Tuesday, February 12th marked the final Home Boys Varsity Basketball Game to be played against Kearns in the Hillcrest Art Hughes Gymnasium and one word describes it all, Pride.
The game began by honoring all Husky Basketball players; past, present and future. It was an honor to hear from such proud Alumni as they reflected on their experiences and memories created here at Hillcrest High School.
George Hughes the son of Art Hughes, who our Hillcrest Main Gym is named after, is pictured below with an official game ball signed by all alumni and current players.
Tuesday night also served as a Senior Recognition night for both the Boys Basketball Team and the Hillcrest Drill Team.
Coach Sanjin of the Basketball Team commented, “I couldn’t have asked for a better group to start my coaching career with! While we were fairly young and inexperienced, everyone on our roster bought in from day 1 and busted their tails every day and every practice. I love this group and have learned as much from them as I hope they have learned from me and the other coaches.”
Coach Chelsea Divine of the Drill Team introduced all 11 of her seniors and recognized their incredible achievements while a part of the Hillcrest Drill Team Program. 9 of the seniors finishing their 4th year on the team. Divine commented, “This group of seniors is the largest group of seniors I have ever coached. They are extremely hard working, talented, dedicated and beautiful young women who I have been lucky enough to spend so many years with. I love them so much and I know without a doubt that great things are in store for each of them. These girls and this team is very special. This season will live strong in my heart forever.”
Tuesday night continued to live up to the excitement as we saw great performances from the basketball players, cheer, drill and the pep band, filling the arena with loads of Husky Spirit.
However, the highlight of the night came at the end of the 4th quarter. Tanner Cluff, a 6 foot 8 Hillcrest Senior with special needs and this years Team Manager was asked by coach Sanjin to dress Varsity for the final game.
This opportunity is one Tanner (with fingers crossed) has hoped for all of his 4 years at Hillcrest.
With 40 seconds left on the clock Coach Sanjin called Tanner over and told him he would be checking into the game. What happened next fulfilled a dream and inspired all in attendance. The crowd began to chant Tanners name and teammate Brox Ashby whispered advice into his ear.
Tanner, after rebounding the ball, dribbled down the court and scored the final 2 points with an easy one handed layup!
The crowd erupted with cheers and tears streamed down many faces as everyone watched Tanner run down the court with pure excitement and pride!
After the score, Tanner proceeded to rally the crowd and as the clock wound down to zero received hugs, cheers and praise from his teammates, coaches and all who were in the gym that night.
That moment, the final 2 points, encapsulated everything that being a Husky is all about. And because of both the Hillcrest and Kearns Basketball teams, was an example to all of us of what sports is all about. Selflessness, teamwork, love, hard work, belief, community and pride.
Congratulations to Tanner on scoring the final bucket in the Art Hughes Gymnasium for the Boys Basketball Team. We are all a little extra proud to be a Husky because of you.
We are HILLCREST!
All photos used in this article were taken by Hillcrest SBO Historian, Lizzie Moss.
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