Hyenas win fifth Hoop D’Ville title
Special to the Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – They’re not John, Paul, George and Ringo. In fact, they number five instead of just four, but put them together on an asphalt basketball court and they certainly are fab.
The Hyenas – not Beatles – are made up of former Glenwood High School basketball stars Jim Yellico, Dorian McClelland, Jason Rand, John Doose and Mike Schubert and got by nicely with a little help from their friends as they came together and sent the rest of the field reeling at Saturday’s Hoop D’Ville basketball tournament, held on the hallowed grounds of Sayre Park.
If Earth is a task garden and heaven is a playground, then the Hyenas enjoyed what would amount to a full day of joyous, uninterrupted recess.
“The chemistry between us is huge,” said McClelland, speaking of the shared bond with his old high school buddies. “We just know where each other is going to be on the court. Especially when the chips are down.”
The Hyenas, who added a fifth championship to their collection of Hoop D’Ville crowns, didn’t face many chips-are-down situations during the course of the day-long tourney, going undefeated with a perfect 4-0 record.
There were some anxious moments in the final game of the day, as the Hyenas matched up with the Ballers, a motley group from Grand Junction made up of Michael Scott, Tommy Powers, Hugo Reyes, Randall Jochim, Everett Robinson and T.J. Hines.
Jumping out to an early 5-0 advantage on a 3-pointer by McClelland and an inside basket by Rand, the Hyenas used every gear necessary to swell the lead up to 12-0 before the Ballers had seen enough and called a timeout.
At that juncture in the game, Rand thought the inevitable was upon his team.
“I was thinking that we couldn’t be stopped,” said Rand, who had a nice career after high school at Monterey Peninsula College along with McClelland. “With that kind of lead, we’re not going to fold.”
The Ballers had other ideas, though.
With comeback in their minds, and a flurry of 3-pointers in their arsenal, the Ballers steadily chipped away at the lead until the score stood at 28-25, Hyenas.
It was now anybody’s game, but in spite of the pressure, the Hyenas managed to maintain their composure and put together a final possession of the basketball that proved to be just the tonic they needed at just the right time.
“There was never a doubt. No panic,” said Yellico.
“I thought it was just about time. I knew we were going to win,” echoed Doose.
Mike Schubert seemed to absorb the words of his teammates, and then put them into action.
After a series of perimeter passes, Schubert found himself at the top of the key with the ball, and in an ideal one-on-one situation. Schubert dribbled toward the basket, spun, and flipped up a fade-away shot that hit the rim, bounced high off the backboard, circled the hoop a couple times, for good measure, and then dropped softly through the netting giving his team the title.
“Their intensity was really high,” Schubert said of the Ballers comeback. “I drove the lane and they were right on me, so I had to fade away a little bit.”
Tournament director Mike Picore’s team, the Fightin’ Whities, made up of Chris Hoffmeister, Daniel and Caleb Koski, Clinton Carroll and Jared Picore, took third place on the day.
Picore organized yet another Hoop D’Ville, and area hoopers are forever in his debt for the basketball reunions his tournaments provide.
“Today was nice because a bunch of the guys who used to play years ago were back,” said Picore. “The final three teams today were what it used to be. After 10 years, it’s nice to see.”
Grand Junction’s Dillon Legge was the winner of the Hoop D’Ville slam dunk competition.
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