By Lori Brown
LIBERTY March 6, 2007 On Tuesday, February 27, Liberty High School hosted a donkey basketball event for the second consecutive year.
Liberty Booster Club member Maureen Crescitelli was among the many people who helped to make this event possible.
“The money collected will go to the booster club, which is a parent organization that helps to support the [Liberty] Athletic Department,” Crescitelli said. “Last year, we made approximately $3,000.”
“This event is usually a lot of fun for both kids and the whole family,” she added.
The evening actually featured three donkey basketball games. The first contest was a grudge match between the Liberty junior class and the Liberty senior class. Last March, the juniors won and they wanted to win again as seniors this year.
The second game featured the Liberty Coaches vs. the Liberty Faculty.
The third game was the juniors vs. seniors championship game.
The Shaw Brothers Donkey Ball Company of Sayre, Pa. supplied the donkeys for the games and Mr. Day was the referee throughout the night.
During the opening 10 minutes of the first game, senior Caity Baker scored the first two points. The juniors and seniors had a hard time staying on top of their donkeys and even holding onto their donkeys. These donkeys had a mind of their own. They either did not move at all or they ran way too fast for the players!
Junior Brijan Patel scored a basket which tied the game at 2-2.
During halftime, the donkeys were interlocked at halfcourt so all the children and adults in attendance could enjoy an opportunity to see the donkeys up close. The children loved petting the donkeys and even sitting on top of them.
The second game was the Coaches vs. the Faculty. The members of the Coaches team included: Bernadette Koval, Carpio Ramos, Jason Semo, Ron Shulte, Deb Simpson, Matt Stoddard, Cathy Wilhelm and John Wilhelm.
The members of the Faculty team, which was also known as the “Middle School Manure Movers,” included: Jill Buday, Eileen Conway-Whitaker, Mike Hazelnis, Sue Huggler, Christy Immel, Barbara Kelby, Paul Minton, Cindy Nolan, Tret Rucker and Kort Wheeler.
The Coaches won this game by the score of 4-0 as Shulte and Jason Semo, who is the Liberty Central School Athletic Director, each scored a basket.
The third contest pitted the juniors against the seniors in the championship game.
Since the first game ended in a tie, one of these teams needed to record a clear victory. Senior Scott Hamil scored the first two points. Then junior Risa Bernthal scored a basket to tie the game at 2-2.
With one minute remaining, junior Abi Rubio scored what proved to be the game-winning hoop as the juniors prevailed, 4-2.
After paying all the bills, the booster club made about $1,800 at the fundraising event.
“The booster club thanks everyone for their support and coming out to enjoy the donkey basketball games,” Crescitelli said. “We give a big thank you to the Liberty High School DJ Club, who provided us with all the music. Also, we would like to thank the Liberty Athletes Against Substance Abuse Group for running the concession stand.”