McLean wins its rematch

Boys' varsity basketball defeats Langley

41-51. This was the infamous score of the previous game against Langley. With the idea of a loss to their rivals, some Highlanders began losing hope and spirit. Luckily in this last game, the Highlanders took back the victory and inevitably brought the pride of McLean back home.

Following an outstanding victory by the girls varsity team with a score of 50-45, Highlanders and Saxons were packed like sardines in the lower gym on Jan. 31. After senior Miranda Ma sang the national anthem, the game began, but it was looking grim for the Highlanders; the Saxons won the tipoff, scored a three pointer and had the majority of possession during the first few minutes of the game.

“After the national anthem, I felt great about how spirited our school was and how hype everyone was for the rest,” Ma said. “The game was definitely stressful at times to watch, so seeing McLean behind in the beginning was upsetting.”

Unfortunately, McLean’s defense had a slow start. Luckily, senior Evan Bremser, junior Chris Cornell and senior Randy Shephard each scored one basket in the first quarter, causing it to finish at 6-13.

“We felt good, we knew we were the better team and that we worked hard all week to prepare for our games, so us being down 7 points wasn’t a problem for us. We just needed our role players to step up and get it done on both ends of the court,” said senior Roy Jonkers, who joined the team this year.

As the second quarter began, McLean’s defense picked itself back up. The boys outscored Langley during this period, and the score became 18-18 when Evan Bresmer scored with 45 seconds left. Just when the Saxons had lost hope, one of their players scored a three point buzzer beater.

“It’s crazy how intense the McLean and Langley basketball games are,” Ma said.

Despite the high tensions and close game, the third quarter was a low action time for both the Highlanders and the Saxons. Perhaps this is due to the lack of air conditioning present in the gymnasium. Langley fans began a chant “we have AC,” to which the filled-to-capacity McLean side responded, “can’t take the heat!”

“It was a fun game because we were winning in the beginning, and then it was close the whole time,” said Langley High School senior Bayley McDermott, who came to support her team. “[But the gym] was disgusting. It felt like a sauna.”

However, there were some positives during this period. Amongst other small victories for the team, senior Mason Davis score a buzzer beater and made the Highlanders take the lead. The quarter ended with a score of 25-23.

“[Our mindset] didn’t change when we caught up because our guys kept working hard and playing defense all game long, leading us to winning,” Jonkers said.

Still, the boys had one final quarter. With fouls increasingly occurring, this portion of the game consisted mainly of free throws and three pointers from both teams. Highlanders scored significantly more points than their opponents and brought the final score to 42-33, which led a storm of black to take over the court. And for this year’s graduating class, this victory felt like the perfect way to spend their last rivalry basketball match.

“I couldn’t be happier that we won both games at our home game,” Ma said. “It seems like everything just came full circle, and it was the perfect end to senior year basketball season.”

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