Exeter Tigers end 182-game losing streak

Thursday, January 19, 2006
Exeter Tigers basketball team The Exeter Tigers 2005-06 varsity boys basketball team is pictured above. In the front row, from left, are: Allen Galindo, John Malicoat, Michael Steward, Robert Hall, Tyler Henderson, Ian Russell, Jacob Bonous and Chase Higgs. Back row: Coach Robert Guerin, Darrin Greene, Nathaniel Stepp, Ty Stephens, Ryan Odenbrett, Keith Hayworth, John Carter, Colt Higgs, Trenton Vanzandt and Thong Moua. Democrat Photo

Loyal fans never lost hope and players never gave up during nine-year slide

By Joey Nosler

With 10 seconds left in last week's game against Wheaton, senior Colt Higgs broke a smile.

"I've kept playing because I love to play basketball, and I was wanting to break the streak this year," said Higgs.

His wish came true with the Tigers' 59-51 victory over the Bulldogs. It had been nine years, 182 games, since Exeter had last won a contest. That win came in December of 1996 against Thomas Jefferson.

Last Tuesday night, Exeter led throughout the game and walked out with the long-awaited victory. The only regret about the win was that it wasn't at home. After the game, parents

and fans rushed the court and then went to Pizza Hut to celebrate.

On Wednesday, the team was presented with a cake after lunch at school with "59-51" and the players' numbers written on it with frosting.

All year, Exeter had close calls beginning with the first game of the year against Hurley when Billy Henry tipped in a ball with less than a second to go in the game to give Hurley a 59-58 win. Next was the game against Southwest where it was a three-point loss, then it was a five-point setback against Purdy, but on Tuesday everything fell into place.

Higgs led the team in scoring with 20 points. He was followed by Tyler Henderson with 15, Michael Steward with 9, Ian Russell with 7, Jacob Bounous with 4, and Chase Higgs with 2.

Wheaton was led by Jon Pendergraft with 18. He was followed by Tyler Bigham with17, Jakob Hughes with 6, Sean Crane and Derek Parsons with 4 and Dalton Brown with two.

When asked about the community's feelings about the win, Steward, a senior, commented, "After the Wheaton game, there is twice as much excitement, and we're playing as a team now.

"I think we are going to pull off a lot more wins this year," Steward added.

"The community has been a lot more supportive of us since the win," Colt Higgs said. "Everybody's really excited now."

Excited and ready to win.

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