A few points behind and the Marauders season suddenly came to an end. On Feb. 21 the Florida High Seminoles hosted the regional semifinal basketball game against the Maclay Marauders. Within the first few minutes the score remained close, but as the game went on the Marauders fell behind and lost the regional semifinals 63-41.

Maclay’s varsity boys basketball team played a total of 28 games throughout the overall season and only had four losses. Before the regional semifinals, the Marauders had already played Florida High twice during their season and won both of the games. Maclay was Florida High’s only two losses of the season, but the Marauders had a hard time keeping this streak after playing them for the third time.  

After the National Anthem was played, it was officially game time and the crowd was ecstatic. There was limited room left in the bleachers for Maclay’s student section due to the fact that so many fans were cheering on the Marauders. Senior Sawyer Stone made the first bucket of the game which was a three pointer. Senior Blaise Wallace also made a three pointer a few seconds after Stone’s shot. However, after these shots the Seminoles took over the ball and stopped the Marauder offense from scoring. The first quarter ended with a score of 17-8, which left the Marauders slightly behind.

“[The most valuable thing I learned from the overall season was] really just to play as a team,” senior Tristan Lunt said. “That is something I have been doing throughout my whole basketball career but this year it was definitely different having 10 seniors. We have all played with each other for a while, which has really just established and deepened that connection we all have with each other.”

After the two minute water break and pep talk from head coach Gene Granger, the boys were back on the court to score back some points to catch up to the Seminoles. The Marauders defense was aggressive, but that did not stop the Seminoles from scoring. The eight minutes went by quickly and only eight points were scored by Maclay. By halftime the Marauders were down 20 points and the score was 36-16. 

“This season I felt like I made extreme growth and headed in the right direction where I wanted to go,” senior Colin McAllister said.

In the third quarter, few shots were made by the Marauders while many were made by the Seminoles. The third quarter game score ended 52-24, leaving the Marauders with little hope.

“We didn’t end as we would wish but we definitely went further and improved from the last season,” Granger said. 

Fans from both ends of the gym were going crazy during the last quarter of the game by cheering on their teams. Maclay lost with a final score of 63-41 and it was an emotional game towards the end seeing the players upset due to their season coming to an end. Their overall season was 24-4, with the Marauders winning 24 games and only losing four.