Team Sandler vs The OG’s: Zaching Against Cancer 3v3 basketball tournament

Matt Toth (left), Quinn Ahearn (center), and  Ty Beck-Winter (right) moments after winning the tournament.

Matt Toth (left), Quinn Ahearn (center), and Ty Beck-Winter (right) moments after winning the tournament.

On March 29, the final of the Zaching Against Cancer 3v3 Tournament occurred during Eagle Time, with Team Sandler defeating The OGs.

The month-long tournament played bracket-style, had 22 teams face off up until the final, with the third-place game being played on the other side of the Eagles home court gym, ending in a dominant 10-4 win by the Goon Squad over the Gold Getters. The game was a bit out of hand to start, with the Goon Squad up 5-2 at halftime, relentlessly shooting and making 3-pointers. 

On the opposite side of the court, teams played the first-place game, which, in contrast, went down to the final shot.

To start, Team Sandler (Seniors Ty Beck-Winter, Quinn Ahearn, Matt Toth)went up on an uncontested layup, but The OG’s (Seniors Hassan Helal, Nebiyou Daniel, Kodee Karcher) responded with their own layup, tying it up at 2-2. Team Sandler then put up four straight points, scored on a fadeaway by Beck-Winter and a mid-range by Ahearn. Replying to this, Helal hit a 3-pointer, making it 6-5. Following this,some sloppy play by Team Sandler led to another 3-pointer, also converted by Helal, which gave The OG’s their first lead of the game at 8-6. To end the first half, the two teams went back and forth, capping it off with a Beck-Winter buzzer-beater 3-pointer to put Team Sandler ahead at the half, 12-10.

Entering the second half, both offenses started ice cold, with careless turnovers and missed layups. Team Sandler broke the scoring drought with a layup, shortly followed by a three in retaliation from The OG’s to cut the lead back down to just one point. After a missed layup, The OG’s had a chance to retake the lead in the final minute, but after a missed floater, all Team Sandler had to do was waste time by dribbling the clock out, with a final score of 14-13.

With tournament rules prohibiting teams from having more than one player from the varsity basketball team, The OG’s had a leg up with starting point guard Beck-Winter, who led them in scoring in the final and enjoyed his time playing in the tournament. “It was really fun to play competitively in an environment with so many different teams,” Beck-Winter shared later.

Looking back, Beck-Winter’s favorite moment was in the semi-final game against the Gold Getters because “we played our best game as a team, where everyone scored and contributed to the win.” Beck-Winter credited his team’s defense as the “key to our success…we figured that we could score when we needed to on offense, but if we held the other team to little amounts of scoring then we would have a better chance at winning.”

The entire tournament was a spectacle for the entire school to enjoy. There were plenty of great games and performances, as well as the occasional fan-favorite team that may have had no chance of really winning. In the end, only one team could take home the trophy, and Team Sandler proved themselves to be the best in their final game, capping off a great tournament for an even better cause.


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