The score increased as quickly as seconds on a stopwatch.
Point by point—the boys’ varsity basketball team was ahead, then San Juan High School was ahead, then the Cavs and so on.
In the final 22.3 seconds of the game, freshman Rick Barros made the deciding shot: a single free throw.
The Cavs won 80-79, beating San Juan in the first round of the Victory Christian tournament in the team’s toughest game this season, Dec. 18.
Right before this final free throw, freshman Jayce McCain was shoved by San Juan player Andrew Torres.
Torres nearly left the gym before being ushered back by the refs, where he was forced to reconcile with McCain.
McCain was able to finish the game with the rest of his teammates.
McCain scored 19 points against San Juan, including three 3-pointers. Barros scored 21 (one 3-pointer) and freshman B.J. Askew, 19 (one 3-pointer). Senior Skovran Cunningham scored 11.
The starting five were Cunningham, Barros, McCain, Askew and freshman Reggie Fan, who also plays on the JV team.
Freshman Bryce Longoria (JV) and senior George Cvetich were also on the court towards the end of the game.
San Juan led for parts of the first half, but the Cavs soon surpassed them and were leading by a single point at the end of the first half.
During the halftime talk, coach Dave Ancrum reminded his team to be more aggressive on offense, and congratulated them on their excellent defense.
The second half was filled with small jumps in score, with each team taking turns in the leaders’ spotlight.
“This is how basketball is supposed to be played,” Barros said.
“It’s what you live for.”
The boys play in the second round of the tournament, Friday, Dec. 19, at 7 p.m. The opponent is yet to be determined.