None of it would've mattered had the Mustangs maintained the game at the free-throw line with nine seconds left. Jake Comer was in a one-and-one situation when the Eagles rebounded the ball. With no timeouts, Chad Fackler then passed the ball to Beck, who was past midcourt. Beck dribbled up the sideline, going toward the corner before pulling up for a three-pointer and didn’t give up.
The Battle of the Bell game for boys Varsity Basketball this past Thursday was extremely intense and full of school spirit up to the last second of the game. Estancia came in for the win of the game but because they only won by one point Mesa remained victorious with the rivalry bell. The Mustangs claimed the Bell for the first time in five years. Though Estancia was automatically in the CIF championship after defeating Mesa at this buzzer shot game, Mesa gathered all their composure to fight for their opportunity to show their rivals exactly what they have in the game against Calvary Chapel this Saturday.
Before the game, Coach Rice was confident in his team saying “We’re very comfortable, we love all 14 of them and we’re ready for this game. We have been in a few tough games recently but that just helps us prepare. The
seniors definitely have to step up this game, Jordan Walden, [Marcus] Hayes, [Jake] Comer, [Saaeed] El-Assadi, and Nick [Dawson] have to contain big guy [6-foot-7 center] Rashad Davis (#6 for the Estancia Eagles).”
Walden accompanied Coach Rice’s optimistic spirit commenting on how much the ream has grown, “We’re pretty confident, we’ve grown as a team, grown as brothers, I think we’ll be ok despite our two game losing streak.” He also added how the team has brought their spirits up the past few weeks by playing music all throughout practice and how after this season he will miss his team a lot because although he has grown with them and has had a lot of fun, he will focus on his other love, football in college.
The crowd was live with all kinds of support from Ms. Scott and all ASB members to Mr. Kiefer and of course Dr. D’Agostino who was very excited about the game and supportive of how well all CMHS athletes have been performing, “I am obviously excited. We’ve had three athletes in football sign to Chapman and Oklahoma State University as well as two more next year up for basketball and football scholarships. Four wrestlers are also up for state championships. It’s been a great season for all sports and I can’t wait to watch the game.”
Dr. Bauermeister, Estancia’s Principal who graduated from CMHS stated that he was happy with who ever won this game, although of course he would love to see Estancia win, he would want CMHS to take home the win in the CIF championships if Estancia couldn’t. “We want to beat Mesa for the right reasons, because we respect them and know how well they can do.”Estancia also has a few athletes being considered for scholarships including Rashaad Davis who is being recruited, a few golfers who are being signed to UCLA and a few softball girls who are being signed to a California State University.
Estancia made the first shot of the game within the first five minutes while all of Mesa athletes and fans included chanted for the athletes in the game to remain focused and bring that “D, D, D”.
During the second quarter, a call was made on player 51, Nick Dawson for hitting the ball out of bounds but the simple call soon changed to be a serious technical foul called on Mesa for Nick Dawson wearing the wrong number jersey, he was wearing 51 when he should have been wearing 22. The coaches including Bryan Rice were extremely disappointed considering the constant questioning with Dawson and the refs before about the
After this call during half time, the coaches had a lot to think about. “Everyone seemed to struggle under the pressure and got the ball stolen by a turnover every time. We need to get in the corners and get more rebounds,”was the plan determined for the second half of the game.
Alex Sampietro’s parents commented on the overall athlete’s performance in the game saying, “They were fans at the beginning but players at the end [of the second quarter].”
Mesa’s Nick Hefner scored a number of advantageous shots including a two-pointer in the third quarter taking the score from 21 to 23, Estancia to a tie along with many more to make the player of the game scoring fourteen of the thirty-two. Many timeouts were called the second half of the game as things were getting close to the end. The first teams’ foul against Mesa’s Jake Comer allowed Estancia to get the ball but as a result of lousy ball hold, Mesa which got another foul and allowed Estancia to come back with two free throws. Another timeout was called by Mesa’s coach Rice instructing his team, “We got the ball where we want it, just stayed focused and work that defense.”
Jordan Walden made an extraordinary jump in the third quarter against Estancia’s Ben Beck, who did a fake out. Martin Harry was also constantly in charge of the ball for Estancia passing and scoring for the rival team.
During the third quarter Mesa athletes participated in an inside joke, patting all their heads for good luck. Coach
Rice also continued to call out plays and called for Mesa athletes to maintain control, “Hold, that’s a hold” to Hefner who had the ball with all Eagles surrounding the ball ready to attack.
Once the game was near the end, constant cheers and applause as well as exclamations against bogus plays and good effort by both teams filled the stadium. Defense calls by the coaches and fans as well as flips and entertaining tricks performed by the Eagle and Mustang cheerleaders also added to the environment.
After the last play, Coach Bryan Rice reminded his team of their victory with the bell and their future chance of the playoffs exclaiming, “Pick your heads up. We have one more chance left tomorrow night for the playoffs. They got lucky, but we have one more chance. We did almost everything we needed to do. The boys played their hearts out and we got the bell, which we haven’t been able to do in a while.” Assistant coach Dan Krikorian added his feelings about the outcome of the game saying, “It’s a bittersweet win. We’ll take the bell in city champs. Our guys fought really hard but he [Beck] made unbelievable shot and got lucky.”
El-Assadi tried to uplift his teammates as well after the surprising shot by claiming “It was my bad, don’t worry about it,” to Hayes and Comer.
D’Agostino and Mr. Bauermeister tried to uplift all by reminding everyone that they were the winner, “ The big winner is the city of Costa Mesa. Give it up for yourselves. We respect each other and hope the best
of luck to both teams in the playoffs.”