This Hasn’t Happened in Five Years
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The Battle of Harker Hall is an annual basketball game where a team of boarding students face off the house parents. It is attended by all members of the boarding community (and often some esteemed guests as well). The 2016/17 game took place on the evening of Tuesday, December 6th, and marks the 7th game of its kind. Both teams had spent weeks training and were eager to take home the win. Mr. J. “Figs” Figueroa, the school’s Senior Athletic Trainer, provided (subjectively) entertaining and light-hearted commentary as the match progressed.
The first half of the 48-minute game began just after 7:00pm, and Grade 11 student Darren Sun, determined to get an early lead, scored the first point of the game at the 3-minute mark. Mr. P. Proznick, Head of Games at the school and Harker Hall House Parent, quickly caught up to even out the score, sinking the first basket on the staff’s side. After some fortitude, the students pulled out a 3-point lead; however, this was quickly neutralised by a three-pointer from Mr. B. Chamberlain that even drew applause from the students. This brought the score to 9-9. The first half ended with a 15-16 lead to the staff, and many students took the opportunity to visit the concession stand during the break. A short free-throw competition between the four Harker Hall houses (Robinson, Maitland, Sweeny and Hunter) also took place.
The second half began after the 10-minute break, and both sides were determined to take home the win. Four minutes into the game, a trade of baskets meant the score had evened out to 18-18, but the staff had two fouls to their side while the students had none. Ten minutes in, the score was still tied at 26-26, and even though there wasn’t much time left, there seemed to be no clear winner.
With only seven minutes left, the staff pulled out a one-point lead. However, to the dismay of the students, that lead grew to a 32-29 with four and a half minutes left on the clock. The students desperately fought to catch up, but the score was still two points in favour of the staff with less than two minutes left. As time started running out, both teams began rapidly scoring points against each other, as the scoreboard jumped from 34-34, to 34-35, and 34-37 (staff winning).
13 seconds remained, and the students were still three points behind the staff; it looked as if the teachers were going to win yet another year. Nevertheless, Grade 12 student Kevinray Lu scored a three-pointer with only a few seconds remaining, and the crowd cheered him on. However, this wasn’t the end, as a penalty had resulted from the play, and Mr. Chamberlain readied himself to make the free-throws. Although he missed his first shot, the second throw turned the score in the favour of the teachers once more, at 37-38. With five seconds remaining, Chris Kwon (the student leader for events) forced his way through a crowd of staff defenders to score a field goal, ultimately bringing the final score to 39-38 with less than a second remaining.
The students stormed the court, celebrating their victory. Mr. Chamberlain, humble in defeat, presented Kwon with the trophy, and all players posed for a photo. The student victory marked the second of its kind since the tradition began seven years ago, and the first student win in five years. To celebrate, Magnus Chan, a Grade 12 student, ordered upwards of a hundred bubble teas for the Harker Hall community using the “DoorDash” app, and paid in excess of $500 out of his pocket in doing so. Chris Kwon later thanked the Harker Hall community for its support and enthusiasm, stating that “in [his] five years here, it has been the most ‘lit’ [Battle of Harker Hall] game [he] has ever been involved in.”