The Nevada Cubs have a newfound appreciation for the privilege of playing basketball.
Last week the Cubs won easily but learned the most when a girl from the opposing team Gilbert made a basket.
This time of year only one thing matters - making it to state.
“The opportunity to get to Wells Fargo is something that hasn`t happened here in Nevada since I think the 60's,” Nevada head coach Kristen Meyer said.
The Cubs are focused, but before they start their run at a state tournament they were able to take a step back.
“We probably played the best game of the season for us as a team, and when I left that night I just couldn`t stop smiling. I know our girls felt the same way,” Meyer said.
Ray Tretina is a special education student at Gilbert who loves sports, especially basketball.
Every once in a while Ray gets the chance to take the court, after all she`s doesn`t miss a practice or a game. But just getting in the game wouldn`t do.
Gilbert head coach Tracy Deal spoke to Coach Meyer and they decided to get Ray in the game and hoped she’d get a shot off. Right on cue, Ray checked in and got her attempts.
“She took one shot and our girls got the rebound,” Deal described. “Took another shot, our girls got the rebound.”
“It took her a couple tries like `oh gosh, come on` then the third time it was just awesome. I had goose bumps,” opposing player, Nevada senior Jessica Helton said.
“It was a positive feeling people were cheering loud and clear saying 'Ray, Ray,’” Deal said.
“We got killed that night but it didn`t matter because Rachel had her moment,” Gilbert junior Taylor Brosher said.
That night Nevada walked away with more than just a win.
“I didn`t even care that we won, I was just so happy that we got her the ball,” Helton said.
“It was a great moment for us to be reminded what sports are all about,” Coach Meyer said.
And moments like these are why we love sports.
Nevada won its first round playoff game and continues its quest for state Wednesday. Gilbert lost, its season now over, but not forgotten.