Sports: Boys Basketball Knocks Off Rival Sequoia in Final Seconds
Coming off a loss in their previous game against rivals, the Sequoia Cherokees, the Bears faced Sequoia once again, and this time, came from behind to win by three in the final seconds of the game.
After Sequoia won the opening tip off, the ball went back and forth, and the game stayed scoreless for the first two minutes. At this time, senior Blake Olsen went to the line, knocking down one of two free throws to put M-A ahead.
The two teams exchanged baskets, keeping the game close in the early minutes. Jamar Gaddis was sent to the ground after a hard foul, and put the Bears up once against as tempers flared between players.
Sequoia’s offense was disrupted often by the packed M-A crowd, as troubles communicating resulted in two steals by the Bears. However, the Cherokees battled back at the end of the first, hitting a big three to extend their lead, 8-4, going into the second.
In the second quarter, M-A battled back. Jamar Gaddis primarily led the push for the Bears both offensively and defensively.
The drive started with a block by Gaddis, which lead to two free throws by Oliver Bucka. Gaddis came back again on defense with a steal and a fast break layup. However, M-A still found themselves down by four with under a minute left in the half.
Jamar proved himself once again, hitting a huge three pointer with 30 seconds left in the half to bring M-A within one point of Sequoia. He then came back on defense and took a charge as Sequoia attempted to bring the ball upcourt. The high intensity of play sent the Bears into halftime with momentum, down by only one, 11-12.
To start the second half, Sequoia regained control of the game, knocking down a three to kill M-A’s spirits. For the rest of the third quarter, the game stayed close. M-A finally took the lead to end the third quarter ahead, 21-20.
Sequoia battled back once again, going on a 9-0 run to start the final quarter of play. However, M-A never lost hope, as Gaddis and Blake Olsen hit back to back threes, bringing the Bears back into the game.
M-A found themselves down by one when Leland Callahan and Gaddis both made clutch free throws with just over a minute left in the game.
Now with less than a minute to play, Oliver Bucka put the Bears in front 34-33 with a layup. As the Cherokees went inbound it, Callahan came up with a huge steal, then was fouled to stop the clock with 15 seconds left.
“I struggled all game,” said Callahan after the game, “but [going to the line] I knew I had to step up and put my team in a better position to win.”
He did just that, knocking down both clutch free throws to put the Bears up by three. M-A held on for the last seconds of play to win the game by the slim margin of 36-33.
The Bears obviously learned from their mistakes in their first game against their rival, Sequoia, and came out with more intensity than in their previous matchup. The boys look to use this momentum in their upcoming game against Carlmont, as playoffs continue to approach.