On Saturday night, the boys basketball team lost a heartbreaking game to the Sacred Heart Gators by a score of 52-51.
The two teams were evenly matched from the first tip to the last buzzer, the game started with the Gators winning the jump, and coming up empty on their first possession.
The first points of the game occurred three minutes after the tip, an and-one for the Gators put them up 3-0 to start the game. After points from senior guards Jalen Williams and Grant Zell, the score was 12-9 in favor of Sacred Heart at the end of the first quarter.
The Bears put up 15 points in the second quarter on the backs of Zell, senior guard Johno Price, and senior center Allen Chang. Chang was a key player all night, especially on the rebounding side for the Bears. The productive offensive quarter left M-A leading 24-18 at halftime.
The intensity turned up as the second half started, the Gators made it clear they were not going to back down as they scored 14 points in the third quarter, but M-A was with them every step of the way.
Price set the defensive tone for the Bears down the stretch, stealing a pass and strolling in for an easy layup late in the third, the Bears maintained a 39-32 advantage heading into the final eight minutes.
Within three minutes of the fourth quarter starting, the Gators had tied the game at 39. With 2:55 left in the game, M-A trailed by two points and was struggling to find any offense. Finally, the offense came to life led by Chang, who got the Bears a 46-45 lead with under a minute left.
A rebound and putback layup by Zell left M-A up by three points with seven 22 seconds left. With the last possession of the game, Sacred Heart hit a miraculous three pointer to tie the game at 48, four quarters was not enough to split the two teams as the game headed into overtime.
Two quick buckets for Sacred Heart left the Bears down by one point with 16 seconds left. A missed free throw by Williams resulted in a scramble for possession and led to an inbounds pass for M-A with 0.6 seconds left to play. Zell inbounded to Chang who put up a shot that just barely rimmed out as time expired, and the game ended in defeat for the Bears, 52-51.
After the game junior guard Jack Anderson stated, “It’s very frustrating to lose to our rivals in overtime, but our only choice is to just move and play better in the next game.”
Zell also spoke to what the team has to improve on in order to bounce back saying, “We have to stop playing at our opponents level, push ourselves more in practice, and work together as a team to rise above tougher opponents.”
The Bears return to the court on Wednesday to face the Capuchino Mustangs.