Musketeer Madness kicks off new season of Xavier basketball

By: Donnie Menke ~Staff Writer~

Newswire photo by Adam Spegele | Bluiett rises to shoot the “money ball.”

Musketeer Madness kicked off the new basketball season last Friday for both the men’s and women’s teams. It included team introductions, a 3-point contest for both teams, a dunk contest for the men, team scrimmages and appearances by former players.

During the women’s introductions, Leah Schaefer hoisted a stuffed animal Simba as she was introduced, and Jenna Crittendon wore boxing gloves. Crittendon also defeated Martha Thompson, Marquia Turner and Kindell Fincher in the 3-point contest.

The scrimmage for the women’s team included Turner, Kayla Davis, Erica Dawson, Schaefer, Thompson, Anniina Aijanen, Crittendon and Imani Thompson on Xavier White. Fincher, Jada Byrd, Brianna Glover, Aliyah Zantt, Maddison Blackwell, Reashuan Gaffney and Tierra Floyd played on Xavier Blue. Xavier White won the scrimmage 19-14, as both Crittendon and Zantt led their teams in scoring with five points each.

Between the women’s scrimmage and men’s introductions, there were a few events to get the fans involved with the madness, beginning with a ball toss. Next, there was an announcement of three lucky raffle winners. Finally, there was the halfcourt shot contest to win free books for next semester. All three attempts failed.

After this came the introductions for the men’s team, which had a notable absence, Kaiser Gates, who was sitting out due to concussion protocol.

The highlight of the introductions was head coach Chris Mack dressing up himself and his children to the theme of the song “Bad to the Bone.”

Trevon Bluiett, J.P. Macura, Myles Davis and Makinde London all participated in the 3-point contest. It was a close contest, but in the end, Bluiett beat Macura during the tiebreaker round after Davis and London were eliminated in the round prior.

The dunk contest included Jalen Reynolds, Macura and London. Macura was actually a late addition to the dunk contest, as he was put in minutes before Madness began. The contest also had surprise guest judges Dee Davis and Andrew Mitchell.

Macura was a great addition, scoring a perfect 50 in the first round to guarantee a spot in the finals. Next was Reynolds, who scored a 42 for his efforts. London had a chance, but he could only manage a 37, sending Reynolds to the finals.

In the finals, Macura had assistance from Edmund Sumner, as he took the lob and slammed it home for a score of 46. Reynolds took the ball off the bounce and did a reverse dunk, but it was not quite enough as he scored a 45, making Macura the champion.

In the scrimmage, it was Reynolds, Davis, Macura, London, Ashanti Burgess, Alex Bergen, Larry Austin Jr. and RaShid Gaston for Xavier White. Bluiett, Remy Abell, Sumner, Sean O’Mara, James Farr, Tim Stainbrook and Kevin Coker played as Xavier Blue.

Xavier Blue won the scrimmage 28-19. Sumner, eight points, and Davis, seven points, both led their teams in scoring.