Teachers vs. students…vs refs?

The WHS student vs. teacher basketball game is always an event to remember. With the ultimate prize of pride on the line, both teams battled it out in two 12-minute halves to wrap up an incredible Community Service Week and honor our late principal, Dr. Derrick Nelson.  

Senior Tyrone Hamilton cracked the scoreboard with a textbook floater from the paint. After a few possessions to shake off the cobwebs, Health Teacher Kevin Everly knocked down a triple to silence the crowd and to give the teachers an early 3-2 lead. 

Before the game, Hamilton said, “I’m most worried about Everly; his jump shot is smooth.” 

At 6-6, with 9 minutes left in the first half, the students brought in their second string and senior Zander Barraza immediately nailed a contested three from the top of the arc. The WHS three-point season record holder sank another trey from the left wing on the following possession, giving the students a comfortable 12-6 lead. 

In the midst of a lengthy scoring drought for both sides, WHS Boys Basketball Coach and Physical Education Teacher James McKeon hit a deep three to inspire his team. 

“Playing against the kids on my team is awesome because I get to exploit their weaknesses the whole time,” McKeon said postgame. 

Though, this newfound energy made the teachers a little too aggressive on defense, sending Senior Ronan Fowler to the line twice, where he went 3-4. At every whistle, the teachers’ complaints of the refs being too soft were audible throughout the gym. Both sides were getting a little chippy, but it seemed like the refs, seniors Luke Jacobs and Theo Shapiro, swallowed their whistles. 

As the clock ticked down, Everly sank a cold-blooded elbow shot to bring the score to 22-21, with the students up at the half. In the five-minute halftime, the dance team took the floor with an incredible performance to keep spirits high. “We were so excited to show the school what the dance team can do,” said junior captain Klara Butler.

After the break, both teams looked a little cold. At the 10-minute mark, Fowler nailed a corner trey to which Social Studies Teacher Enrico Basso answered with a bucket in the paint. 

“Listen, we’re playing against a bunch of average athletes so this shouldn’t be too hard,” Basso commented during the game. 

McKeon ignited his team’s comeback with 3:25 left by assisting Social Studies Teacher Joseph Berardi banked three and by sinking a three of his own on back-to-back possessions. Then, with buckets from Social Studies Teacher Antony Farag and Everly, just like that, the teachers had established a three-point lead. 

“I can teach my students basketball’s history, but not basketball,” said a modest Farag. 

With one minute left and no more time outs available, the students had regained the lead following a jumper from senior Tommy Hughes and an electrifying slam dunk from senior Sean Logan. Everly, who had a dominant performance, attacked the rim and was finally rewarded with a whistle, sending him to the line. Everyone held their breath as he swished the first shot but just missed the second. 

With the score tied at 47, it was ultimately the refs who decided the game. There were minimal whistles blown to favor the teachers but down the stretch, it seemed like the stripes disappeared entirely. After drawing up an end-of-game play, Logan received the inbound pass and was two-hand pushed over the half-court line by McKeon. The call on the floor: backcourt violation. Tension was high and to add to the chaos, the class bell rang as the teachers threw a hail mary at the buzzer. To everyone’s dismay, the competition ended like no other basketball game before in a 47-47 tie. 

While both teams put up a great fight, the second half was the Everly show earning him MVP of the game. Finishing with 14 points, 4 assists and 1 tremendous block, he put on a clinic in the post.