by Abigail Hintz
Callan Athletic Center was the place to be Friday night as the Yellow Jackets men’s basketball team (2-1) defeated the Campbellsville University-Somerset Tigers, 112-69 in the 2018 Don Callan Classic. The crowd got what they came for, with dunks, technical fouls and an appearance from the “Towel Gang.”
Freshman guard Branden Maughmer led the team in points with 19, shooting 8-9 from the field and 3-3 on 3-pointers. Sophomore forward Conner TenHove had a great game as well, scoring 15 points, four rebounds and shooting 5-10. Freshman guard Quinton Green went 3-5 on 3-pointers and scored 18 points. Off the bench, Cedarville scored 56, trumping Campbellsville’s 34.
Coming out of the locker room, it was clear Cedarville felt the momentum, going on a six-point run early with a huge dunk from Kollin Van Horn. The Tigers continued pushing throughout the first half, coming as close as 27-23 before the Jackets pulled ahead, ending the half 45-32.
After just three minutes of the second half, the Jackets had given themselves a 20-point lead. Cedarville was shooting clean from behind the arc, putting five in in the first five minutes and Conner TenHove taking two of them. Soon after, the Tigers’ frustration began to show and they started fouling. Campbellsville was stricken was given a technical foul after proceeding to hang onto Van Horn after the whistle had blown. Van Horn converted one of his two free throws, putting the Jackets up 67-43.
At this point in the game, it seemed every other play was a foul. But the Jackets didn’t let up, with a smooth running offense and an aggressive defense, when called upon. With three minutes left to play the Jackets hit 100 points, squashing the Tigers’ 65.
Maughmer was happy with the way his team cleaned up their performance, saying, “We started out pretty slow, but in the second half we bounced back.”
The Jackets felt good to be at home again for the first time this year. With a crowd of 939, big plays led to big cheers.
Yet what drew what was by far the biggest cheer of the night was the “Towel Gang.” Chants rang out in the middle of the second half begging Estepp to put in the JV squad that practices with the varsity team. They’ve become a fan favorite through their social media and animated personalities.
“Those guys are great,” said Estepp. “Their energy is good, and they’re just happy to be a part of it.”
With about two minutes to play in the game, Anthony Chaffey, Andrew Spur, Cameron Roseman, Andrew Stein and Adam Standley evoked what Estepp believes was the loudest roar Callan has heard in a few years. The “Towel Gang” only allowed the Tigers four points and took seven of their own. The game ended 112-69.
Estepp was happy with his whole team’s performance, but commented specifically on his bench.
“All those guys who came off the bench did some really good stuff. I’m proud of them,” he said.
The Jackets have a quick turnaround in this Don Callan Classic and will be back in action Saturday at 7:45 when they take on Shawnee State.
Abigail Hintz is a freshman journalism major and sports writer for Cedars. She loves sending people GIFs, reading books and watching way more soccer than the average person.