Column: Boys Basketball Defeats Nimitz in captivating game, advances

Column: Boys Basketball Defeats Nimitz in captivating game, advances
The Panthers will face the top ranked team in the state tonight after defeating Irving Nimitz in a thriller Tuesday night. (Ariana Canchola photo)

Tonight the boys varsity basketball team will be facing one of the best teams in the state in Flower Mound Marcus for their UIL Area game. They boys advanced after a gripping, close game against Irving Nimitz earlier this week.

It was expected to be a close game from the beginning, though maybe not as close as it turned out to be. Duncanville seemed to set the pace when they quickly went up 7-2 against Nimitz early in the game. Duncanville began to create many scoring opportunities from the defensive end of the court. But every time it seemed the Panthers would begin to rally on a scoring streak, Nimitz would answer back by knocking down a 3-pointer.

By the end of the first quarter, it was evident that the game would consist of back-to-back baskets by both teams. Even still, the Panthers continued to be in front through out most of the game, though it was never by more than a few points and Nimitz would hit a small streak and be back within 2 points.

Senior Alfred Peterson came into the game during the third quarter and provided immediate scoring for the Panthers, including a one handed dunk that set a chippy mood for the game the rest of the night. Both teams began to get more aggressive and a few players had personal encounters with each other.

The fourth quarter saw Nimitz on a determined run for the victory. Drive after drive they began drawing fouls and heading to the free throw line. On one set of free throws, Nimitz took a one point lead.

Sophomore Devontae Bailey quickly regained the lead for the Panthers, but Nimitz quickly answered with a three pointer. With less than two minutes left in the game, Nimitz had a two point lead. Bailey then chip off a bit by going 1-2 at the line. But the Panthers still needed to make a defensive stop to have a chance at winning the game.

With very little time left, the Panthers saw themselves down 49-51. At that moment the spirit bus from the girl’s basketball arrived. Packed with cheerleaders and fans, the contents of the bus poured into the stands. One of the oncoming cheerleaders looked at the score and the time, she then immediately looked back at her teammates and they began to fill the court with cheers and motivation.

The other cheerleaders on the court quickly caught on, and players looked up at the stands to admire the influx of spirit coming from the crowd.

The up until then quiet crowd rose up and many rushed down to the rail. They watched as Duncanville draw the offensive foul as Nimitz was driving to the basket. This would send Peterson to the free throw line with a chance to tie the game.

Peterson scored on the first shot and waited anxiously for the ball to return to his hands, to possibly tie the game. But Peterson would miss his second attempt, but before the crowd’s smile could even fade, sophomores Omar Sherman and Bailey jumped for the rebound and tipped the ball into Peterson’s hands who then scored from within the paint to give Duncanville a one point lead.

Even with 25 seconds still left on the clock, the Panthers gathered around the bench and began to cheer and almost celebrate. But while maybe a bit early, it was well deserved at the end as they stepped it up on defense one last time to watch a Nimitz shot bounce off the rim, signaling their victory, 52-51.

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