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The year’s top 16 MAC sports moments

Elin Campana Wadman
HALL OF FAME: The varsity basketball team erupts in cheering just after Kenneth Hall sank the game-winning layup with seconds left on the clock to break a 55-55 tie and send the JV basketball team to a season-opening two-point win over Del Valle Tuesday night. Both the JV and the varsity squads celebrated at midcourt immediately after the buzzer sounded. “I didn’t think about the time at all,” Hall said afterward. “I just did what I had to do.” Photo by Elin Campana Wadman.

Our yearbook colleagues just put the 2016 edition of The Knight to bed. In honor of that accomplishment and the herculean effort it took (and in honor of the Class of 2016 in general), we proudly publish the top 16 sports moments for the 2015-2016 school year (so far).

16. HALL OF FAME: Junior varsity results don’t normally make the year-end list, but since the entire varsity team was watching from the sideline, Kenneth Hall’s game-winning bucket in the closing seconds against Del Valle is the JV exception to the varsity rule. Not only did Hall break a 55-all tie for good; he set off a half-court mosh pit-style celebration of junior varsity and varsity players as dejected Del Valle players slinked off to the locker room.

15. STRIKE UP THE WIN: In three Baker round games against Round Rock, (in which bowlers alternate frames in a single alternate-shot game), the Knights built a commanding lead in dramatic fashion. Junior Oliver Cline rolled a last-ball strike in the 10th frame to seal the win in the first Baker game, and then the Knights closed the match by winning the final Baker game with a season-high collaborative game of 211.

14. LACROSSE THAT PLAYOFF BRIDGE: Bowie was No. 1 in the district until they came to McCallum and ran into the Knitros on a most excellent day for a team and program on the rise. Stalwart defense and opportunistic defense lead to an unexpected and program-building 10-5 upset.

13. GOLF TAKES THIRD AT DISTRICT: The golf team placed third at the District 26-5A tournament at the Colovista Golf Club on April 4. Sophomore Leroy Torres placed eighth. Earlier in the season, senior David Ruuwe earned a top 10 individual finish at the Lions tournament.

12. SOFTBALL TAKES DOWN LBJ: The Lady Knights overcame an early deficit to roar back against the Jaguars and beat them 7-4 at Noack Fields on March 2. The team swept the season series against the Jags.

11. BLUE BELL IS SWEET: Thanks to inspiring defensive play in the second half and a 310-yard rushing performance from freshman Tino Depaz, the football team defeated Travis 48-20 on Halloween to win the Battle of the Bell for the 16th time in 17 years.

10. A NET GAIN FOR TENNIS PROGRAM: At Cedar Creek High School, the tennis team posted its best district tournament performance in four years as four players placed. Sophomores Quill Ralston and Sami Rebeiz placed second in doubles and qualified for regionals. Freshman Steven Tibbetts and senior Connor Teseny placed third and fourth in singles respectively.

9. VOLLEYBALL SWEEPS ANNE RICHARDS: The varsity volleyball team swepy archrival Ann Richards in three straight sets for the first time since 2013. The win was part of an eight-match winning streak that propelled the Lady Knights to a state playoff appearance.

8. DYNAMIC DUO QUALIFIES FOR CROSS-COUNTRY REGIONALS: Freshman Lily Myers and junior Noah Savage qualified for the regional cross-country meet by placing in the top 10 at the district meet at Walter E. Long Municipal Park on Oct. 16. Myers placed sixth and Savage eighth.

7. GIRLS SOCCER TOPS ANNE RICHARDS TO MAKE IT TO STATE: In a winner-take-all, season-ending showdown, the girls varsity soccer team blanked Ann Richards 4-0 to earn a state playoff berth. Junior Emily Goulet scored twice, and freshmen Ellie Stites and Lajayshia Dotson each tallied once. Lily Boles recorded a clean sheet in goal.

6. VAULTING STRAIGHT TO THE TOP: Junior Laney Hawn cleared 9 feet, 6 inches to win first place at the South Austin Relays held at Burger Stadium on March 25. Hawn followed that lofty performance with a district championship in pole vault and an appearance at the area track meet at Marble Falls on April 21.

5. HEAD AND SHOULDERS ABOVE TRAVIS: The boys varsity team turned its season around on a perfectly executed header by freshman Griffin Smith. In the closing moments of a 1-1 tie, Smith’s forehead flick found the back of the net, sending the underdog Knights to an epic win over the then first-place Rebels.

4. WRESTING TRIO HEADS TO STATE: Junior Maya Shimizu won the regional wrestling meet in her weight class, earning her third state tournament bid in three tries. Her teammates, junior Adriana Boortz and sophomore Makenna Mabon, also earned state bids by placing third and fourth respectively.

3. A DOMINANT DOZEN: Through the first 12 district games of the 2016 season (all wins), the varsity baseball team has outscored its district opponents, 123-5. A sixth-straight district title seems likely at this point.

2. BOYS BASKETBALL BEATS THE BUZZER: Senior James Sullivan’s 3-pointer with 0.9 seconds left sent the Knights’ home game against Lehman into overtime on Dec. 1. The team’s 65-62 victory set the team on the course to a successful district season and a coveted state tournament berth.

1. PERFECT WEEKEND: Powered by rare spring pep rally on the Thursday before, the boys and girls basketball teams and the girls soccer team combined to win all seven games played during a perfect February weekend. The girls varsity basketball team beat Travis 42-33 to complete a hoops sweep at home while the boys won all three games on the road after the varsity took care of its business, 69-58. The girls varsity soccer team whitewashed Eastside, 9-0.

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The year’s top 16 MAC sports moments