By Jacob Berrier | Staff Writer
The varsity boys basketball team lost to the Jesuit Rangers on Friday, Jan. 10 at Jesuit. This loss was a heartbreaker to many of the fans who attended, due to the controversial ending in the last three seconds of the game.
The first half was going over exceptionally well for the team. By half-time, the scoreboard read 24-10 in favor of the Mustangs.
As the Mustang took the court in the third quarter, the production of the offense drastically decreased. The team committed an abundance of turnovers and repeatedly missed shots.
“We should’ve made better offensive decisions down the stretch to lessen Jesuit possessions,” senior Campbell Morriss said.
In the fourth quarter, Jesuit almost scored double the points that Pearce did, catching up quickly. Then, during the last four seconds of the game, a Jesuit player was fouled by senior Cy Obert. Since they were in bonus, he got to shoot free throws.
The nervousness was increasing as the game went on, so this was a huge moment for both sides.
“When they were catching up, it put more pressure on us to execute our offense because we were in a big scoring drought,” senior Travis Gross said. “Even though it did get close, I still had confidence in my team that we would withstand the win.”
The free-throw was missed, and Jesuit got the rebound. They dished it back to number 22 on the Jesuit team to make a last three-pointer. He missed, and another player jumped to tip the ball back in. It was successful, the shot went in, and Jesuit fans stormed the court.
However, there appears to be evidence that the ball actually didn’t leave the hand of the player before the clock expired. This picture shows the clock expired and the ball still in his hand. The rules state in Section XI-Field Goal Attempt, “The field goal will not be scored if time on the game clock expires before the ball leaves the player’s hand or the ball is in flight toward the rim,” meaning this should have been the end of the game, with Pearce winning by one point.
The refs left, however, and the celebration began, and the game goes down as a 36-35 loss for Pearce.
“We should have won that game,” said Campbell. “There’s clear evidence that the ball hadn’t left his hand yet. When the students rushed the court, the refs just walked out and didn’t even make a call. And you know that we should’ve won when the head coach from Jesuit told me, ‘That should’ve counted. Y’all won the game’.”