Seeded fifth and facing the 12th-seeded Forest Lake Christian School, the boys’ basketball team felt confident about their first-round home playoff game on Feb. 16.
“If we make our layups and free throws, we should easily win,” senior Harkirat Lally said before the game.
But the Cavs fell short of their expectations, ending their season with a 42-50 loss to the Falcons.
The boys played their usual man-to-man defense, but they trailed the Falcons 7-12 at the end of the first quarter.
During the huddle at the end of the first quarter, coach David Ancrum told the boys they had to play together collectively and that Forest Lake was outplaying them in every aspect.
And on top of this, sixth man senior Jake Longoria sustained a shoulder dislocation during the first quarter.
Soon after, Longoria dislocated it again and had to leave the game.
“It’s tough having to watch your last high school basketball game from the sidelines,” he said.
Hoping to close the gap, the boys turned up the heat on their offense, causing the Falcons to lose possession several times due to shot clock violations in the second quarter.
But the boys were still not in the position they were hoping for; they went into the second half behind, 19-23.
Yet the Cavs did manage to tie up the game by the end of the third quarter, 32-32.
Surprisingly, the crowd, which was pretty small, didn’t get into the game at that point.
With only eight minutes left in what would be their last game of the season, the boys sank further and further behind as they began playing in a rushed and pressured way, as though there were only 10 seconds left in the game. Looking to score as quickly as possible, they forced shots, many of which just weren’t falling.
Then, with the score at 35-39, senior Cole Johnson, who scored 13 points, fouled out with 4:53 on the clock.
The Cavs called a timeout with the score at 38-42, and as the buzzer rang to begin play again, Longoria chanted, “One play, one stop!”
But the boys couldn’t do it.
Instead the Cavs fouled once again with 2.3 seconds on the clock, leading to the end of the game (and the season).
“We played very badly as a team,” Bryce Longoria said. “We let them get confident early, and that made it hard to stop them.”