Boys Basketball Playoffs, Bad Sportsmanship, and Magnet Athletics in the Future

The Good and the Bad

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As the Boys Varsity Basketball season is winding down, the team is looking to secure the 4th spot in their region and make the playoffs for the first time in over 4 years. The Raptors are 7-14 overall and 3-5 in region play. Though not the best record, the team has had many close calls over the season losing lots of close games. If Hanahan loses to BE this week, then the boy’s basketball team will be a lock for the 4th seed in the region. With two games left in the season, both against Oceanside, they are both meaningful for the Raptors as a win will automatically give them a playoff spot without having to hope for a Hannahan loss.

Some notable wins for the Raptors have come in region play, beating Battery Creek twice and Hanahan once. Strong senior leadership and some good bench play was the deciding factor in these three games. Against Hanahan away, the Raptors were down 32-34 going into the 4th quarter. However after a late-game rally to go up 5 within the last minute, the team was able to pull out the W in your typical toxic environment when playing against Hanahan. As a player who has now faced Hanahan in basketball for 4 years and football for 2, a recurring theme of a lack of sportsmanship and hostility seems to always hover when playing this school. Their players constantly talk trash throughout the game, using profanity to degrade you and get in your head. Their student section isn’t full of angels either, as they learn your name and continue the trash-talking from the stands. At one point in the game, I went up to the ref to let him know my concern that  if they “keep letting Hanahan play and get away with whatever they wanted, someone was going to get hurt.” Sometimes it’s beneficial to let teams play and not call as many fouls to keep a game moving, but with Hanahan, doing that encourages them to foul harder than normal making it more dangerous for the opposing team. It’s a dirty mentality that I guess seems to come with being an athlete at Hanahan. 

The Hannahan student section found my name on Max Preps and pulled up my Instragram mid-game. ”

— William Hyatt

The Raptor’s other two region wins against Battery Creek came with a close win at home (42-38), and a handy win away at Battery Creek finishing the game 47-37. The first appearance against Battery Creek wasn’t the easiest game as I remember it being one of the most physically demanding games all year, of course behind Hanahan though. In the last 5 seconds of the game, a Battery Creek fan had to be escorted out for causing a commotion, unhappy with the results of the game. It seems like most region games have at least some sort of unsportsmanlike activity. Speaking of dirty play and obnoxious fans, you can’t talk about that without naming North Charleston. Home or away, North Charleston never seems to bring any sort of sportsmanship with them, or even good refs. They have a similar play style to Hanahan and they use their physicality to overpower teams and take advantage of a lack of foul calls. The Boys basketball team was up 7 going into halftime at North Charleston. However, after running out of steam in the second half and an overall offensive breakdown from the team, the boys would fall 63-46 in the first meeting of the two teams. The second meeting against North Charleston would be played at Magnet which would help only a little in decreasing the overall hostility of North Charleston nation. The boys again came out strong in the first half going into halftime with another 7 point lead. This time, the Raptors were determined to beat NC, as they aren’t any better than our team is. With an 8 point lead with a minute-30 left in the game, it looked like the Raptors were going to split the two-game series between NC. However, some questionable calls later and some untimely turnovers by the Raptors allowed NC to tie the game up and force OT. In overtime, the boy’s team had just run out of steam again, losing a close one 61-57. Even after an impressive comeback for NC, it just wasn’t enough as their fans continued to berate our players and I was personally cussed out by multiple NC players on my way back to my bench. My mom was even threatened by an irate mother on the NC side who said she “would beat…[my mom’s] a**.” Again, another school that seems to breed more poor-behaved fans and players than sportsman-like athletes.\

 

With only a couple of weeks left in the season, the Raptors Boys Varsity team has had a decent season that has shown they are competitive in their region, and in my opinion, should have won more games than they already have. I also feel that this type of behavior by other schools faced in this region should be pointed out, so that future athletes know what they are up against. I think that because Magnet is seen as a “nerd” school, other schools have a mentality where they can just push us around because we are “soft.” However, I feel my class and teammates have for the most part held our ground against some of the more hostile schools in Charleston. What I have learned about myself and at least from my fellow seniors, is that we have somewhat changed the culture of Magnet sports, and hope that this continues for years on. Though an Academic school, high school sports are what bring a student body together and what creates excitement for a school. I feel as though Academic Magnet lacks athletes, athletic seriousness, facilities, and leadership that are vital to uplifting its sports. This article has gone from basketball to sportsmanship to now Magnet athletics, but I feel it is important all these factors are discussed for the future of Magnet sports. As the class of 2022 gets ready to leave, I feel that many sports at Magnet are senior-heavy and there will be a decline in competitiveness next year unless a strong freshman class comes in. I hope I’m wrong for Magnet’s sake. There is hope, however, as this year’s freshman class has been the strongest athletically that I have seen since I’ve been here. Hopeful that trend will continue into the future. 

*Update*As of Tuesday night, Hannahan lost to BE, meaning that the boy’s team secured a playoff spot and 4th in Region 6, 3A. The Raptors will face off against Lakeview, a number 1 seed from Sumter, South Carolina. The game is scheduled for next Wednesday, February 16th at Lakeview.