Students challenge staff
By Dustin White
Mandan News, editor
It is not often that students get the chance to compete against their teachers, but during the third annual students versus staff game on March 13, students at the Mandan Middle school were given that opportunity.
16 teams composed of students from the sixth, seventh, and eighth grades, took their turn at challenging the staff on the basketball court.
Going into the match, there were no clear underdogs. While the staff did have a height and age advantage, many of the students had just finished up a successful basketball season.
Within the first few minutes though, the game seemed to be going in the student’s favor. Scoring the first points by sinking a three-pointer, the students started out strong.
That lead would be short lived, as the students repeatedly fouled the staff. After the second foul, the staff was up by one, but just for a moment. The first half continued without any clear winner.
Keeping the game close, the students kept coming back with three pointers, while the staff continued tying it up and eventually finishing with a three point lead.
Reminding the students that the event was meant to be just a friendly, fun game, half-time entertainment was provided. Kicking it off, Mandan Motion, the middle school dance team, performed a talented routine for an enthralled crowd.
Capitalizing on the success of dance performance, players from the University of Mary basketball team staged a dunk contest. Building up the excitement of the audience, the players performed a series of high-flying dunks.
As the final half began, the audience was once again given a surprise. While the players from Mary finished up their contest, players strapped themselves into specialized wheelchairs for “Dreams in Motion” play.
More than adding a twist to the game, “Dreams in Motion” also showcased the ability of those with mobility challenges to participate in sporting opportunities.
For the first time since the opening points, the students seemed to be gaining the upper hand, having acquired a five-point lead. Yet, the student’s downfall once again was fouling the staff.
After the staff scored a few more free throws, their win seemed inevitable.
While the students made a valiant effort, scoring big with three-pointers, the effort just was not enough to overtake the teachers. Having closed the gap, the students continued to come up short.
In a last ditch effort, the students called a timeout with just 26 seconds left on the clock. Looking as if they were trying to put into place a new strategy, it ended up not being enough. When the clock finally ran out, the staff was up by five points, leaving the game at 56 to 51.
As the game finished, all were in good spirits though. The intention had been to bring the school closer together through a friendly sporting event, and that had been accomplished. While some students jokingly challenged the staff to a rematch, it was all in good spirit.