers for a total of 28. The ball also had trouble finding the inside of the basket. Yamhill-Carlton shot 5-for-25 from the field and 2-for-4 from the free throw line.
Junior Makayla Challinor led the Tigers with four points while grabbing one rebound. Sophomore Journey Adams had three points. The Braves outworked Y-C on the boards and scored 16 second chance points in the win. They were led by Kaylin VanDomelen, Samantha Duyck and Kayla Hardie, all with nine points.
For the first time varsity head coach, the experience was exciting but also a significant challenge.
“It’s exciting to get into the head coaching position,” Buehler said. “It’s obviously a tough situation when you’re playing one of the top teams in the state. But it was still a fun and exciting experience.”
Prior to his varsity coaching opportunity, Buehler has been the top varsity assistant for the Tigers and also with the Colton girls basketball program. He also coached boys basketball and football at the middle school level. Buehler said he is close to the team and said success will take time.
“We are very young, especially at the guard position,” Buehler said. “It’s a learning process. We have girls at point guard who have never played the position before, and just getting our consistent shooters out there will open things up for us.”