The other side of the story
By biconews On 29 Feb, 2000 At 05:00 AM | Categorized As Archives | With 0 Comments

By Zach Phillips
Guest Columnist

It is said that journalistic accounts of sporting events are to be written in the third person. They are supposed to be objective. They are supposed to be detached, unemotional archives of facts. What follows does not fit those criteria.

I experienced the Haverford-Swarthmore men’s basketball game on Saturday, Feb. 19. This is what I saw:

a tiny gymnasium filled with students and alumni, saturated with life.

excess drama.

two scrappy fighters, forever relegated to the undercard, giving spectators their money’s worth, with two extra rounds at the end.

painted, sweaty, less-than-sober fans yelling until hoarse … and then yelling more.

a team that had every reason to give up (after trailing by fourteen in what would have been its twenty-first loss of the season) fighting back to take the lead late in the second half.

bleachers of colors, motionless as the ball started its arc towards the basket, springing into frenzied motion as it fell through the hoop, like a pebble sending ripples through an image in a pond.

an offense that had resembled a sleeping kitten all season long, coming to life with back-door cuts, slicing passes and a sniper’s accuracy on shots from all over the floor.

a squad without superstars playing like a team.

Mark Maggioto battling for a late rebound on two sore ankles, one bad knee, and heart.

hundreds of faces simultaneously wearing the tension of a hospital waiting room.

a freshman named Cam Scribner taking over the game late, with blocked shots, rebounds and steady shooting.

a cross-court conversation of repartees between two entire student bodies.

senior Tim Mulvaney running hack to his bench at the end of regulation, pumping his fists, thrilled to have five more minutes in his basketball career.

parents cheering for their kids as if their own lives depended on it, their faces gushing with pride.

sophomore Matt Duffy playing like a senior, diving for a loose ball, drawing a foul and then calmly sinking two free throws to give his team the lead in overtime.

Mukul Kanabar smiling after missing a layup at the end of the first overtime, partly in frustrated disbelief, partly because he was having so much goddamn fun.

athletes shunning fatigue and resignation for hustle and exertion after 45 minutes of basketball had already been played.

a nonstop competition for the evening’s most dramatic play.

a palpable confusion when the final shot fell short, as if a thousand people had been awakened from a collective day-dream.

a mass of Haverford students charging the court, drunk on adrenaline, hugging their peers and celebrating a victory in a basketball game.

the best Division III basketball game played this millennium.

school pride.

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