Senior Washington Enjoys Last Home Weekend, Starring as Hun Boys’ Hoops Makes MAPL Semis
FINAL SHOT: Hun School boys’ basketball player Tyler Washington puts up a shot in a game earlier this season. Last Friday, senior star Washington hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to give sixth-seeded Hun a 72-70 overtime win against third-seeded Mercersburg Academy (Pa.) in the opening round of the Mid-Atlantic Prep League (MAPL) tournament. A day later, Washington tallied 18 points as the Raiders fell 74-43 to second-seeded Hill School (Pa.) in the semis. Hun, which dropped to 4-17 with the setback, will be competing in the state Prep A tourney where it is seeded fifth and slated to play at fourth-seeded Peddie on February 13 in a quarterfinal contest with the victor advancing to the semifinals in February 19. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)
By Bill Alden
Tyler Washington started his final home weekend for the Hun School boys’ basketball team with a bang.
With sixth-seeded Hun trailing third-seeded Mercersburg Academy (Pa.) 70-69 in the waning seconds of overtime last Friday evening in the opening round of the Mid-Atlantic Prep League (MAPL) tournament, senior guard Washington drained a three-pointer at the buzzer to give the Raiders a 72-70 victory.
“It was crazy, it is not something you can recreate,” said senior guard Washington, who was mobbed in a corner of Shipley Pavilion by student fans after his dramatic bucket.
“It is something that happens; you have to live in that moment. It was a great way to win. I felt like we deserved it. We lost to them earlier in the year by a good amount. We came out and we played really well.”
A night later, things didn’t go so well for Hun as it fell 74-43 to second-seeded Hill School (Pa.) in the semis to drop to 4-17 on the season.
“Even though we had 24 hours to rest and recover, it was still tough to come against a well-coached Hill team,” said Washington. “It was also hard because they didn’t miss tonight. In the second half, we cut into the lead a little bit but they didn’t miss.”
Washington made a lot of shots in the evening, tallying 18 points, including eight in the fourth quarter.
“This may be my last game here, so I wanted to go out on a good note and try to play as hard as possible,” said Washington, a 6’3, 180-pound native of Harlem, N.Y.
While Hun didn’t achieve its goal of winning the MAPL tourney, Washington enjoyed getting one last chance to perform in the friendly confines of Shipley Pavilion.
“It was great to be at home, with the fan support and everybody coming out and hoping we could win a championship,” said Washington. “Unfortunately, we lost to Hill, but it was a good run.”
Now, Washington is hoping Hun can have a good run as it competes in the state Prep A tourney where it is seeded fifth and slated to play at fourth-seeded Peddie on February 13 in a quarterfinal contest with the victor advancing to the semifinals in February 19.
“Peddie hit a lot of threes against us the last time, so that is something we have to fix.” said Washington, in assessing the rematch with the Falcons, who defeated Hun 93-78 in their regular season meeting on January 24.
“We just have to play hard. Our highest level of play was when we played against Westtown and only lost by eight (84-76 on December 2) and they were in the national rankings. We played a great game; we need to bottle that energy up and try to figure out how to do that again.”
As a two-time captain of the team, Washington has worked hard to be a great teammate.
“Being captain has been tough; it is a leadership role that I took on last year too, so it wasn’t new to me,” said Washington, who is being recruited by Division I college hoops programs.
“It taught me a lot about myself and my teammates. It is just trying to move forward to college where I hope I will have the experience again.”
No matter where Washington ends up, he will always cherish his Hun experience.
“Hun is a great place, it is one of a kind,” said Washington. “There are great people and it is a great program. I have had my ups and downs here, but the Mercersburg game was one of my favorite moments.”