In one of the biggest games at Murchison Gym in recent memory, the No. 4 Westmont Men’s Basketball team took their fans on a roller coaster of emotions for 40 minutes of play, but their heroic efforts were ultimately thwarted by the No. 7 Master’s Mustangs, who defeated the Warriors in heartbreaking fashion by a score of 70-69.
In a game where Westmont once led by as many as 12 points, the Mustangs forced the Warriors into foul trouble late in the second half, ultimately causing both senior Justin Bessard and junior Tristan Lloyd to foul out of the game with what turned out to be one too many possessions left for The Master’s.
As the clock ticked down at the beginning of the final minute, the Warriors found themselves down three when junior Gyse Hulsebosch hit a miraculous game-tying three in what appeared to be one of the most iconic shots this generation of Warriors fan had ever seen. Then, after a quick score by the Master’s, Westmont retaliated with junior Hunter Sipe who lobbied for his own iconic shot of the generation, sending fans into a frenzy with 8.7 seconds left on the clock by hitting another three-pointer, putting Westmont up by one.
The Master’s called a timeout to then advance the ball up the court, and the site in Murchison Gym was something you’d have to be there to fully comprehend. This particular Warrior’s Men’s basketball team has summoned the heart of the Westmont community, giving us a victor worth rooting for. If the game were part of a movie in which the Warriors were declared protagonists, that game would have ended at that final timeout, and Warrior faithful would have continued to go crazy, and celebrated long into Saturday night etching the shots by Gyse and Hunter into their memory for years to come.
But athletics aren’t like movies; athletics are like life: cruel and unfair.
Out of the timeout the Master’s sent in their star guard Daryl Mcdowell-White, who had no size to contest him down low (as Lloyd and Bessard were unable to come back into the game), and put in a layup off the glass with 1.6 seconds left, proving moments later to be enough to defeat Westmont’s heroic effort.
One of the truest quotes in life as well as sports comes from Ted Chiang’s short story “Hell is the Absence of God,” in which he writes that “Receiving torment in how you prove your love.” In sports and also life you must be willing to have your heart broken again and again if you truly want to relish in glory. Sports can be cruel, but the beautiful thing about them is that the final word is rarely ever spoken when two teams initially meet. The Warriors have a chance to beat the Master’s in Santa Clarita on Feb. 22, tip-off at 7:30 p.m. The Warriors play Hope International University this Thursday at home, where they hope to win to stay No. 1 in GSAC.