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Students Take Staff to School in Mission Week Basketball Game

Michael Boersma
Sophomore Gray King brings the ball up court for the students during the Faculty/Student Basketball Game on Feb. 27, 2024. Gray hit a couple of big shots for the students, helping them beat the faculty for the first time in a long time.

The Rockhurst students accomplished the near-impossible feat of beating the teachers in this year’s annual mission week basketball game. The senior-led squad won 39-34. This feat is rarely achieved, not so much due to the staff’s basketball skills, but because of their ability to stretch the rules.

The game began with a bang as senior Myles Carson let a three-ball go from NBA range to give the students the lead. Carson thought it was important to set the tone.

“I wanted the staff to know it was going to be a long day,” he said. “When the ball went through, I took their souls.”

After a few scoreless minutes, senior Pete Miroslaw snuck in a reverse layup off of an assist from senior Jack Bichelmeyer. Senior Ben Stringer air-balled a floater on the ensuing students’ possession, foreshadowing what would become an embarrassing performance from the varsity cornerback on the football team.

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Several minutes later, junior Charlie Loose hit a step back three over theology teacher Ryan McAnany to give the students a commanding 8-0 lead. After hyping the crowd up with his elaborate handles, sophomore Gray King sunk a high-arching shot from the logo, which brought the house down. The shot was just another day at the office for King.

“It was cool, I guess,” King said. “I do this, though.”

Joe Leroy knocked the lid off the basket for the teachers, as he hit a three from the right wing. According to senior Maeson Tunley, who announced the game along with classmate Gus Sorenson, the math teacher calculated the trajectory of the shot perfectly.

This sense of success for the teachers was short-lived, however, as Bichelmeyer broke away for a right-handed dunk seconds later. 

A phantom basket, the first of many, was added to the teachers’ score in between the first and second quarters. 

To begin play in the second, Lawrence Brown, an assistant basketball coach, made a contested layup to cut into the students’ lead. This layup was worth three points, somehow. Junior Owen Hokanson responded with a contested layup of his own, giving the students a 15-8 lead.

Director of Communications and Branding Robbie Haden soared through the defense and laid the ball in the hoop off of the pass from Brown for the teachers. This bucket was a five-pointer, according to scoreboard operator and math teacher, Jim Monteil. Freshman Warren Robertson responded with a close shot to take away the teachers’ momentum. 

Scoring stalled until King weaved through the defense and sank a layup that could have easily landed a spot on SportsCenter’s Top 10. King was not impressed with the play, however.

“Again, I do this,” he said.

The score was knotted up at 19 apiece going into halftime, according to Monteil, at least.

Senior Charlie Gormsen hit a corner three to get things going in the second half. Carson followed this act with a three of his own, hitting from several feet behind the arc. Stringer looked to keep this momentum going with a three of his own, but failed miserably, air-balling for the second time.

On the following students’ possession, Miroslaw hit Gormsen for an easy fast break layup.

Journalism teacher Scott Hopke resumed scoring for the teachers as he rose up and sank a jumper in the lane. Miroslaw responded with a left-handed layup to extend the students’ lead to 27-22.

After a few possessions, senior Peter Gunter banked in a three from the right wing, generating the loudest crowd reaction of the afternoon. Gunter’s thought process behind the shot was simple.

“The crowd wanted me to shoot,” Gunter said. “And I gave them what they wanted, and then some.”

Loose began the final quarter of play with a made mid-range jump shot. Math teacher Ignatius Nguyen, SJ hit a corner three to respond. Although Nguyen was playing for the teachers, this bucket still generated some cheers due to his popularity among students.

Action stalled for several minutes until junior Jackson Igoe broke away for a two-handed dunk. McAnany quickly replied with a short jumper for the staff. Hokanson laid the ball in shortly after to give the students a 38-31 lead. 

Stringer checked back into the game and immediately threw up another airball, his third. He picked up a fourth on the next possession, but the ball was recovered and laid in by sophomore Michael LaSala.

Seconds later, Stringer had a fast break opportunity. This opportunity was quickly shattered by Leroy, as he denied the layup attempt. Stringer was quickly subbed out of the game.

“Getting blocked by a math teacher was a low moment for me,” Stringer said. “It just wasn’t my day, I guess.”

Bichelmeyer laid in the final basket of the game, creating an insurmountable lead that even Monteil could not make up for. 

The win was especially rewarding for the seniors, as this was the first time they had beaten the teachers in their time at Rockhurst. Gormsen thought it was important to end on a win.

“All those years of losing led up to this,” he said. “It looks like we got the last laugh.”


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About the Contributor
Mitch Forbes
Mitch Forbes, Staff Reporter
What’s up? I’m Mitch Forbes. I am a senior and this is my second year writing on the Prep News staff. I joined the staff last year to help improve my essays in my English classes. However, I learned that the whole process of writing a story was actually pretty fun. I enjoyed it so much last year that I chose to do it over again. Student journalism also looks good on college applications, which doesn’t hurt. I am also a part of the football and basketball teams here at Rockhurst. I am undecided on where I want to attend college, but I plan on studying either journalism or business wherever I go.
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