Head Coach Marty Gibson is retiring at the end of this school year.
It is not how any coach wants a season to end. But in any sport, every team but the one that wins the championship has their season end in a loss.
For Penn Yan boys’ Basketball Coach Marty Gibson, the 66-58 loss to Attica in the sectional quarterfinal game Feb. 23 marked not only the end of the season, but the finish to a nice career in coaching.
Gibson, who will retire from teaching at the end of the school year with 35 years of service, has spent the last five seasons as the leader of the Penn Yan boys program. In that time he compiled a 61-43 record. He reflected on the aspects of the job he knows he will miss.
“Definitely working with the kids every day,” said Gibson. “There’s so much that goes on behind the scenes as a coach that people don’t know about. I’m definitely going to miss the boys.”
Attica 66 Penn Yan 58
For three quarters in the game against Attica, it looked like Gibson would have at least one more game to enjoy. Penn Yan held a 47-39 lead with just eight minutes left to put up a win. In retrospect, the Mustangs’ inability to get a good shot in the final seconds of the third quarter when the team had to settle for a rushed attempt might have been an omen of what was to come. Attica outscored Penn Yan 27-11 in the final stanza as the Blue Devils stepped up the pressure.
“They went to some man-to-man pressure and we turned the ball over,” Gibson explained. “They shot the ball very well.”
In particular, Attica’s Trevor Goll spurred the Blue Devils’ late charge with four three-pointers, including two in the fourth quarter.
“Every time they needed something he made a basket,” Gibson said.
Attica’s team featured 10 seniors and Gibson thought that played a part in how they handled the stress of the fourth quarter.
“Their senior leadership made a big difference,” he said. “They played by far their best game against us.”
Penn Yan shot the ball well from deep, connecting on 11 three-pointers in the game. The trouble was that they made more baskets from three than from two.
“If you’d have told me before the game we’d make 11 threes and lose I’d have said no way,” said Gibson. “We didn’t get any easy baskets and we only got to the line eight times.”
Even though the loss left a bad taste, Gibson saw positive in the season.
“The kids did a good job. They made significant gains. We’re really proud of what they accomplished,” he said. “Most of the team is returning next year. You’ve got a lot of underclassmen with 21 games of experience now.”
Whoever takes over the team has reason to be excited about the future.