Dream Ending at Eagle Point: A Personal Account

Billy Hansen performs the

Billy Hansen performs the "Dougie" dance after his miraculous game-winning shot

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Billy Hansen performs the "Dougie" dance after his miraculous game-winning shot

With the new conferences and power ranking system for the 2010-2011 basketball season, essentially the only games that mattered were against our new rival, Eagle Point. After losing to the Eagles on February 1, the rematch on February 8 was a must-win game. Our season, and for some, careers, depended on a victory on the road at EP.

The Belly of the Beast

The Eagle Point gym was a hostile environment, packed full of passionate, loud, and obnoxious fans. But this didn’t phase us as we executed a perfect game plan, taking a five-point lead into halftime. We shut down the Eagles’ go-to-guy, Logan Winter, and did an excellent job guarding the 6’4″ and 6’9″ combination of Tyrone Holmes and Zach Reed.

Unfortunately for us, our leading scorer, Billy Hansen, was having an off-shooting night. Eagle Point eventually worked their way back into the game and took a four-point lead going into the fourth quarter. It was now or never. We had to find a way to regain control of the game.

Senior Wesley Hitchko lived up to his nickname, “Big Time Wes,” as he stepped up and scored a clutch five points in the first few minutes of the final period. Both teams traded leads the rest of the game, setting up one last possession to decide the winner. It was tied 38-38 with 13.7 seconds remaining.

Coach Kellems drew up a “screen the screener” play for Billy to shoot a free-throw line jumper as time expired. We inbounded the ball and I initiated the play by dribbling hard to the right wing. For some reason, however, the play broke down and Billy did not run the correct motion.


The Final Countdown

I heard the crowd counting down and I knew I had to make a play. I faked a spin and tried to drive baseline, but the Eagle Point guard, Cesar Chavez, cut me off, forcing me to pick up my dribble. Just as I was about to put up a desperation shot, Billy cut back to the ball. I made the easy pass to him and he launched a fade-away three-pointer with an Eagle Point defender blanketed all over him. Time seemed to slow down as the ball sailed through the air. It had a chance.

When the ball ripped the cord, Eagle Point’s raucous student section went silent and the visiting Ashland students rushed the court. Pandemonium erupted on the floor as Billy performed a “Dougie” dance on the sideline. At first I did not join the celebration, for I was still in shock. Then I realized what just happened. “Superstar” had done it again.

Adrenaline rushed through my body and I yelled at the top of my lungs. After an energetic celebration, we all ran back to the locker room and let the jubilation continue. More cheering and dancing ensued. I was ecstatic. No matter what happened the rest of the season, we, the self-proclaimed “Dream Team,” would never wake up from this dream.

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