GAME NIGHT LIVE

Crosstown Rivals Honor Victims Of WVC Shooting Before Basketball Game

Jan 22, 2022, 9:41 PM
Hunter-Cyprus Basketball Game...
(Photo courtesy of Brendan, DNA Hoops)
(Photo courtesy of Brendan, DNA Hoops)

MAGNA, Utah – Hunter and Cyprus High Schools have always been crosstown rivals, but they put all of that aside when they met on Friday night for a boys basketball game.

All to honor three victims that were shot last week near Hunter High School. Two teens – 14-year-old Tivani Lopati and 15-year-old Paul Tahi – were killed in a shooting on Thursday, January 13. 15-year-old Ephraim Asiata is in the hospital in critical condition.

Hunter went to Magna, Utah to battle Cyprus on the hardwood Friday night but they put the rivalry aside and showed love for their West Valley community. Before the game, the two teams were united for the National Anthem and the player introductions. They locked arms with players from both teams together during the anthem.

At Cyprus High School, when the players were introduced, they alternated players from each team.

Cyprus head coach Tre Smith told KSL Sports that his captains formed the tribute.

β€œThis was heavily formed by our team captains (Drysten Heard, Quentin Meza and Diego Mulford),” said Smith. “We spoke about what we needed to do to show our love and support of Hunter high school, athletics programs and the WVC Community. Many of my kids played, or went to school with a lot of kids from Hunter. We feel their pain and wanted them to know we care. We get to play a game of basketball that is a small part of our lives. What this game brought was bigger than basketball. It united two different communities, different cultures, different backgrounds etc. There is never enough love to give in this world, everyone needs more of it. Coach Moleni and his team welcomed the gesture with open arms and were great sports and showed great sportsmanship. We love the Hunter and WVC community.”

The Pirates wore shirts that read “We Are Hunter.” The Wolverines had shirts that said “West Valley Strong,” along with the names of the victims.

Cyprus picked up a 69-60 win.

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