Worth The Wait

Varsity basketball team defeated rival Rockhurst High School

Hannah Taylor, Head Copy Editor

Students dressed in their matching superhero t-shirts formed a line outside of the gym entrance doors. After being pushed back three times by assistant principal Britton Haney, they were ready to secure a spot for the biggest game of the season — the Rockhurst game. 

Once it was 4:30 p.m., Haney let in the students one by one by ticket numbers. First were the seniors, and the rest piled in after to find a spot in the bleachers. It was time for the JV game. 

In the last quarter, JV fell to the Hawklets 61-70. But students didn’t give up hope for the varsity game. They didn’t run from their seventh hour classes to get a good ticket, or wait three hours before just for varsity to lose against Rockhurst.

“It was worth it being there hours ahead,” senior Brigid Wentz said. “It adds a lot to the total energy of the game.” 

When it was time for tipoff, junior Preston Reynolds took his spot at the circle. The crowd cheered around him while he waited for the referee to blow the whistle. He jumped, knocked the ball forward and Rockhurst had the first possession. 

On the bench sat seniors Jack Slaughter, Joe McGrath and junior Charlie Sublette. Together, they prepared themselves to sub in the game. With a big crowd, and the pressure to play well, they didn’t want to mess up on the court. They had been waiting to beat Rockhurst. This was it. The team was ready to win. 

“We were all so dialed in,” McGrath said. “We knew we had a chance to win.”

But the pressure only increased for the varsity players. They had to work harder. They needed sharper passes, cleaner plays and better communication on the court. At the end of the second quarter, the boys trailed 23-26.

While the team followed head coach Shawn Hair to the locker room, the cheerleaders rolled out the mats for the competition team performance, and the Lancer Dancers awaited to debut their hip-hop routine. 

When the cheerleaders hit their pyramids, and drill team posed one last time in their “Bad Girls” themed dance, the student section cheered as loud as they could. They were hyped up to defeat the Hawklets. The boys returned from the locker room — this time with even more determination beat Rockhurst. 

They were only one point behind at the end of the third quarter, but eight minutes were put back onto the clock, and the team had one last chance to win the game.  

The teams ran back and forth on the court, making each student section nervous with every point that was put on the scoreboard. 

“In those games, when they’re so close, it comes down to who wants it more,” Slaughter said. “We wanted it a little bit more than they did, and fought extra hard to win.”

 With 4.9 seconds left in the game, the Lancers were down 46-47. But that all changed when senior Nick Arensburg scored the winning layup. 

The final score was 48-47. It was the first victory against Rockhurst that SM East had in three years. 

Without hesitation, a stampede of students from the bleachers ran past assistant principal Susan Leonard and Haney. They stormed the court to celebrate the victory with the team. It was what the students and the team were waiting for. 

“We rebounded really well that game,” McGrath said. “We weren’t going to be punked in our own house.”