Cinderella Run Comes Up Short

the glass slipper just a half-size too big



American Canyon- Darna Stewart receives a second place medal after the NorCal Championship.

By Owen Fahy, Editor-in-Chief

Three overtimes, two and a half hours, and all the effort that one team had, and all the Stuart Hall Knights had to show for it was a nine point loss. The final box score did not tell the whole story.
The St. Joe’s Pilots jumped Stuart Hall from the opening tip, jumping out to a 8-0 lead led by Jade Smith. This lead would hold until the end of the first quarter as the game was being played at St. Joe’s pace and allowed them to keep The Hall at bay, 17-11. The second period started and the Knights were still unable to make inroads on St. Joe’s lead and headed to the locker room at the half with a score, 29-21. Stuart Hall emerged from the locker room with a visible sense of passion. Whether it was the entire senior class from Convent who had their buses from their senior retreat redirected to American Canyon to cheer on the boys, or the Stuart Hall senior’s realization that this could be their final game, it spurred The Hall into a new gear. “I told the kids to calm down and trust your teammates. We were trying to win as individuals in the first half which caused numerous turnovers. I fully expected us to make things tight if we could settle our nerves,” reflected head basketball coach, Charles Johnson. Ball movement improved in the second half and Zeke Crawford’s touches in the paint improved. This caused the Pilots’s defense to collapse around Zeke Crawford who would go on to have 26 points and 16 rebounds in the contest. With their nerves settled, the Knights pushed back against the Pilots and cut their lead to only three after three periods, capped off by Crawford’s buzzer-beating tip-in. Down, 37-34, the Knight’s put together their best defensive quarter of the year. They held St. Joe’s to just two points in the final period by stymying the attack of Jade Smith and Darne Duckett. Tied 39-39, to start overtime, the Knights continued their momentum, but weren’t able to separate themselves from St. Joe’s and the game went into a second overtime. Stuart Hall jumped out to a four point lead, but it was erased in one series as Darne Duckett of the Pilots beat Daniel Viscio off the dribble and made a layup, Crawford then took the ball out of bounds and threw it back to Duckett who scored another layup and drew Crawford’s fourth foul. This series gave the Pilot’s the momentum and forced the game into a third overtime. In the third overtime, St. Joe’s took the upperhand as they out hustled the Knights and were able to foul out Crawford. With Crawford out of the game, the Pilots relentlessly attacked the paint and sealed the game with a three-pointer by Avery Dueberry.
The Hall had never been this far in the state tournament before and knew that this was their best chance to capture a state title with many seniors graduating. “I played each game like it was my last because it could’ve been and I enjoyed every minute of it,” said Zeke Crawford after his 26 points wasn’t enough to spur Stuart Hall to victory. In his last game as a Knight, Crawford laid it all out there but his costly turnover in double overtime as well as fouling out in triple overtime, hurt The Hall’s attempt for a birth in their first state tournament game. “(The game) was a heartbreaking loss (that) I will carry for many years.” Losing to the eventual state champion shows that Stuart Hall lost to a very talented basketball team. It does make one wonder that if they are able to pull out a win in the NorCal finals, they would have become the first state-championship winning team we have had here at Stuart Hall.