By Christina Brown
It was an emotional night for the Loy Norrix men’s basketball team as their season came to a close with a lose against Benton Harbor (19-3) Wednesday night during the Class A District Semifinals. The Knights (16-5) came out with noticeable intensity at the start of the game but lost momentum as they fell to a 7-2 deficit within the first few minutes.
Trailing the Tigers early in the game did not stop senior starter and Davenport signee Je’Vonté Hughes, who had a team high 16 points and 11 rebounds to finish the game.
“I felt that we would come back and start playing the basketball I knew we could,” said Hughes about the team early on in the game. “But we couldn’t deliver the knockout blow like we wanted to.”
Despite some trash talk coming from the Benton Harbor players after leading 24-17 at the end of the first quarter, the Knights kept composure throughout the game.
Junior forward Tony Boykins kept it rolling for the Knights on the defensive end with two huge blocks against Deontae Whitfield and Donshay Jones. Boykins also took a charge late in the third.
“Ya’ll have to think of it as life or death,” said senior starter Daequan Mitchell to his team in the locker room during the halftime break. “If we win we keep our season alive, but if we lose our season dies.”
By the end of the third quarter, however, the score, which was 48-33 with Benton Harbor still leading, would take a toll on the Knights.
“They [the Tigers] were just making crazy shots,” said Mitchell who finished the game with 8 points. “But on our end of the court our offense wasn’t clicking all 32 minutes, which made it hard to come back.”
Although Loy Norrix was unable to seal the win against Benton Harbor for their final game, the Knights played hard, giving both hustle and teamwork down to the last few seconds.
“It was a disappointment, but our mindset going out there was to play hard and execute and that’s what we tried to do every second that clock was running,” said Hughes.
The final score was Benton Harbor 61, Loy Norrix 45.