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The Highlander

The Student News Site of McLean High School

The Highlander

The Student News Site of McLean High School

The Highlander

Highlander boys fall short against Langley Saxons

McLean Boys basketball loses to Langley in a high-energy game
Junior shooting guard Max Mullen shoots against the Langley Saxons on a penalty shot. The final score of the game was 42-59.

Final Score: 42-59

Last night, the McLean student body donned their all-white attire and packed the stands of the Langley Saxon home court for a rivalry basketball game.

Senior center Isaac Bell won the tip-off, but Langley gained control soon after. The lively Highlander crowd chanted defense, and the high energy between the court and the sidelines promised an exciting night.

With the Highlanders in high spirits, Bell took a shot, but it was quickly brought back down to Highlander territory. The first point of the game went to the Saxons, and the competition began.

The Highlanders’ confidence increased when Isaac Bell scored the first 3-pointer of the night, and they picked up the lead when senior shooting guard Jeremy Fuchs quickly followed with another basket. At the end of the first quarter, the Highlanders led 14-8 against the Saxons.

The second quarter started off fast-paced, with both teams giving it their all. Freshman power forward Simas Kacerauskas stayed prominent throughout the quarter, with aggressive moves and pressure on Saxon defensive players.

Senior guard Caf Eaton was also a major player, scoring both of his penalty shots and bringing the Highlanders to an 8-point lead, 18-10.

The Highlanders spent the majority of their time in enemy territory but with few points on the board. Pressure from the fans and the Saxons alike briefly brought the team’s momentum back up, but the exhaustion of the intense game started to wear on McLean’s players.

“I feel like the first quarter was really good,” Fuchs said. “Caf and Isaac brought a lot of energy. But then the second, third, and fourth quarters were rough and we couldn’t really score as much as we did [during] our first quarter.”

The half ended with a closer divide, the Highlanders leading by a slim 21-18.

After a long tirade in Saxon territory, the Saxons took back the ball and scored a 2-pointer to start off the second half. To the dismay of the crowd, Langley now led for the first time in the game 22-21, and the Highlanders were beginning to tire on the court.

Increasing the lead to 24-21, the Saxons took the upper hand with the Langley stands’ chants growing louder. Under all the pressure, Fuchs dribbled into enemy territory with ease, but to no avail. The struggle between the two teams intensified as the clock wound down to the final quarter.

In the fourth quarter with the Saxons in the lead, the Highlanders put their hearts on the court. Moving quicker than ever with 5 minutes to go and 9 points to score, the crowd stayed hushed until the scoreboard lit up again.

As the time on the clock decreased, the gap between the two teams solidified for the night. The Highlanders kept moving to try and score, but the game ended with a Highlander loss.

“We need to start focusing on winning as a team,” Coach Mike O’Brien said. “On the court, we’re making a lot of moves individually, but we need to look at working together during games.”

Despite the Langley loss, the Highlanders will still move on to the playoffs.

“We all have one goal in mind: we want to win districts,” senior shooting guard Vaughn McCollough said. “We all know what we are capable of, so if we have a good week of practice and everyone locks in, [playoffs] will be good.”

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  • J

    JonoFeb 8, 2024 at 1:24 pm

    It’s odd that the boys beating Yorktown on Senior Night, or the girls beating Langley the same night, isn’t a story, but you invariably cover the losses. And there’s no article yet on Gymnastics or Wrestling winning the district. You come across as just some negative kids with a platform who want to take the school’s athletes down a notch.

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