The Old Griffs tasted the agony of defeat last Friday night, and it was flavored a bit like vanilla frozen yogurt. More on the frozen yogurt later, but suffice it to say that New Reed had its way with Olde Reed, 87–74, during the second match-up between the student and alumni teams this academic year.
Alumni captain Erik Brakstad ’89 talked up the game in the trashiest terms and prepared his team for the renewed energy of the the Young Griffs, a team buoyed by the return of its star point guard, Gabe Zinn ’15 (progeny of Prof. Nathalia King and Chris Zinn), from Paris. The geriatric set got off to a forceful start and after 10 minutes had pulled ahead thanks to a trey from Colin Daniel ’00 followed by Colin's sly assist to Chris Hallstrom ’92 for a lay-up. Gabe returned the trey and received a beautiful no-look pass from Ben Williams ’14 to turn the tables. Ben and Pierce Girkin ’16 traded steals and assists and generally provided a clinic on how to play the selfless way (not to mention how to draw fouls, FTW!). Smooth moves by Bruce Talmadge ’88 and another three-pointer by Colin nearly tied it with 11 seconds left in the half, but the students were up 39–36 when the buzzer sounded.
In the second half, Jonathan Donehower ’04 stepped up with some sweet baskets, and Owen Gross ’04 made a terrific three-point jumper, then a two, and then drew the foul to bring the alumni within one point at the 11-minute mark. Then the students rallied. Matias Oviedo, Reed’s Spanish-language scholar from Argentina, helped keep the momentum going, assisted by Pierce and Joseph Joe '16. Gabe made some key put-backs and the young guns began to surge when disaster struck. Pierce dove for a loose ball and slid right into an overlooked (but not empty) container of frozen yogurt that was under the scorers' table. The low-fat leftover splattered everywhere and players from both teams had to laugh as they all pitched in to mop up the mess. Pierce recovered from this unsightly spill and got off a great shot, then Matthias rolled one off the backboard and cemented the students' lead.
The student team had pulled ahead by seven just before the yogurt incident, and one might think the disruption would have benefitted the alumni; alas, they couldn't take advantage of this break, despite a valiant effort to show that there is no expiration date on talent. The final score was 87–74, a differential that Erik found hard to stomach.
“They wanted it more—no, NEEDED it more!" Erik said. "They hadn't beaten us in years, and we got a little complacent. We were missing some talent—we suited up only seven guys—and we'd have to play better than that to win.”
Whichever team you cheer for, whet your appetites for a rematch during Reed's annual March Madness tournament on Friday, March 7, at 6 p.m.!