It’s been two years since Scotts Valley High seniors Tristan Roure and Davie Bruce got a chance to play in the Central Coast Section basketball playoffs.
Both team captains got one more crack to extend their season and they wanted to make sure Friday night’s Division IV opener wouldn’t be their final game, especially on their home court.
“We told everyone else to play for the team, as well, but also to kind of play for us because it’s potentially our last game,” Roure said.
The No. 11 seed Falcons came through for their senior comrades in a 73-49 crushing win over unseeded Oceana High in the first round of the postseason.
Scotts Valley coach Gabe Gonzales said the boys seemed to come out with some desperation knowing it’ll most likely be their final home game this season.
“Also, knowing [if] we lose we go home,” he said. “It seemed a lot of them didn’t want to go home tonight.”
Gonzales mentioned he felt desperation in their game, which he believes is great because that means urgency.
It was the first taste of postseason action for sophomores Will Shilling, Taylor Knox and Evan Anderson, who are all in the Falcons’ starting lineup.
It was just the second trip to the playoffs for both Roure and Bruce.
“It was a little intro to the rest of them and hopefully they keep going the next two years,” Roure said.
The lack of postseason experience showed from the start after both teams failed to score midway through the first quarter. That was until Oceana hit a 3-pointer to put the game’s first points on the scoreboard.
Junior guard Niko Iles scored the first bucket for Scotts Valley and Shilling followed up with a 3-pointer to get things moving.
Gonzales believes the stage was probably too bright for the youngsters when they first stepped on the court. Still, the first-year skipper decided to roll with sophomores as their starters even knowing they’d have some ups and downs.
He said they wouldn’t have done so if Bruce and Roure weren’t the team captains, willing to be the other coaches on the court and move forward.
“They started a foundation that’s going to last forever with this program,” Gonzales said. “We started something and it was led by them.”
Roure said he knew this year’s group was a solid unit and Gonzales put together a challenging preseason schedule to prepare them for this moment.
Scotts Valley finished with a 12-12 overall record and it earned an at-large bid into the CCS postseason. They finished with a 5-5 record in Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League play and placed third in the standings.
Roure said it proved they were able to compete with good teams in the section.
Next up, the Falcons will travel to Monterey to take on No. 6 Stevenson (17-7) in the second round on Saturday at 7pm.
“I think we’re just planning to come out a lot stronger,” Roure said.
The Pirates have Audon Forgus, Trent Toole and Parker Lynch, who are all averaging double digits in points per game this season.
Roure mentioned they’re a much bigger team and the plan is to box out so they can win in the rebound category.
The defense will also have to step up because most of Scotts Valley’s offense stems from forcing turnovers. It was a big part of their road to victory, forcing Oceana to turn the ball over 17 times in Friday night’s contest.
Scotts Valley managed to hold on to a double digit lead for most of the evening, yet a resilient Oceana team kept within reach.
Roure said his teammates talked about keeping the gas pedal down and wanting to run away with the game.
Eight different players scored for the Falcons, who went on 13-0 run coming out of the break and at one point had a 52-25 lead in the third quarter.
Roure—who had a huge first half by scoring 23 points including 19 in the second quarter—and the rest of the starters sat for most of the second half.
He scored his 1,000 career point with a layup on which he was fouled. Roure made the free throw attempt that gave the Falcons a 21-9 lead in the second quarter.
As a freshman, he played two games at the varsity level including one appearance in the CCS playoffs.
Since then, Roure started his sophomore year and it never crossed his mind that he would score more than 1,000 points, let alone reach it. Now he joins Jack Pasquini as the two Falcons players to ever achieve that feat.
“I think it’s a crazy achievement, to me personally,” he said.
Gonzales never told his standout guard how close he was getting because he feared it would change the way Roure would play.
The only hint Roure received was in small increments given to him by his coach.
“I felt personally he was playing his best basketball at the time, meaning he was making the right play,” Gonzales said.
Gonzales has a history with Roure, watching him grow up from a kindergartner to excelling in his senior year in high school.
Roure also took the leadership role to a whole new level, especially during the first quarter when he basically carried the Falcons on his wings.
“Extremely proud of him and I’m looking forward to the next one with him,” Gonzales said.