Top 10 games of the year

Sports at MacArthur have concluded in the 2015-2016 school year. Over these 10 months of competition, we’ve had numerous intense games with some going our way, while others have left the athletes devastated. Having seen every major sport play multiple times, I’ve been able to see plenty of terrific games. And with the help of the student-athletes to find even more games, I’ve constructed my subjective top 10 games of the year. Enjoy.

  1. Basketball hits a game winner against Johnson, again

The boys basketball team faced Johnson in a game where no team had more than a three point lead to end a quarter. With Johnson game planning to stop shooter Kyle Murphy, fellow starters Josh Rodgers, Kevin Luckey, and Charles Henderson combined to score 40 points. This close game was tied at 47 with 27 seconds left, and after letting some time run off, Kyle Murphy got doubled, leaving senior Kevin Luckey open in the left corner near the baseline. Kyle launched a pass with his left hand to Kevin, and with about six seconds left, he pulled up for a long two and hit the jumper, winning the team their final game.

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  1. Tennis saves season with dramatic comeback

Anytime a team comes back, against Madison, to make the playoffs, they deserve to be on this list. This is what happened when the tennis team faced Madison in a “Win or go home” showdown. After being down 5-2 early, the Brahmas showed resilience as they won eight of the next nine matches to make the playoffs for the third straight year. And bragging rights once again over the Mavs.

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  1. Basketball beats rival Madison in first district game

Over the last few years, the Mac-Madison basketball games have been the most intense, physical, and the best games. Trash talk has become standard between students and players before, during, and after games. Another page in this rivalry was written when the two met in their first district game. Madison led 23-19 in the second quarter, then the Brahmas, led by shooter Kyle Murphy, caught fire and went on a 20-1 run that lasted until the five minute mark in the third. Mac led 39-24 at that time, then Madison went on a 22-10 run of their own, which trimmed the team’s lead to three. Madison would tie the game, and Mac had the ball with 7.5 second left. Then Kevin Luckey caught the ball on the left wing, took two power dribbled in the paint and made a soft floater to give Mac the 56-54 win over their bitter rivals.

  1. Football falls in high scoring bout

After winning four games in a row, including two district games, the football team faced Lee in the best football game of the year. A total of 116 points were scored in this game, yet neither team held more than a 15 point lead. With 7:57 left in the game, Mac took a one point lead thanks to a Daijon Williams 8-yard run. The high powered Volunteer offense countered and marched down the field, milking some clock, leading to a 23 yard field goal attempt for the Lee kicker that went to Mac for two years, Greer Smith. Smith nailed the kick, winning Lee the game. Luckily, Lee would lose to Roosevelt a few weeks later, helping Mac make the playoffs.

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  1. Volleyball completes improbable comeback

Coming back from a 2-0 set deficit in volleyball takes poise, maturity, and a little bit of luck. The volleyball team had all of that when facing that deficit against rivals Madison. Maddie Trawick and Mallory Potts had a standard terrific game, combining for 51 kills, but it was their focus that set the tone. After saving a match point, the team, won the fourth and fifth sets 27-25, and 17-15. The game had an amazing environment with both crowds getting into it, more importantly, the win essentially secured a playoff spot for the girls.

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  1. Baseball rallies and wins in walk off against the district champs

The team faced a daunting task, trailing 6-3 in the bottom of the 7th against the best team in the city, the Johnson Jaguars, and their best pitcher. The Brahmas chipped away, scoring 2 runs early, cutting the deficit to one run. Then with two men in scoring position, Junior Devin Molina stepped to the plate, and knocked a ball to the outfield, scoring both runs and winning the team the game. Devin would get ESPN player of the week in the city for his performance.

  1. Basketball loses in crazy and controversial fashion

The great games are the ones that invoke a feeling just by thinking about them, that’s what happens with this game. The Brahmas were without senior Kevin Luckey, and Reagan had two towering 6’7 big men. The other players stepped up for the team, Josh Rodgers drained four threes and Charles Henderson tore apart the Reagan zone with his midrange shooting, the two combined for 35 points. The Reagan students let senior Kyle Murphy hear it the entire night, yelling numerous obscenities at the former Lopez middle school guard. The two teams traded blows, and if my memory serves me right, neither team held over a five point lead in the second half. Then sophomore Nate Levine hit a go ahead three with 17 seconds left, and Mac led 57-56. Then Reagan shoots a mid range jumper, misses, gets the offensive rebound, misses, then a loose ball hits the floor. Both teams dive for it, and with 1.3 seconds left, an absurd loose ball foul is called on Mac. Reagan stepped to the line and sank both free throws, winning them the game 58-57.

  1. Girls soccer wins the region

The girls rolled through the playoffs up to this point, beating their first four opponents with the aggregate score of 6-1, leaving O’Connor as the final roadblock in their path to State. The lady Brahmas asserted their will early, but they couldn’t break through. Twelve minutes passed in the second half, when Kyra Falcone took matters into her own hands, she used her precise dribbling to maneuver past defenders, before shooting from the corner of the box. The ball curled around the keeper and into the back of the net, giving Mac a 1-0 lead. O’Connor made a final push with two minutes left, they hit the crossbar then fired a shot that was saved by Mary Cardone, preserving the win, and their spot at State.

  1. Unlikely hero saves baseball’s season in the first round

Their backs were against the wall after losing game one in the three game series. The baseball team entered the playoffs as a four seed and faced the number one ranked team in the city, Clemens, in round one. After winning game two 6-0, the decisive game three was thirty minutes later. Sophomore Austin Vaughan stepped up and pitched a complete game shutout against a stacked Clemens lineup. The drama ensued in the bottom of the seventh when Tyler Vitt doubled with one out. The next batter was walked, and senior Kevin Valderrama walked to the plate for the first time all series. With the count 1-1, Kevin swung and hit the ball to right-center field, bringing in Tyler, which won the game and the series for Mac.

  1. Girls soccer’s incredible season ends in a classic match at State

Few, if any, occasions in recent MacArthur history have consumed the school the way that this year’s girls soccer team did. On Friday April 15th at 9:30 AM, almost every student, teacher, and administrator was either in Georgetown at the game, or watching the live broadcast in school. The girl’s, like always, did not disappoint. They faced the 25th ranked team in the country, Dallas Highlands Park, and went toe to toe with them for 95 minutes. With three minutes left in the first half, Kyra Falcone dribbled down the sideline and crossed a ball to a sprinting Bella Vontoussaint, who headed it in, giving Mac a 1-0 lead. The Scots of Highlands Park responded with a goal halfway through the second half, and after a penalty kick that was saved by the Scots, and two hit crossbars by the Brahmas, the two teams headed to extra time. After Mac hit yet another crossbar, the tide turned in favor of HP. The Scots scored on two rebounded goals with under five minutes left and the girls lost 3-1. The pain was palpable by everybody on the field and in attendance. This was a historic performance by a historic MacArthur team.

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