EPIC BATTLE. Swift-footed alumnus Pierce Girkin (No. 3) slips through the forest of arms, deftly dodging the pterodactyl-like wingspan of student forward Cyrus Kirkman (No. 21).
EPIC BATTLE. Swift-footed alumnus Pierce Girkin (No. 3) slips through the forest of arms, deftly dodging the pterodactyl-like wingspan of student forward Cyrus Kirkman (No. 21).
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Alumni Clobber Students on Basketball Court

Defense, experience, and a rainbow three-pointer spell victory for the veterans.

By Ethan Gordon ’19 | November 7, 2018

Olde Reed dominated the Reed Griffins in a 62-39 rout last Friday at the annual student-alumni basketball showdown. Chalk it up to experience, toughness, physicality, or size: the alumni found a way to clamp down on the students’ offense and push through to victory.

Gabriel Zinn ’15 led the way for the alumni, scoring 19 points on a variety of floaters, fadeaways, and three-pointers. Pierce Girkin ’17 chipped in 13 points, including 9 in the second half, to help put the Griffins away.

The students started the game strong, getting out in transition and moving the ball well. Chemistry major Zesean Ali ’20 scored 8 quick points in the first quarter, all of them coming early in the shot clock or on the fast break. But they were unable to sustain their initial pace, tangled up by turnovers on the offensive end, and ostensibly unprepared on the defensive end for the physical nature of the alumni attack on the paint. In particular, the students struggled to stop Chris Hallstrom ’92 from scoring in the post and off offensive rebounds. By halftime, the alums had a solid — but not insurmountable — 29-20 lead.

The alumni began to pull away in the third quarter, however, by intensifying their effort on the defensive end—especially on the perimeter, where they held the students to a single three-pointer in the second half. The Griffins’ points were hard-fought and often came at the free-throw line, mostly generated by big-man (and psych major) Cyrus Kirkman ’19, who scored 11 points to lead the team. The game was more or less out-of-reach, though, after Zinn, isolated on the wing, hit a rainbow of a stepback three-pointer midway through the third quarter. “I’ve never made such a high-arcing shot in my life,” he said, grinning sheepishly.

The lopsided final score was a stark contrast from last year’s nail-biter, but the valiant effort of the students nonetheless earned healthy applause from the small but raucous crowd who erupted in a fit of cheers as comp-lit major and fan-favorite David James ’19 scored a basket early in the fourth quarter. Students will get a chance to avenge their defeat at a rematch slated for February. Until then, Olde Reed reigns supreme on the floor of the Sports Center Gym.

Tags: Alumni, Campus Life, Sports & Adventures