Zach Giles drains final basket against Savoy

By Tim Emmons
temmons@casscountynow.com

As the old saying goes, “it’s not whether you win or lose its how you play the game”.
Bloomburg’s star basketball player, Zach Giles, is a testament to that statement.
Zach was born with Down syndrome but that hasn’t been a hurdle for the young Wildcat celebrity. 
“Zach Giles embodies what we’re about and provides the team with inspiration to know that nothing is impossible,” Head Coach Chad Sheffield said. “Winning is always our goal, but sometimes we tend to forget that it’s only part of what sports is about.”
In Oct., a Bloomburg entourage led by Zach, who is the Bloomburg Down syndrome Ambassador, witnessed the Cass County Commissioners’ Court unanimously approve a resolution naming October as Down syndrome Awareness Month in Cass County. 
Three months later Zach made his way on the court in his first high school game and even scored the final bucket of the contest against Savoy. The young baller sent the spectators in the gym into a frenzy when his shot fell through the net.
“Seeing Zach play in his first high school game was an accomplishment in itself, but for him to score was the icing on the cake,” Sheffield remarked. “While Zach might be diagnosed with Down syndrome, he doesn’t see himself as having any sort of disability, and neither do his coaches or teammates. I’m proud of Zach for his determination and courage. He’s our celebrity and we wouldn’t have it any other way.”
As far as the rest goes Bloomburg’s varsity boys’ team may have their share of ups and downs this season, but Coach Sheffield sees something most spectators do not.
“We’ve fought through adversity this season and taken our lumps, but the team has bought into the fact that our ultimate goal is reaching the playoffs,” Sheffield said. “We might not go undefeated the rest of the season, but the entire team is committed to giving 100 percent effort for all four quarters and working hard in practice to correct our mistakes. I couldn’t be more proud of my boys for learning the valuable life lesson of never giving up and facing trials head on.”  
With that in mind the Wildcats found themselves down by two at the break, and outscored the Cardinals 38-19 in the second half (22-8 in the fourth quarter) to take the game.
The team went on the run after a Josh Allison three pointer.
Jordan Clayton led the team with 28 points, eight rebounds and four steals; Austin Simmons added nine points; Hunter Garrett had six points and four steals; Brett Crumpler had six points and four assists which included setting up the last score of the game by the star of the night, Zach Giles.

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