Thirty-nine combined points between Bluejays’ Rashon Ivory, junior, and Kyle Nevitt, senior, were just not enough to overcome the third-quarter deficit against the Toreadors.
Last Thursday night, the Perry Bluejays (12-10) basketball team’s plan on heading to the Class 3A substate finals were crushed by the host Boone Toreadors (18-5) in a 64-60 defeat.
Ivory put up one of his better performances this season with 20 points on 5-for-12 shooting, including 2-for-3 from beyond the arc.
He also led the squad with six of the team’s nine assists and finished 8-for-9 from the stripe.
In his final basketball game of his Bluejay career, Nevitt contributed 19 points on on 6-for-14 shooting, 6-for-7 from the line and tied teammate Janier Puente, senior, for a team-leading five boards.
After the game, Nevitt took to Twitter to show everyone his appreciation for the support he received throughout his playing career.
“Thank you Bluejay nation for a great basketball career,” he posted. “I’m glad I could be part of a successful program and help it build.”
Ivory, Nevitt and company led throughout the entire first half. They opened up the first quarter on a 15-12 run.
Later in the second they managed to increase their three-point lead to four points after a close 15-11 quarter.
After halftime the Bluejays watched their four point lead dwindle down to zero and turn into a seven-point deficit as the host finished off the third quarter on a 19-8 run.
In the final minutes, the road team did their best to chip away at the deficit but seven points proved just too much to overcome, as Perry came up four points shy with a 25-22 fourth.
Collectively the Bluejays shot 15-of-34 from the field, 4-of-12 from three and were 18-of-23 from the line. They pulled down 21 rebounds - 15 defensive and six offensive, with three blocks and three steals.
In his final game as a Bluejay, Puente scored nine points on 66 percent shooting and tallied five rebounds - four defensive and one offensive.
Last year the Bluejays made it back to state after a 20-year hiatus. This season, even though they failed to make it back, the Bluejays turned, what appeared to be a disappointing season, into a solid one.
After starting the season winless in their first four games, the Bluejays came together to win 11 of their next 16 games.
Denny McDonnell, Bluejays’ head basketball coach, focused more on what the team accomplished this year instead of how far they went this postseason.
“I was proud of our growth throughout the year,” he said. “The kids improved and continued to work hard day after day.”
McDonnell went on to thank the Perry community for the immense amount of support this season.
“I was very pleased with the way our community rallies around our teams,” he said. “We truly have a home court advantage.”