It was a night of firsts at Watkins Mill High School’s 6th annual student-versus-staff basketball game.
The first technical foul ever called—on athletic director Reggie Spears, no less. The first principal to go down with an injury. The first steps in a school-wide push to raise money for earthquake and tsunami relief in Japan.
The first overtime. The first double-overtime. The first triple-overtime.
And with varsity point guard Darnell Henson at the free throw line, game tied and double-zeros showing on the clock, the students stood on the precipice of their first-ever win.
The crowd of nearly 300 falls quiet. The shot: smooth release, gentle arc, plenty of backspin. The ball nudges the rim, caroms gently toward the glass, bounces softly back, front rim and back rim again, glass again, slower, slower, slower…
… and stops.
Dead on the back of the rim, the ball just … stops.
So then came another first: a free-throw shootout to decide the winner. Even that was tied after five turns. And tied again after the sixth.
Finally, a full two hours after tip-off, the students’ seventh free throw came up short, bringing an end to a game that saw its fair share of clutch shooting, trash talk, bodies on the floor, disputed calls—and maybe a ringer or two.