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Gonzaga varsity basketball taken down by more than Woodside

The+2022-23+Gonzaga+varsity+basketball+team+photo+above%3B+their+next+game+is+against+Good+Counsel+on+Wednesday+at+Gonzaga.+Photo+from+%40gonzagapurplehoops+Instagram+account
The 2022-23 Gonzaga varsity basketball team photo above; their next game is against Good Counsel on Wednesday at Gonzaga. Photo from @gonzagapurplehoops Instagram account

Gonzaga lost to Woodside 82-73 after losing two key players, sophomore Nykolas Lewis and junior Daniel Holmes who tested positive for the flu. 

Going into the game on Jan. 16, MaxPreps ranked Gonzaga 15th in the nation, and the team was undefeated with 16 wins in 16 games. On Thursday, Jan. 12, Gonzaga beat WCAC opponent St. Mary’s Ryken 69-52 in a tough away game. Prior to the game against Woodside on Martin Luther King Day, the Eagles practiced over the weekend to stay sharp for their holiday showdown at the University of Maryland. However, the second wave of the flu took down two of Gonzaga’s key players. 

Coach Terry Kernan, the head coach of the junior varsity team who has coached alongside Coach Stephen Turner in the past, confirmed that the flu had been spread throughout the team.

“Noah Moody and Will Harper were out for about four days with the flu,” he said. 

These two are believed to have spread the virus to both Lewis and Holmes prior to the game against Woodside. 

Lewis, the number five ranked point guard in his class, has been a staple to Gonzaga’s lineup and ball handling. Without him, other key players such as senior Ryan Sabol had to step up. Sabol put up 25 points; however, this was not enough to take down Woodside. 

Although the loss was a first for the highly ranked team this season, Coach Kernan did not seem too worried when asked about the team’s energy. 

“The loss motivates them to get better,” Coach Kernan said. 

Going into next week, Gonzaga will take on two WCAC opponents. They will travel to Good Counsel on Wednesday night, and then Friday night, they will host the PVI Panthers in a top 15 matchup for the history books. 

Lewis and Holmes were back at school late last week and practicing, so they are expected to be fully fit come the big game Friday.

When asked what preparations were going to look like leading up to the game, Coach Kernan mentioned the traditional philosophy that Coach Turner likes to resort to leading up to games.

“Practice will be lighter Thursday. Most of our pre-practices are more shooting arounds with less contact, just making sure that the legs stay fresh and that the shots are consistent,” Coach Kernan said. 

It will be interesting to see how the team rebounds against Good Counsel on Wednesday, then PVI on Friday. If people wish to attend the PVI game in person, Coach Kernan, the assistant Athletic Director confirmed that tickets will be available online as he anticipates a sold out crowd. Tickets will be available to families only for the first 24 hours then will be available for students and then finally available to the public. 

 

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