A record, honoring a loved one, and recognizing seniors; Wapahani defeats Daleville in special game

<p>Wapahani senior Isaac Andrews shoots Feb. 16 during the Raiders' game Daleville at Daleville High School. Andrews finished the game with 34 points. Zach Carter, DN.</p>

Wapahani senior Isaac Andrews shoots Feb. 16 during the Raiders' game Daleville at Daleville High School. Andrews finished the game with 34 points. Zach Carter, DN.

When Wapahani senior Isaac Andrews stepped up to the free throw line in the second quarter of the Raiders' road game against Daleville, nothing seemed different to him. 

“I just wanted to hit the free throws,” he said, chuckling. “I have missed some this year and wanted to hit [these ones].”

The first one swished nothing but net. His second one did the same thing. However, when the ball found the bottom of the net on the second foul shot, members of the Wapahani crowd rose to their feet and clapped as Andrews became the school’s all-time scoring leader with 1,960 points. 

“I’m just grateful for the teammates and coaches I’ve had,” Andrews said. “They have allowed me to get to this point and to be myself.” 

Two quarters after Andrews set the record, Wapahani took the 74-48 win over Daleville. 

Even though Andrews’ chance at the record was on the team’s radar, something else was on their minds. Earlier this week, Wapahani head coach Matt Luce lost his sister-in-law, Katy Brogan, after a seven-year battle with lung cancer. 

In response, Luce met with the team and asked if they were interested in honoring her. The Raiders accepted, wearing purple warm-up shirts with the phrase ‘just breathe’ with a heart at the end.

 “These are [the coaching staff’s] boys,” Luce said. “These are our guys… I have been watching Isaac Andrews [since middle school]. It was a very nice [for them to] honor my family and my wife.” 

However, that was not the only pregame item that was special. It was Daleville’s senior night. With five seniors on the Broncos’ roster, head coach Ashley Fouch made sure to give every one of them a hug as they walked to center court with their family. 

“They have changed everything,” Fouch said. “They built my foundation and we’re not done… They have learned [this season] and have become more gritty. Those are five seniors that I will never forget and they’re one of the best groups I have ever coached.”  

Once the game started, it was clear that Andrews had the hot hand. 

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Wapahani senior Isaac Andrews dribbles Feb. 16 before the Raiders play Daleville at Daleville High School. The warm-up shirts are in honor of head coach Matt Luce's sister-in-law, who passed away earlier in the week. Zach Carter, DN.

“Isaac and I have talked about not counting points and just making the right plays,” Luce said. “I think tonight the right play was just No. 20 (Andrews) shooting them in.” 

Coming into the contest, the guard needed 18 points to break the scoring record. At the end of the first quarter, he had seven points. A few minutes later, he was at 14. After taking a short break on the bench, he returned and hit the record-breaking free throws. 

As the first half came to a close, he drained a 3-point shot to give the Raiders a 39-19 halftime lead. 

The second half was similar as the Raiders continued to keep their foot on the gas pedal. Yet the Broncos did not give in. Senior Meryck Adams -- who recently became Daleville's 3-point leader for a career -- went at it with Andrews, matching his shots.

“Meryck is a good player,” Andrews said. “I have been playing [Daleville’s] seniors since elementary school. Playing them one last time was a pretty cool moment.” 

However, Wapahani continued to extend their lead. With only a few seconds left in the game, Luce called a 30-second timeout. During the stoppage in play, the Raider crowd rose to their feet and gave a standing ovation for Andrews, who led Wapahani with 34 points, raising his career total to 1,976 points. 

“Our crowd is always amazing and they help us get momentum,” Andrews said. “It has helped us in those big moments."

Yet it wasn’t just the Raiders who were impressed with Andrews’ accomplishment. Fouch was not surprised by her opponent. 

“He’s just a solid player. He is probably the highest IQ basketball guy that I have seen around [here],” Fouch said. “It’s honestly pretty fun to watch him play and I’m super pumped that he got the record.” 

A little bit later, the final buzzer rang through the gym, giving Wapahani their fourth straight victory. While the two are MEC rivals, Luce made sure to give the Broncos his respect. 

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Daleville senior Meryck Adams shoots a free throw Feb. 16 against Wapahani at Daleville High School. Zach Carter, DN.

“They have a nice team and I shook every one of their hands and told them to win the sectional,” Luce said. “They have an excellent team.” 

Even with the loss, Adams -- who led the Broncos with 21 points -- enjoyed how the community treated him and his fellow seniors throughout the night. 

“Every single big night we play, we always have a good crowd,” he said. “They have helped and it’s always good to play in front of a big crowd. I have never been one to be scared of big moments, so the bigger the crowd, the better.” 

The Raiders will look to continue the win streak when they play Yorktown on Saturday, Feb. 17. It will start at 7:30 p.m. and will be the team’s senior night. For the Broncos, they will look to bounce back when they travel to face Alexandria-Monroe on Tuesday, Feb. 20. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m.

Contact Zach Carter with comments at zachary.carter@bsu.edu or on X @ZachCarter85.


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