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Sidney Alumni Basketball 10th Anniversary

SIDNEY -- The tenth annual Sidney Alumni Basketball Night was played on Saturday, November 23rd in front of a small but appreciative crowd at the Sidney High School gym.

Basketball memories were in the spotlight once again for 34 former players whose graduation years ranged from 1956 to2001. And along the way, a few more memories were created during the two exhibition games.

The Sidney Alumni Basketball Association sponsored its first game in 1992. Since then, more than 120 alumni have participated, including our first female alumna, Megan Robinson (class of 2000) in this year's game!

This will also be the fourth year that the money raised from these games by the Association will provide a scholarship in June for a graduating Sidney basketball player. There will also be a donation made to the Tri-Town Boys and Girls Club.

The fans' favorite part of the night was the Old-Timers game, as former coaches Doug Fessenden and Gary Scavo matched wits -- or was it wit? -- on the bench with players from the 1950s, 60s and 70s. This year's game saw some "babies" (graduates between 1982-85) choose to play in the older game for the first time, . At one point in the game, there was a unique match up when the oldest (Dave Ineich '56) player was seen guarding the youngest (Tim Cutting '85).

On the court, the game featured a collective 15 three-point baskets, an option unavailable to old-timers in "their day." The team who put in ten, coached by Fessenden, came up one short, as in one more three point bomb. Scavo's team prevailed, despite a late rush, 63-60.

Leading the way for the winners were Greg Kott ('82) Paul Hamilton ('77) and Chris Zieno ('80), all in double figures. Hot outside shooting by Dick Woytek ('65) who had 4 three-pointers, and Steve Fessenden ('76), plus Steve Schaeffer's ('69) inside power combined for 41 points for Fessy's squad.

The shooting contest was won by Marty Reed ('65) over Steve Schaeffer while the game's MVP went to Chris Zieno, despite one of his shots getting stuck between the rim and the backboard.

In the fast break night cap, a limited number of players got more time on the floor than they may have wanted. Still, the action was heated, with momentum swings throughout. A team piloted by Mike Brazee ('76 and current varsity coach) broke away from a close game to win 74-64 over JV Coach Bob Finnegan's team. That victory got Brazee off the good-natured hook, since he was mired in a four-year Alumni losing streak

Highlights for the fast break, besides Megan Robinson's performance (she made her first shot!) was the shooting of Teddy Boice ('92). Boice broke the Alumni record with 5 three-pointers during the game, part of an 18-point performance which secured his MVP award. But he also set an unbeatable mark by making all 10 shots in the shooting contest. Alumni teammate Aaron Burnham ('92) scored 17 in the game and was the runner-up in the shooting contest.

Recent grads Jon Carvin ('00) and newcomer Tom Morenus ('01) had 15 and 16 points apiece in a losing effort.

Toddie's in Sidney hosted the alumni post-game reception.

Special mention should go to Mike Hamilton ('81), who played in both games; and Tony Zieno ('71) who provided most of the sports items raffled during breaks.

A warm thank-you is extended to Sidney girls varsity coach Loraine Butcher, who shared her thoughts and a poem about her cousin Carol, who died in the September 11th disaster. Coach Butcher also brought her varsity team to be introduced before the second game. It was the second time the girls have joined us, hopefully carrying on a tradition.

A tradition we'd like to see started is a women's alumni game. With Megan Robinson asking to play in this year's game, perhaps the fire has been lit for others to get organized and join us!

Greg Davie

For photos of this year's game, please click here