On March 30, students gathered in the gymnasium to experience the annual student-faculty basketball game. Similar to those of previous years, this close game produced numerous spectacular moments. This time, it was the students who prevailed.
The first quarter saw a steady and proportional increase in the two teams’ points; both teams entered into a rhythm that produced a score of 22 (students) to 21 (faculty). In the second quarter, the faculty exchanged their lineup for a less aggressive approach. The students, however, had exchanged their lineup to include proficient, varsity level players. Such a change meant that the students dominated the faculty in the second quarter, bringing the score to 29-43. The third quarter was the complete opposite: the faculty dominated the students after bringing back their all-star players. At the end of the third, the score was tied at 57. This produced a nail-biting fourth quarter. Neither team was capable of creating a comfortable lead on the other; the changing lineups could not break this trend. With less than thirty seconds left, the score was 81 to 79 (students lead). Each time the faculty came close to the basket, the crowd fell silent and rose in anticipation (a prospective three-pointer at the sixteenth second compelled the entire audience to their feet). When the fourth quarter finished, the scoreboard offered a tie at 81 points.
Overtime would allow only three minutes of playtime, and it was imperative that every shot was a success. Once again, the score displayed an evenly matched set of players. The faculty, however, were not employing their best lineup (the one that tied the game in the third quarter). An issue affecting both teams was that the time on the clock was inaccurate because timeouts and free throws in the tense few minutes remaining caused confusion. The score was at 90 to 87 (students lead) when a faculty player was fouled while taking a three-point shot. Should this player make all three free throws, the faculty would tie the game. Should he miss two, the game was all but over. Should he only miss one, he could intentionally miss the final shot so that his team can rebound and earn the conventional two points from a shot. The first was a miss. The second went in. There was an uncertain amount of time on the clock because of the aforementioned confusion, but the faculty team would have to secure the ball and complete a shot in practically no time. The player purposely missed the final free throw, rebounded, and shot. He missed. A teammate of his rebounded that and shot again. He missed. Another teammate rebounded that and, as the buzzer went off, released the ball toward the hoop. Unfortunately, he missed. The game ended there, in overtime, with a score of 90-88. The double overtime, possible if that shot was successful, would have produced even more edge-of-the-seat moments. No matter which team an observer was rooting for, everyone acknowledged how great a game the event was.
Overall, the 2017 student-faculty basketball game was well worth the cost. Though there were issues with the clock and a lackluster halftime event, the outing created a fun, competitive, and safe environment for students and faculty to interact. Members of SGA and all participants of the event should be proud.
Lake Howell High School’s 2017 student-faculty basketball game may be over, but there is still much to look forward to for the 2018 incarnation.
By Ryan Hill