Highland Defeats East… Again

Lindie Bell, Feature Editor

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The Highland and East rivalry was almost tangible last night as the two schools battled neck and neck until the very end, but our Rams tasted victory once again, with a final score of 53-51.

Highland felt confident throughout the beginning of the game with a constant lead and a halftime score of 34-23. The Leopards stepped up their game and caught up significantly during the third and fourth quarter, and the tension built as East became a little faster on their feet, and Highland missed a few critical free throws and shots. With about 5 minutes left, the Leopards were only lagging behind 3 points.

“I don’t know if there are words to describe it, it’s just a great feeling [to beat east],” Jim Boyce, varsity head coach said.

Boyce mentioned that he was proud of Oscar Maxfield’s performance during the game. Maxfield, Senior at Highland made a free throw shot that just about saved the Rams last night. Boyce also mentioned that he was impressed by the two three pointers that Elijah Shelton, Senior at Highland made. Along with the two impressive players, Boyce was proud of the whole teams performance. He pointed out that the Rams defense in the first half was especially strong.

“They gave us their best shot in the second half, but we had enough in the tank to pull it out,” Boyce said.

This basketball season has been given a little more meaning for Coach Boyce, as his son, Travis prepares to graduate High school this June. With his son on the basketball team, Boyce has been able to observe his sons character and hard work throughout the season, and has enjoyed spending time with him during his last year of high school.

“I’m really proud of him. He finishes sprints first and works really hard. I’m very very happy. I love him and I’m proud of him,” Boyce said about his son Travis.

Every time Highland plays East, it becomes more than just a basketball game. Every student in the black hole is filled with both excitement and nerves, as they cheer on their Rams in hopes of beating our long lasting rival. The student section was extremely involved last night, and cheered at The Rams every last move. Tension grew as the clock ran, and the students started to question if the Rams could pull it off. It was moves like Richard Tialavea’s slam dunk that set the student section on fire. Tialavea, senior at Highland was left with a big smile on his face when he was able to dunk on his rival — every high school basketball players dream.

“I just thought if I dunked it, it would make everyone go crazy and I guess it did,” Tialavea said. “It gave our team momentum, and we came out with a win. I just try to do whatever I can to make the team win.”

The Rams have now beat East twice, and can begin to wrap up their season pleased and proud because of their performance against The Leopards. It means so much to the coaches, players and students to defeat East High, but to have a perfect record against them just adds a little more excitement into the season.

“It means a lot. We beat them 2-0 this season and it feels good. We don’t have to play them no more, and that’s good,” Tialavea said, as students and parents patted him on the back and congratulated him on his big night.

Last night, everyone was proud to be a ram. It is moments like those, that the “ramfam” term truly applies to Highland students. Kids were embracing each other out of excitement and thrill, and the seniors united all the 2018 graduates by proudly chanting “senior year, senior year.” The excitement that filled the basketball stadium last night was bottled up and taken out the door with each ram, and our school spirit can hopefully stay strong until the end of the season. The Rams played hard last night, never giving up hope and always keeping up strength and in return, we were rewarded another monumental defeat against East Highschool.

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