by Marty Zier
The Orcas Island Booster Club hosted their annual fundraising Alumni Basketball Game December 26th at Orcas High School.
The Viking camaraderie on the court spanning generations was ever-present even as the OIHS player reunions settled down, the warmups ended and the niceties faded with game jersey colors polarized the players.
The Alumni women hit the court first and had no lack of playing time with barely enough players. Teams are normally divided into even and odd graduating year, but not this year, just random selection divided into Grey and Blue jerseys including Alumni and current players.
The Blue team jumped ahead 19-13 after the first quarter and stretched the led to 36-23 at half and continued to hit 3’s and layups through the early fourth quarter. But the Grey Ladies had a magical, truly spectacular fourth quarter.
The astute crowd sat in amazement as the score for the Grey clicked up, seemingly faster than baskets were landed. With just minutes remaining, the crowd erupted in applause as the Grey team brought it to within 2 points. But despite the unreal scoring blast by the Grey, the Blue prevailed 49-45.
Score keepers Jack Gates and Corey Wiscomb should get a nod for somehow tracking such a fantastic scoring quarter! Athletic Director Vicki Vandermay was very pleased with event, “We had a large turnout of fans and about 27 men and about 11 women, but I would like to see more women show up next year, we could have used some more players. This is a really fun night and I would like to see this become a significant yearly community event.”
The Alumni men hit court next and had enough players to stage a couple games. The first event set the youngest Alumni who had graduated within the last 6 years against the current, very talented Viking boys team that obviously came to play. No magical scoreboard in this event. The evenly matched teams raced back and fourth in a wicked fast paced game with the Alumni leading 36-28 at half.
The Alumni, with a handful of old teammates, kept their led until mid fourth quarter when the young Vikings put together a series of impressive plays and three pointers, tying the game 70-70. Forced to foul and with time running out for the Vikings, the sharp shooting Alumni took the game 78-74.
Boys basketball coach Corey Wiscomb said, “It was fun, that’s the point of it. Get the whole community interacting with previous generations playing ball with the current team members. The crowd got to see a competitive event, it came down to a four point game, nobody knew what was going to happen and that’s exciting and fun. The Alumni pulled it off, which they often do.”