Boys Basketball robbed at Senior Night
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As a bottle dropped onto the court from the bleachers for the second time, the Atoms’ bench erupted with anger as the team would be charged with a technical foul and the Majors would be awarded four free throw attempts which they converted into points.
Unfortunately for the Atoms, with the team clinging to a one point lead late in the fourth quarter, the actions of a spectator from the bleachers robbed them of a senior night victory.
“I was shocked that someone would do that to their own team,” senior Robert Figley said.
The game started out as any traditional senior night game would with Atoms hosting the Mount Vernon Majors.
The Atoms’ seniors Youni Eskinder, Jordan Adams, Chase Murphy, Edris Raid, Dontae Johnson, Robert Figley, Junior Ebirim and Andrew Ours were honored before the game tipped off.
“Being called out for senior night was probably the best feeling in the whole world,” senior Edris Raid said
The final game of the regular season started strong for the Atoms as the team took the lead and remained in front for the remainder of the first quarter with the score at 12-9.
The Majors tied the game at 15 midway through the second quarter. Eventually, the Majors extended their lead late in the second quarter. However, the Atoms fought back and regained the lead going into the half up 23-18.
The Atoms maintained their lead up until the beginning of the fourth quarter. The Atoms and the Majors would trade the lead for multiple possessions, until Mount. Vernon built up a six point lead 43-37.
With time winding down in the game, senior Dontae Johnson scored on a driving lay up, a clutch basket to give the lead back Atoms 48-47 with only two minutes remaining.
With the Atoms holding onto a 56-55 lead with less than a minute remaining, a spectator in the bleachers on the Annandale side threw a bottle that landed onto the court.
The referees stopped play and removed the bottle from the playing surface and warned the crowd that if another bottle is thrown, the Atoms would be charged with a technical foul.
Despite the warning, the unidentified spectator at the time persisted and another bottle would fall from the bleachers onto the court again.
“I was angry because I felt like we were being robbed of a win,” Raid said.
The officials followed through on their warning and charged the Atoms with a technical foul, granting the Majors four free throw attempts.
The Majors capitalized on the opportunity and drained all four free throw attempts giving Mount Vernon a 59-56 lead. The crowd looked on as each free throw made brought the possibility of a blown game closer and closer.
With many looking to find who the culprit that launched the bottle onto the court twice was, the Atoms looked to the scoreboard to find that with 8.7 seconds remaining in the game, sending the game into overtime was still in the realm of possibility, but only with a three point shot.
The Atoms would move down the court with speed in an attempt to get a final shot off. Sophomore Junior Lotongo would take the final shot from beyond the arch in hopes to tie the game only to have his shot bounce off the rim and out.
The Majors held off the Atoms’ final attack to the basket to win the game 59-56.
“It hurt to lose that way, but we’re moving on from that game as team and preparing for the conference tournament,” Figley said.
The Atoms will go on to face the top-ranked West Potomac Wolverines on the road in the conference tournament on Feb. 14.