First annual Christmas basketball tournament: The battle for donut domination

By Maggie Fipps

The Christmas Threes vs. the Jingle Buckets. No, this is not the title of a bad Hallmark Christmas movie where the single basketball coach meets the Christmas-loving baker. This is the first-ever Cedarville Christmas Basketball Tournament. Five teams faced off to win the coveted prize of free Bills Donuts. 

Mason Buch, a Sports Management major, started putting on tournaments last semester because of the large basketball community at Cedarville. 

“it just started because Cedarville has a great community of guys that just love to play basketball,” Buch said. “Cam [Arminio] and I especially just wanted to kind of give back to that and make it a little more exciting for guys and make it more competitive.”

The event also allowed student businesses to sponsor and promote their product. Seven booths set up their products from the IBC like Crowned Chains and Proclaim the Name, but also one-off shops like Be the Light Lettering.

Anastasia Stanhope, a business major, says Dr. Oberbrunner, professor of entrepreneurship, connected her with the event. 

“It just helps advertise that I have a business,” Stanhope said. “Sometimes it’s hard to remind people, so I’m just very grateful for the opportunity.” 

The games only played to 12 points, but reaching that threshold proved more of a problem, as the matchups featured more aggression than points. 

The coaches dressed in ugly Christmas suits added to the festive air along with the classic Christmas music remixed with beats. 

Each game presented its own rivalries and storylines. The Christmas Threes featured point guard Noah Fennell, who also led Lawlor to a victory over the Hill in the Gridiron Classic. In a twist of fate, the Hill’s starting quarterback Benjamin Vincent played against Fennell in a rematch, but Fennell and his team still won on the basketball court. Arminio “The Veteran” played alongside students, and relived his basketball days, but instead in a Cedarville scrimmage jersey. 

The finale came down to The 12 Days of Buckets, undefeated, playing against The Christmas Threes, who came in with one loss. The Threes received major offensive contributions from Christian Eppich and Gus Mace. 

With the short preparation time, most plays set up a certain player rather than a specific combination of passes. The large crowd witnessed their fair share of drives to the basket and missed threes. Such is the hooper mentality of college men. 

Without refs, there were a few controversial calls, with whoops of “integrity in conduct” from the audience. The Threes looked tired, two games in a row probably contributed to their demise. Although the lead never got out of hand, the Buckets commanded most of the game. The Threes fought their way to a second game. But the Buckets would only drop that first game, and they finished the Threes 15-11. 

Buch felt the tournament was a wild success, and not just for the winners. 

“I’m super thankful for all the guys that signed up to play,” Buch said. “Just watching them play and watch them have fun, it’s something we always do, but when you put it into this atmosphere, it’s just a little extra special.”

Maggie Fipps is a junior Journalism student and the Editor in Chief of Cedars. She enjoys playing the piano and thrifting, and you may spot her around campus sporting Packers gear head to toe.

1 Reply to "First annual Christmas basketball tournament: The battle for donut domination"

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    Tom December 4, 2023 (10:02 pm)

    Sounds fun! Congratulations on the success of the tournament.

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