Community Remembers Myles Hutcheson in 63-60 Varsity Boys’ Basketball Nail-Biter

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  • Patrick Sladek ’19 drives to the hoop.

  • Brandon Parks ’20 dribbles past an opponent.

  • Patrick Sladek ’19 shoots a layup.

  • Demetrius Jones ’19 shoots a floater in the paint.

  • Brandon Parks ’20 prepares to take a shot in the paint.

  • Patrick Sladek ’19 dribbles the ball down the court.

  • Santi Campos ’20 takes a three as a Vista Ridge player tries to block him.

  • During halftime, the Vista Ridge cheerleaders put up the banner made by Stephanie Jbeily ’19.

  • Brandon Parks ’20 takes a three.

  • Patrick Sladek ’19 shoots a free throw to end the game.

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Earlier in the week, Myles Hutcheson ‘20, one of the players on the Vista Ridge boys’ basketball team, passed away in a car crash. During the game on Friday, Dec. 7, many people remembered him with T-shirts saying “Love Like Myles” and a giant banner on one end of the court. Showing Westwood’s support for the team in this time of hardship, Stephanie Jbeily ‘19 made a banner that contained signatures from many Westwood students.

“I just know that everyone in my school means so much to me and I can only imagine how hard it is for them,” Jbeily said. “We wanted to support them because it is important to be together when there are hard times. I didn’t know him personally but it’s still a 17-year-old who passed away so it still hurts and [the banner] is still heartfelt.”

Hutcheson was in the hearts of the players and fans during a close game that saw Westwood triumph 63-60. From the beginning, Vista Ridge came out swinging to take a quick lead 12-6. Point guard Patrick Sladek ‘19 made a layup to bring the score to 12-8 and later made two free throws to make it 15-11, but the Rangers kept draining threes. Point guard Brandon Parks ‘19 made a three to end the quarter 21-15 with the Rangers still in the lead.

The Rangers continued their offensive explosion in the second quarter by going on a 9-0 run to raise the margin to 15 points, but the Warriors responded with a 6-0 run that started with a rebound and put back by shooting guard Luke Durham ‘19. Sladek drew another foul and made both free throws, and a steal led to a score by point guard Demetrius Jones ‘19 which cut the Rangers’ lead to 30-21. Despite that, an 8-2 run by the Rangers made the score 38-23 at halftime.

In the third quarter, the Warriors began to make a comeback. Facing a score of 43-25, Durham made a three that was followed with a two by power forward Santi Campos ‘20 and a three by Sladek. After a score by the Rangers that made the score 45-33, point guard Corey Levinson ‘19 and Jones hit threes that brought the score to 47-39. With a bucket by power forward Karthik Shetty ‘19 and two free throws from Levinson putting the Warriors a mere four points behind the Rangers, 47-43.

“We started slow and I think the environment got to us a bit,” Levinson said. “In the first half we were down 15, but in the second half we fought back and fed off of each other.”

In the final quarter, Levinson started out on fire, contributing to Westwood’s first seven points with a two, a three, and a steal that led to a spinning finish at the rim by Parks to make the score 52-50. Though Westwood was kept just behind Vista Ridge for several possessions, Parks tied it up at 56 with a score in the paint. Sladek tied it up again with a layup and Durham snatched the lead 59-58 with a free throw. With under 40 seconds to go, Parks made two free throws to make the margin 61-58. Though there was little time left on the clock, the Rangers would not fade away and got a throw in with less than five seconds to go. On the inbounds pass, Sladek stole the ball and went two-for-two on his free throws to win the game 63-60.

“It was a pretty crazy finish and we were playing hard, so for that to pay off in the end felt amazing,” Sladek said. “We calmed down, made shots, and really played our hearts out.”

Head Coach Brad Hastings also had strong feelings about the game and how the players improved throughout it. 

“The whole game was kind of nuts,” Coach Hastings said “Vista came out roaring. They shot a great percentage in the first half and we matched it with some poor defensive plays. I’m just super excited about the way our guys responded at halftime and how we played great defense the whole second half.”

The Warriors will next play on Tuesday, Dec. 11 against the Round Rock Dragons.