26th Annual Alumni Basketball Tournament
by Brian Krysiak (TM ’98)
Class of 2012 after winning the 26th Annual Alumni Basketball Tournament
The 26th installment of the Alumni Tournament entertained for the entire weekend. Fifteen teams and over 100 alumni came back to visit St Thomas More and battle their friends in basketball. Special thanks go out to Campbell’s bar for once again hosting the post-game party. After all expenses were paid, all proceeds went directly to the Cavalier Athletic Booster Club.
The Saturday pool play games usually are for gauging every team’s strengths after another year of getting older. It is also where young teams learn what a rich basketball history the school has as well as get to know some players who can still play at a high level. This year the brand new class of 2018 had a great Saturday and made the playoffs in their first tournament experience! The class of 2004 also was able to get back to the Sunday games after a few year hiatus.
However, what those younger teams learned is that there has been a pecking order in this tournament for the past six years. In that time span the same four teams have made the semi- finals every year. Those teams were the class of 2012, 2006, 2002, and the newly formed combo 1995/1998.
The 1995/1998 team – the defending champions – cruised through the quarterfinals and were slated to play the younger class of 2012 in the semi-final. The 2012 team had come close a few times, but had never been able to win the whole thing. The players from 1995/1998 were up by 5 points with less than 4 minutes to go, before Trevor Wattawa and the young kids took control and won the game 45-40 to reach their 3rd championship game. In the other semifinal, the two former champion classes of 2002 and 2006 played a tight one that 2002 was able to win going away 53-40.
It came down to the 2012 team, who had reached the final game twice before, to try and finally get over the hump. It was a back and forth game and no spectator could figure out who had the upper hand. In the end, Kyle Knipple hit a fade away 3 pt basket with 8 seconds left to play to put 2002 up 42-41. With 2 seconds left on the clock and 2012 taking the ball out at mid-court, they inbounded to Trevor Wattawa who was able to hit a his own fade away 30ft shot with two defenders over him at the buzzer, to give 2012 their first championship by a score of 44-42.
Class of 2012 Players – Derek Trader, Jon Starasta, Steven Wasilik, Jason Dhillon, Jonathon Stahr, Nick Reid, Trevor Wattawa, and Markus Lenz.
Congrats to the Class of 2012 and to all who came out to play. See you all again next year!
27th Annual Alumni Basketball Tournament
November 30 & December 1, 2019
Past Alumni Champions
1988 – 9 wins
1998, 2002 – 4 wins
1996, 2006 – 2 wins
1995, 1997, 2005, 2012 – 1 win
1995/1998 Combo – 1 win