The varsity boys basketball team played Wilcox tonight in its final game of the season.
With the score tied at 37-37 and 27.5 seconds left in the team’s season, LAHS had the ball with a chance to finish the season with a satisfying victory. Senior Bemi Onipede got the ball with 10 seconds left in the game and passed out of the trap to junior Mac Kliman, who threw a risky cross court pass to senior Ahmad Rangeen.
A Wilcox defender attempted to steal the pass but was called for a loose ball foul, sending Ahmad to the line with 5.1 seconds left and the game on the line. With LAHS in the double bonus, Ahmad had two shots to break the tie.
His first shot fell short clanking off the front of the rim. His second free throw rippled through the net and ended the season with a win for LAHS.
“Ahmad making the last shot as a senior in his last game, felt somewhat appropriate,” Coach James Reilly said.
Coach Reilly started all five seniors in the game because it was Senior Night. The emotion of the seniors brought them to a hot start in the first quarter, where they made four out of their first five attempts from the field.
“Everybody was focused to get a good start because it was senior night, and the seniors were obviously very focused and they had a good start,” Reilly said.
The hot start brought the Eagles to a 14-8 lead after the first quarter, but they soon fell into an offensive lull in the second and third quarters. The team only scored five points in the second quarter and seven in the third.
However, strong defense kept them in the game holding Wilcox to only four points in the third quarter, so LAHS had a 26-22 lead going into the fourth quarter.
Bemi led the charge offensively in the fourth quarter, hitting two fast break scores and a tough floater with two minutes left and the shot clock winding down. He finished the game as the leading scorer for LAHS with nine points.
“In the fourth quarter, Bemi really drove with a purpose, not just sort of out of control, he made many key plays with purpose,” Reilly said.
The Eagles won the game with a final score of 38-37 thanks to the clutch free-throw Ahmad made to close out the season. He was carried off the floor on the shoulders of LAHS students and teammates.