Spartans Surge on Senior Night

The last seconds ticked off the clock and the realization set in; the varsity boys basketball team was victorious. Last Friday, in a last second comeback, the Spartans won their final home game of the season, and for the seniors, their final home game of their careers.

This was senior night, and the opponent was Fort Zumwalt West, a team that beat the Spartans last year. Lead by junior Derrick Puni, the Spartans were able to keep the game close all the way until the end, setting the scene for a spectacular senior night finish.

With 14 seconds left, sophomore Tre Curry took his last free throw. If the ball went in, the game would be tied 55-55. Curry took a deep breath and took the shot. The ball floated in the air and eventually came down, but unfortunately for the Spartans, it did not go in. In a feat students in attendance deemed pure athleticism, Puni jumped up from his standstill position and retrieved the rebound. Puni was now in the spotlight. He put up a layup, and the crowd went wild. The ball had gone in. Spartans lead 56-55.

“When he put that up, I was amazed. But that meant we had to play ten seconds of good defense. Play D one more time and we get the win,” senior Ryan Miller said.

The Spartans were able to play defense well enough to shut out the Jaguars as the last seconds ticked off the clock.

The students section rushed onto the court to congratulate the team. The seniors, overcome with a swirl of emotions, quickly realized they had won their senior night.

“It’s always big to get a huge win in the last home game for the seniors,” Miller said.

What could potentially be more important then the emotions the win came with, is the benefits the win came with. After the win, the Spartans clinched the No. 3 seed in the district tournament, eliminating the need for a play-in game. The victory also did a number on the team’s confidence.

“If we came back then, we can come back now. That’s what the team believes. We’ll keep fighting until the end,” Miller said.

This win will be a obvious motivator as the team closes out the rest of the season, but for now, the team is still taking in the happiness of the victory.

“It’s probably the first or second best game I’ve played. This and last year’s Howell game. But this year was special because it’s always good to go out with a bang,” Miller said.

Districts begins Feb. 20, with the Spartans playing one more game at Howell North before on Feb. 17.