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Quincy takes Battle of the Basin in PKs

by CASEY MCCARTHY
Staff Writer | May 3, 2021 1:00 AM

QUINCY — Quincy High School and Ephrata High School boys soccer teams finished their traditional Battle of the Basin rivalry game in Quincy Saturday in penalty kicks. Quincy came out on top 4-3 in penalties after a 2-2 finish in regulation.

The QHS Jacks opened the scoring just moments into the first half when Jose Lopez put in a goal off a cross from the outside.

Noe Sanchez of Ephrata evened the game at 1-1 with a nifty shot inside the box with just under 30 minutes to play in the half. Quincy went back in front 2-1 in the final minutes of the half on a shot from Juan Gutierrez.

Ephrata tied the game again in the second half on a long shot off a rebound from Eduardo Gonzalez. Neither side could find the back of the net again in regulation, and the Battle of the Basin was decided in penalty kicks.

Ephrata goalkeeper Kelvin Sager blocked the opening Quincy penalty attempt to give the EHS Tigers an early advantage, but a couple of shots just over the bar proved costly as Quincy took the match with their final penalty attempt from Adrian Borja to seal the win.

After the first goal, Quincy head coach Francisco Tafoya said he had hoped to keep up that momentum the entire game but felt it dropped off at times.

Moving forward, he said, he’s hoping to capture that early energy and sustain it for the entire match.

“Just getting these guys to play intense the whole game, having them not just look for the small moments to play like that, but to do that the whole 80 minutes,” Tafoya said.

Gutierrez is the player Tafoya said was the most consistent on the pitch and has been the steadiest player all season.

Although it just started a few weeks ago, the spring soccer season is already winding down. Tafoya said he still holds out hope of coming out on top of the North Central Washington Region.

Ephrata head coach Ivan Garay said it’s hard not to love the Battle of the Basin, a rivalry he has been a part of as both a player and a coach.

“Every time we play, you see the bulk of both teams, we just bring out the best in each other,” Garay said.

He said his seniors have been the driving force this season and fit the definition of true leaders. Garay said they bring the young players along in addition to keeping the team in games. He couldn’t ask more of his senior group, he added.

Midfielder Jose Flores’ performance in the midfield stood out for Garay, battling for every ball on the field despite not having the size of some of his opponents. Noe Sanchez put up a great fight to get the opening goal, too, Garay said. But he said it took the entire team to fight up to the final whistle.

“We needed everybody to step up and work as hard as they can to stay tight and be right in it ’til the end,” Garay said.

Ephrata will hit the road for the next matchup with Manson High School Tuesday while Quincy will host Omak High School Tuesday afternoon.

Casey McCarthy can be reached via email at cmccarthy@columbiabasinherald.com.

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Casey McCarthy/Columbia Basin Herald

Ephrata's Eduardo Gonzalez (12,center) rushes out to celebrate with his teammates after tying up the game at 2-2 with a goal in the second half on Saturday afternoon in Quincy.

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Casey McCarthy/Columbia Basin Herald

Ephrata's Cristobal Soltero Zepeda blocks a shot from Quincy's Jorge Nuñez in the second half of the Battle of the Basin in Quincy on Saturday.

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Casey McCarthy/Columbia Basin Herald

Ephrata High School goalkeeper Kelvin Sager skies up to deflect a shot from Quincy on Saturday afternoon at Quincy High School.

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Casey McCarthy/Columbia Basin Herald

Ephrata's Hudson Sager (6) soars up for a header between a pair of Quincy players on Saturday afternoon at Quincy High School.

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Casey McCarthy/Columbia Basin Herald

Quincy High School's Juan Gutierrez puts a ball into the box for the Jacks in the first half against Ephrata High School on Saturday afternoon.

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Casey McCarthy/Columbia Basin Herald

Quincy High School's Jose Lopez (8) puts the ball past the Ephrata goalkeeper to give the Jacks an early 1-0 lead on Saturday afternoon in Quincy.

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Casey McCarthy/Columbia Basin Herald

Quincy High School players celebrate together after winning the Battle of the Basin against Ephrata High School in penalty kicks on Saturday afternoon at QHS.

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Casey McCarthy/Columbia Basin Herald

Ephrata High School's Tony O'Neel steals the ball away from the Quincy attacker in the first half of the rivalry matchup on Saturday afternoon in Quincy.