On Tuesday March 3, the Tillers loaded up four buses full of dedicated, spirited students, ready to cheer on their boys’ varsity basketball team in their CIF semifinal game against Village Christian High School. Unfortunately for the Tillers, they were unable to come out with a win, despite their incredible effort, skill, and hard work.
From the start of the game, Tustin’s TJ Shorts (#5) stepped out on the court ready to win. Driving in the paint, hitting a three, and pulling out the moves, Shorts started out the game with an early seven points. In the first quarter, the Tillers’ were full of incredible high energy creating an early 4-13 lead with 3:11 remaining in the first. The first quarter ended 12-15, with the momentum in favor of the Tillers.
The second quarter began with Myles Garvin (#44) going up for a rebound and putting it back up for a two. Six minutes into the second, Village took their first lead of the game (18-17). As the quarter progressed, Tustin got into some foul trouble giving Village the opportunity to expand the lead to 25-19. The spectators and players conquered that the referees made some extremely “questionable calls.” Despite the officiating, Tustin managed to tie the game 27-27 by the end of the half, with the help of George Wilson (#24) hitting back to back threes and Deon Faaseu (#13) driving in to draw the foul.
The score stayed close throughout the third quarter. On the offense, Shorts and Wilson carried the Tillers scoring a combined 13 points to keep the Tiller’s in the game with a score of 44-40 to end the third.
The fourth quarter remained scoreless until 4:14. That changed when Benny Boatwright Jr. got fouled and sent to the line where he made both his free throws. The Tillers succeeded in shutting down Boatwright, the 6’10”, University of Southern California (USC) bound shooting guard for most of the game. However, with three minutes left the Crusaders came to life scoring 14 points in the fourth. The game ended at 58-44 giving Village the win and the opportunity to move onto the CIF final against Great Oak. Despite the loss, Tustin’s school spirit radiated throughout the gym. The Tiller’s student section demonstrated class and a love for the varsity boys as they continued to cheer, “L-O-V-E, we love our varsity!”
Even though the Tillers are no longer in the running for the CIF final that does not mean their season is over. There is still a possibility of them qualifying for the State tournament. With this exciting news in mind, Tustin High’s basketball fans anxiously await the news.