By Quint Turner
The first-ever Meadowdale Alumni Basketball Tournament was held Wednesday nigt at Meadowdale High School. Four teams from different Maverick eras competed (White, Columbia, Navy and Grey), with the White-jersey Maverick team coming out on top. Led by 2005 graduate Jake Linton and 2004 graduate LaRod Lover, the team had two dominating victories to take home the trophy. They outscored their opponents by 53 points (keep in mind, these are only 15-minute games). New Maverick head boys basketball coach Andy Streit played for the Columbia team, which placed second, and he scored two points.
The first game was between the old Columbia team (alumni from 1994-1998) and the Greys (1999-2003). Columbia jumped out to a 10-2 lead thanks to Josh Cram and Matt Rundoff getting buckets early, but the Greys crept back with Zach Streit and Joel Werdell scoring key baskets. Columbia managed to close out the game by making important free throws at the end to win 24-18 and move on to the finals.
In the other game, the Whites and the Navys (2007-2011), it was all Whites. Jordan McGinnis started the game with back-to-back three-pointers and the team never looked back. They jumped out to a 23-0 lead in the first nine minutes of the 15-minute game, thanks to a tough defense that prevented Sam Werner or Dillon Sand from getting hot. The Navys didn’t score until Dylan Buck finally banked in a free throw to break up the shutout. With 10 seconds to go, and up 30-11, Bryant Marsh of the Whites got the only slam dunk of the tournament on an easy breakaway to give the Whites a 32-11 victory.
The third-place consolation game was next, and it was the Greys vs. the Navys. The game was a high-scoring affair for the first few minutes, as Werner made back-to-back threes to put his team up 12-8 early. Then, a great pass from Tyce Tallman to Teagan Dooley made it 18-15. But Case Rogers of the Greys took over, and drove to the basket and layed in the go-ahead bucket to make it 21-20 with four minutes to play. After the Greys went up 25-22, Werner hit the tying three-point shot with 1:15 left. The Greys were sent to the free throw line for much the rest of the game, as they got rebound after rebound off other free throws. Though they only made about 2 out of 8, they hung on to win 27-25 when Werner missed the game-winning three with no time left.
The Whites absolutely dominated the final game. Linton lead all scorers with 12 points (all of those coming on 3s), and Lover and McGinnis also got five points for the easy win. They started out on a 14-0 run, keeping the Columbia team from getting any easy looks. It took a three-point shot by Jesse Durham to finally get the team on the board, but it was 14-3 by that point. Coach Streit scored his only points of the tournament when he drove through the defense and made a reverse layup, but it didn’t matter too much. Right after that layup, the Whites went on a 15-0 run to prevent any more scares and they lead 32-7 with a minute to go. The team closed out the game with an 11-4 run in that final minute to win 43-11.
Meadowdale’s varsity boys basketball season begins next Tuesday, Nov. 29 versus the Kamiak Knights. Tipoff is at 7:15 p.m., at Meadowdale.
Sports correspondent Quint Turner is a sophomore at Meadowdale High School.