Big Upset at Basketball Competition
The chants of King’s students filled the halls of Baruch College Athletics Center Saturday night as the annual House Basketball Competition heated up. Each house competed in a men’s or women’s double-elimination tournament for points toward the final House Cup score.
Those points would eventually go to the House of Winston Churchill and Clara Barton, with Churchill defeating the three-year champions-- the House of C.S. Lewis.
In the men’s bracket, Churchill, who had beaten the House of Dietrich Bonhoeffer 12-8, played Lewis. And when Lewis pulled ahead with a final score of 11-8, a Lewis victory seemed likely for a fourth year in a row.
“We’re going to win it all,” Lewis coach Elijah Carlston said.
In spite of the loss, Churchill players remained hopeful, preparing to play against the House of Ronald Reagan, who had defeated Bonhoeffer 30-24.
“We’re going to go out and play our game, and there’s no reason for us to lose,” Churchill player Isaac Coston said.
As Reagan and Churchill played to determine who would face Lewis in the final game, the House of Corrie ten Boom beat the House of Sojourner Truth 14-4 and Barton prepared to face their final competitor.
“Ten Boom is aggressive, the most aggressive team we’ve played by far,” Barton player Victoria Bevill said. “But as long as we play better on offense, as long as we shoot better, we’ll be okay.”
Churchill beat Reagan handily with a score of 17-8, and the final women’s game began.
Barton and ten Boom were neck-and-neck through the first half right up to the last five minutes, when ten Boom scored, raising the score to a 6-6 tie.
With only a few minutes remaining, Barton offense moved quickly, scoring another four points.
“Stay! Run down the clock!” Barton coach, Madeline Marona shouted from the sidelines.
But Barton pushed up to the hoop again, nearly losing the ball before scoring four more points to seal the deal with a final score of 14-6. After coming in second last year, Barton became the women’s Basketball Competition champions.
Across the hall, the men’s game was heating up. After some early back-and-forth scoring, Churchill had taken the lead by halftime and brought the score to 10-3.
Jonathan Sheaffer, Churchill alumnus and advisor for Lewis, watched from by the scoreboard.
“I’m cheering for Lewis,” he said. “100 percent for Lewis.”
But the second half proved no more successful for Lewis than the first, and Churchill took the win with a score of 12-5.
“We were saving energy for the next game,” Lewis coach Blake Ashley said. “The first half wasn’t going well, so we decided to rest our best players for the next one.”
The players told a slightly different story.
“Churchill wanted it more,” Lewis senior Trivette Knowles said. “We have very limited team cohesion, but even when they’re tired, they’re working together.”
Now both holding one loss, both teams prepared for what would be the final game, no matter the outcome.
“If I didn’t win this game, I’d go the rest of my life thinking about how I didn’t get that fourth year in a row,” Trivette Knowles said.
With the women’s competition finished, spectators crammed into the men’s gym to watch the final showdown.
The game began, and Churchill scored almost immediately. Lewis kept up at first, making two free throws, but by halftime the score was 11-6 in Churchill’s favor.
Lewis rushed to catch up in the second half, but with less than a minute remaining, the score was 12-7. Churchill’s defense shut down a last-ditch attempt at a three-point shot, and the game was over.
“We died,” Trivette Knowles said. “Our fatigue made us make the dumbest mental errors.”
As Churchill fans swarmed onto the court in celebration, the players huddled up.
“Every single one of you tried your darndest,” Isaac Coston said. “And that is what I’m proud of.”
Meanwhile, the Lewis coaches looked on from the sidelines.
“What went wrong?” Blake Ashley said. “Oh, we’re just resting for next year.”