Hunter Buescher (C’19) takes a shot in a close game. Photos by Matt Hembree (C’20).
By J.T. Mitchell
Hunter Buescher (C’19) hit a three-point shot at the final horn to give the Sewanee Tigers’ basketball team a 65-63 non-conference victory over Huntingdon College on November 9. The win not only gave the Tigers a great start to the 2018 season, but it was also the first win over the Hawks since 2015.
In a back-and-forth first half that consisted of 12 lead changes, Huntingdon was able to retake the lead with 53 seconds remaining in order to go into the locker room at halftime with a 30-27 advantage.
The Tigers did not think much of the Hawks’ small halftime lead, and they quickly regained the momentum by going on a 13-4 run to begin the second half of play.
With 12 minutes to go in the contest, Sewanee’s lead was at 45-38, the biggest lead of the day for either team, yet Huntingdon continued to fight. This was due in large part to their persistent physicality on the boards, and the Hawks were able to tie the game up with three minutes remaining to make things interesting.
Huntingdon then took the lead off a Kiyante Pines’ layup in which he was fouled. Pines hit the free throw, making the score 62-60 with 1:58 left in the game. The score stayed the same for the next minute until Pines was sent back to the free throw line with less than a minute on the clock. Pines would make one and miss one, keeping it a one-possession game.
At this point, the fans in Juhan Gymnasium were all on their feet, and the intensity of the game was increasing with every passing second.
Sewanee starting point guard Buescher was bringing the ball down the court when Huntingdon’s Charvez’ Hobson began to clap in his face while playing on-ball defense. This is probably not the smartest idea, as the senior guard is arguably one of the best playmakers in the Southern Athletic Association. Buescher immediately flew by Hobson for a layup and a foul to bring his team within one.
Buescher, who is a career 81.5 percent from the charity line, shockingly missed the game-tying free throw and the Tigers were forced to foul, sending Hobson to the line.
Hobson missed both shots, giving the Tigers a chance to win it. On the final possession, Matt Lee (C’19) put up a 3-point shot with four seconds to go, and it went off the left side of the rim, but Joey Knox (C’21) was able to grab a clutch offensive rebound before dishing it to Buescher in the corner, who hit the game-winning dagger as time expired. The fans went absolutely insane, and the entire Sewanee student section stormed the court in celebration.
After the game, the humble Buescher was happy about the shot, but not as happy as he was about the team’s overall performance.
“It was a great team win, as everybody contributed,” Buescher said. “Honestly the shot was cool, but Joey’s rebound to set up the play was the real game-winner.”
It definitely was a team effort for Sewanee. The team played great defense down the stretch and had three players who scored double-digit points: Buescher, Knox, and Jordan Warlick (C’22).
The next game for the Tigers (1-0) will be on Tuesday, November 13 at Piedmont.