Phillips County News - One Nation, Under God

By Mark Hebert
Publisher 

Heeeee Haaaww!

Donkey Basketball hits local hardwood

 

April 12, 2017

Mark Hebert

Riley Mortenson tries to defend a pass by Shonna Smith during Donkey Basketball in Malta on Saturday night.

When the clock hit zero the fur stopped fling and the baskets stopped falling, but the boasting, the boasting was just beginning.

A four team, single elimination Donkey Basketball tournament was held in Malta on Saturday evening with team Badonkadonks, coached by Greg Ziegler and Cohen Ereaux, taking home the first place trophy with a 10-6 win over the Jack 5. Prior to the championship game, Coach Ziegler — wearing a pair of cutoff, denim shorts that could make a Hooters waitress blush — was both confidant and prophetic.

“We are going to win and we are going to do so by four points,” Coach Ziegler correctly predicted. “That team knows nothing of animal husbandry or of basketball. They are a fly by night team and we have been in this thing for years, traveling the Canadian circuit, playing donkey basketball. This is all about animal husbandry and basketball, and we got those things down cold."

Jack 5 Head Coach Tony Boos was just as confidant in his band of donkey riders.

“They are like a light snake over there,” Coach Boos said of the Badonkadonks. “We aren’t even going to try our hardest, but that said, we don’t like to just win, we want to devastate them.”

Before these two powerhouse, donkey basketball could face off in the finals, they both needed victories over worthy opponents as the Badonkadonks took on the Fake ‘Stangs and the Jack 5 battled the HAWS.

The rules of Donkey Basketball were somewhat up in the air most of the night — as were a few riders who were bucked to the ground…we see you, Cheyenne Score — but the gist of the event was baskets must be scored from the backs of donkeys and riders were allowed to leave their donkey to corral rebounds, but staying off your donkey for too long resulted in a foul. The night’s action was hosted by the Malta Chamber of Commerce and Commerce President Travis Rhoads. The event was a fundraiser for the Chamber to host events including a job shadowing program which pits area students with mentors from businesses in the county. Before the games could be played, however, a Team Calcutta was held and Auctioneer “Shriek” — a blue version of Shrek who looked alarmingly like Darrel Carney — sold the four teams to four buyers for a combined total of $1390 (a portion of which is donated to the Hi-Line Future Foundation to help with a new pool.)

With those formalities out of the way, Donkey Basketball action got underway in Malta for the first time since the mid-1990’s with a large crowd on hand in the Malta High School Gymnasium to witness the spectacle.

The first battle of the night featured the Jack 5 against the HAWS and this contest was over almost after it started.

Jack 5's Tanner Anderson was dominate in the first half of the contest scoring two of the team's first four baskets as the Jack 5 galloped out to an early 8-0 lead and finished the first half when Avery Sorenson drove her donkey to the free throw line and sank a 15-foot basket as time ran down to give her team a 10-2 lead at halftime.

"I was trying to get my ass in front of the basket," Sorenson said of her drive to the hoop.

It was more of the same in the second half and though HAWS got baskets from Luke Spencer and Riley Mortenson, the Jack 5 earned a 16-6 victory.

Game two of the night pitted the Badonkadonks against the Fake 'Stangs.

M-ette fans had the pleasure of watching Bobbi Knudsen hit the hardwood in Malta once again and she got the scoring started early for the Badonkadonks, leading the team to an early 4-0 lead as her team took a 4-2 lead into halftime.

The second half of the contest was higher scoring, largely because of Cody Oxarart who had numerous fast-break baskets for the Fake 'Stangs and left his team in just a 10-8 deficit with time running out. The Badonkadonks got a late basket to salt away the 12-8 victory to put them in the championship against the Jack 5.

The two games leading up to the championship were both two, eight minute halves. The title game, however, was slimmed down to two, four minute halves so the actions was fast and furious.

Tanner Anderson and Kirk Stiles traded early buckets to keep the action knotted at 2-2 and Knudsen hit a shot to give the Badonkadonks an early 4-2 lead which they took into the locker room at halftime.

Coach Ziegler — who was seen throwing his clip board on a few occasions on the night — said he dropped words of wisdom during his halftime speech, hoping they would hold on to the lead.

"I told them, Badonkadonks, the time is now and the future is yours," Coach Ziegler recalled. "Get out there and seize the day."

Buckshot Nelson and M-ette Coach Nate Hammond were able to score baskets for the Jack 5, the Badonkadonks were just too strong and Wyatt Lien's last minute basket sealed the deal and gave the Badonkadonks the 10-6 win.

"I knew we would win," a modest Coach Zielger said. "When you have been involved in donkey basketball this long, you know animals and you know people. We just showed Montana what it is all about and we hope to come back next year and defend the crown."

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