Seneca Valley Defeats Oakdale in Thrilling Comeback
Seneca Valley didn’t even look at the panic button. Not once. Not when Oakdale took an 11 point lead in the first quarter. Not when Seneca came all the way back to make it a one-point game in the second quarter, but Oakdale went on a run to take a 12 point lead. Seneca Valley continued to persevere and stole the victory from Oakdale in the final seconds to win 53-52.
The Screamin’ Eagles didn’t even consider thinking about panicking. “Not at all,” said senior Kareem Matthew, after the game. The game in which he nailed the winning basket with just seven ticks remaining. “We know that we weren’t playing our best. We knew that we had to change a few things, they were giving us different looks. Coach had a great game plan, and we got the win.”
They got the win after Matthew got an open look with after an inbound for Trevon Lucas. They got the win in the 3A West Reginal Semi-Final Playoff game after trailing for almost the entire game. They got the win because they were able to keep their heads, while everyone else in the packed Seneca Valley gym was losing their minds.
“I was looking for an open teammate first, but I didn’t see anybody open,” said Matthew about his game-winning shot. “I knew the time was rolling down and I had to try to make a play. I knew I had a great mid-range jump shot. I just had to believe in it. As soon as I pulled up and let it go, it felt great, and I knew I had it.”
“I had to believe in it.” That belief in themselves, in the Seneca Valley basketball family, is something that has been a source of pride and inspiration for the Eagles through two seasons. Last year the Eagles were galvanized by the death of Jimmy Humphrey, father of head coach Brian Humphrey. It brought the coach and his players together and created a family. In the off-season, the team was touched by another off-court loss, when their teammate and friend Andrew Dantzler died in tragic swimming accident days after graduating last June.