During the halftime break of the January 11 Thursday night Basketball game at Marin Catholic [MC], Tam coaches Tim Morgan and Lorenzo Bynum called their talented squad to rally. The Tam team was down 15 points after what had been a thoroughly one sided first half.
“I told our guys that if they don’t believe, then we don’t show up for the second half,” Morgan said. “We questioned [the Tam players’] heart in the first half, and they proved that they had a big one with the way that they battled.”
Tam proved their dedication to the coaches and fans, storming back from a deficit as large as 19 points to steal an improbable victory from MC. The fourth quarter featured three controversial fouls that upset Tam fans and caused some furious reactions from players. MC plowed on thanks to a series of free throws, leaving Tam in the dust 57-43 with just over five minutes left in the game.
“It didn’t look good midway through the fourth, but I knew, and all the guys knew, we would find a way to come out on top,” senior center and Tam News reporter Connor Dargan said. “It’s a testament to our heart and resilience.”
Senior Jack Duboff led all scorers with 26, 16 of which came from the foul line. Senior Ryan Hemmeter stole the show in the second half, tallying all 16 of his points after the break. MC’s lead was narrowed to just eight points by the fourth quarter, which soon expanded to a 14 point deficit with just a few minutes left in the game.
Dargan, Duboff, and Hemmeter lead the team in the final minutes, tallying 15 unanswered points to take the lead with just 90 seconds remaining. Tam expanded the lead and locked down on defense to finish the game 57-60.
The fan support played a huge role in the away victory on Thursday night. “We had more fans than them,” Hemmeter said. “Without the fans we wouldn’t have gotten the energy, probably, to come back. It’s amazing when you have that at an away game, especially MC.” Principal J.C. Farr appreciated the fans who showed up to support their school, but gave some constructive criticism to the raucous crowd as well. “There are some things that I think we need to tighten up and do better [as spectators],” he said.
“Ryan Hemmeter woke up in the second half and was our huge spark,” Morgan said. Hemmeter got a number of key baskets to help lower the MC lead to just six points with three minutes left.
Sophomore Connor Jenkins was also a major contributor to the Hawks’ success, helping to space the floor and attack the rim. “[He] came in and kinda settled us in a little bit by controlling the ball, attacking the ball on offense and getting the ball to our shooters,” Morgan said.
Tam supporters stormed the court following the final buzzer, leaving MC fans stunned. “We come in expecting to win, and we were able to do it,” Morgan said. “It wasn’t pretty, but the boys showed a lot of heart and battled.”