Marisa has been a photographer on the Harbinger staff for 3 years and the online photo editor for 2 years. Along with photography, she enjoys reading and painting and staying caught up on current events. Read Full »
For two minutes, the Lancers simply stalled.
Then, with the final 15 seconds ticking off the clock and the game tied at 38-38, the ball was placed in junior Gunnar Englund’s hands.
Englund had been the man of the night for East. He had notched 14 points by slicing through the Rockhurst defense and finishing layups in traffic. So for the final play of the game, Englund was asked to do one thing — drive to the rim.
He did. He missed, and junior Lucas Jones caught the ball and slammed it through the rim.
The clock read 4.2 seconds. The crowd erupted. The packed bleachers of the East student section were shaking as the students leaped and howled — not because of Jones’ dunk, but because the referees were whistling a foul.
Englund was going to the line.
He sank the first shot. The second one bounced off the rim, but senior Collin Burns snatched the pass from a Rockhurst player out of the air.
The clock had barely hit zero when the Lancers flooded the court to celebrate their second-straight win over Rockhurst.
“After I got fouled I wasn’t as nervous as I thought I would be and once I made that free throw most of the nerves went away,” Englund said. “I’m just glad that we get to keep the bragging rights for at least another year.”
In a close, fast-paced game, both the Lancers and Rockhurst struggled to find offensive momentum and control the pace. The first few minutes of play remained scoreless, and the trend continued as both teams were held to under 40 points.
Adding to the intensity of the game were the student sections, which were packed to capacity and equally raucous throughout the night. The loud atmosphere catered to a fast-paced game, and both teams delivered. The night was filled with players diving on each other, body checking and tumbling to the ground after attempting to draw charges. Although the game was often tied or led by a single point, East held the momentum for a majority of the game.
“The student section was rocking which makes for a heart pounding atmosphere,” senior Luke Haverty said. “We fed off of their energy and ultimately beat a very good Rockhurst team.”
Rockhurst thrived on an uptempo, full-court style of play where players such as juniors Will Bazzle and Cartier Dean could drive to the rim and draw fouls. Dean, the leading point scorer for Rockhurst, spent much of the night on the foul line, pushing his team into the double bonus in both halves.
Meanwhile, Haverty set the pace for the Lancers, trying to keep a calm, under control tempo for the Lancers. The team focused on passing around the perimeter until they found lanes to the basket or an easy pass to Jones, who had seven points and two blocks on the night.
“It’s a great matchup, both teams played their tails off in a hard-fought battle,” head coach Shawn Hair said. “Both of these teams had a good chance to win. It was tough, physical, hard-nosed basketball and we were fortunate to come out on top.”
Watch a video recap of the basketball game against Rockhurst: