Norm Stewart Classic Spartans on fire vs the Dragons!!


Colten Stone, Managing Editor

The basketball season opened up at the third annual Norm Stewart Classic Tournament. The Norm Stewart Classic is a 48 hour straight tournament at the Southwall Complex at Columbia College with 24 games in total.  With a free throw contest, each team had the chance as well to raise money for the American Cancer Society with the Coaches vs Cancer event, which resulted in a total of $10,600.

The boys team opened their season with a game against the Mid-Buchanan Dragons. It wasn’t just a normal game as they had to play at a time they are not used to playing at: 10:00pm.

The Spartans’ active roster is composed of just one senior, which means there is inexperience on varsity with a ton of underclassmen. In the first quarter, to start out they were able to make the Dragons tired trying to catch up with them on the fastbreak. The Dragons couldn’t handle the pressure as they went down 36-9 at the end of the first quarter thanks to a couple layups and a steal that would turn to a dunk from junior Maricus Grant and a few threes coming from sophomore Cachao Gianquinto.

Gianquinto lead all scorers that night with 21 points and explained the good things that his team was able to do to make the game successful.

“We all played good tonight, everybody was able to do their job like we wanted and we are just got buckets and that is always just a great feeling,” Gianquinto said.

In the second quarter the Spartans outran the Dragons up and down the court and the Spartans were able to outscore the Dragons 24-4 in the quarter to go to halftime already up by 47 points; 60-13.

Grant is now a two year starter on the varsity squad and now that the team is so young, Grant explained the benefits of these new players.Getting two years with the same squad will help them improve to be a state contender.

Grant said, “This year our team is really good to begin with, but it’s also a year of our trusting process and getting everything down so everyone knows what they are doing, so that next year we can be just unstoppable. Like we say as a team, we will not take any team lightly, no matter how good or bad the team is.”

In the second half,, the Spartans were actually outscored by the Dragons 28-22 and the Spartans showed the inexperienced varsity play with some sloppy turnovers and foul trouble.T.The Spartans may have won the game 82-41, but it was still not the most pretty of play in the second half.

Third year head coach Brian Meny saw those mistakes and explained what they really needed to do to make sure the struggles stopped. Meny said, “We have to slow down when we are playing like that. I do take in consideration that Maricus, Cachao, and Z (Zhvaughn Ward) are the only ones who played varsity roles last year, so I know I have to coach them that so they will figure it out. But in those situations, we have to know when to slow down the play.”

The Most Valuable Player award was awarded to Grant after a great performance shown in the first game of the season. Grant finished with 19 points and had a couple of effective passes and dunks, and also nine steals to add to that. Grant was one rebound and one steal away from a triple double.

Grant explained what the Most Valuable Player award means to him and what that brought to him.

“It’s obviously a good accomplishment and it was something I was looking forward to, but I couldn’t have won the award if it wasn’t for my teammates giving it 100% the entire game,” he said.

The Spartans will play their 4th game of the season on Tuesday, December 18 with a 7:00pm varsity start time against the cross-town rival Rock Bridge Bruins.