Cedarville got a small taste of the upcoming basketball season Saturday night with Moonlight Madness.
The highlight of the night was the dunk exhibition. Instead of a contest like in years past, the audience was treated to a showcase of Cedarville’s best dunkers. Sophomore forward and former junior varsity player Josh Paul leapt over a friend on his way to a dunk, and sophomore forward Easton Bazzoli took a pass off the side of the backboard and slammed it in.
But sophomore guard Austin Pickett stole the show, throwing down four dunks while involving a few other sports teams. Soccer player Connor Gilmour stood under the basket, balancing the ball on his head, and Pickett grabbed the ball and threw it down. Another dunk involved three members of the volleyball team bumping and setting the ball up to Pickett for a soaring slam. He also recruited the track and baseball teams for two other dunks. Pickett showed off his taste for the theatrical while drawing the biggest cheers of the night.
Another highlight was the faculty and staff game. The two teams were led by Dr. Jason Lee and Vice President Jon Wood, who were mic’d up for the game. The game included guys who had clearly played ball before and guys who clearly hadn’t. Lee, in particular, was quite enthusiastic about the whole thing, talking trash to Wood throughout the game, which was entertaining right down to the finish. Randall McKinion, playing on Lee’s team, scored a go-ahead layup with two seconds left. Ched Spellman took the inbound pass and heaved up a half-court shot which bounced off the rim as the buzzer sounded.
The men’s and women’s teams both played exhibition games which, while not overly competitive, still gave players a chance to show their talents to the crowd.
The women’s exhibition game was lopsided in the beginning, but the finish came down to the wire. The audience got to see the team’s seven freshman play for the first time, and they did not disappoint. Freshman guard Regina Hochstetler stood out, showing off her range from beyond the arc. But the veterans played well too, with senior guard Raegan Ryan scoring a layup with two seconds left to put her team up for good.
The men’s game included good three-point shooting and a few nice dunks. It was close throughout, and senior guard Marcus Reineke impressed, making nearly every shot that he took. Freshman guard/forward Patrick Bain showed off his athleticism, while fellow freshman guard Evan Kraatz handled the ball well.
Throughout the night, there were short events like relay races featuring the baseball and softball teams, mini campus golf with members of the golf team, and a dance-off between the Cedarville Yellow Jacket and the Chik-Fil-A Cow.
The night came to a close with men’s head coach Pat Estepp thanking the crowd for coming out and supporting the Jackets. Women’s coach Kirk Martin led the audience in a “JACKETS” cheer, and the crowd left the building hyped up for the upcoming season.
The men’s team opens up the season at home on Nov. 14 at 11 p.m. against Ohio Dominican and Nov. 15 at 8:15 p.m. Ashland. The women’s team starts on Nov. 14 as well, but on the road against Ashland. Their first home game is on Nov. 22 at 2:00 p.m. against Mount Vernon Nazarene.
Byron Brown is a junior global business major and sports reporter for Cedars. He plays for the JV basketball team here at Cedarville. His hobbies include playing sports, exercising, watching sports, eating and watching movies.