Dunk contest pumps up student body

By Nicholas Crispino    

   One of the most exciting and athletic events ever created for basketball is the Slam Dunk Contest.

   On Oct 11, at the Queally Gymnasium, Maroon Madness hosted several events. The 2013 Maroon Madness Slam Dunk contest was certainly the most exciting part of the night and lived up to ever expectation.

   Five competitors stretched out their legs, defied gravity, and put on a wonderful display of showmen ship for all the fans. Sophomore Maurice Gatson (6-0), freshman Jaylen Morris (6-3), senior John Petrucelli (6-4), junior Miles Pendergast (6-5), and senior Tyler Hammett (7-0) were given one eligible dunk in the first round. The three highest scorers would move on to the second round and the two highest scorers after the second round would compete in the third and final round. Judging the contest with a point structure of 0-10 was Director of Athletics, Susan Cassidy-Lyke, Chaplain of Molloy College, Father Gabriel Muteru, and Vice President of Student Affairs, Bob Houlihan.

   The first dunk on the night came in the form of a two-handed slam that touched the backboard first by Morris. Up second, and the smallest man in the field, Gatson, proved everyone that he has one of the best verticals on the team, slamming down a one-handed dunk.  Hammett used his wingspan to create a dynamic dunk after he passed it to himself off the backboard; he then proceeded to "dougie" in which the fans applauded him even more. The two most impressive dunks in the first round came from Pendergast, who completed a 360 dunk, and Petrucelli, who jumped over a teammate, caught the ball mid-air from a pass, and slammed it through the hoop. The first round ended with Petrucelli and Pendergast scoring 30. Hammett finished with a score of 29 and moved onto the next round. Being eliminated was Gatson (27) and Morris (20) in the process. 

    The second round started with Hammett, holding onto to two basketballs, the tallest man on the team dunked both and earned a score of 25. Petrucelli's second dunk had a teammate once again in the game plan. Instructing him to pass it off the backboard, Petrucelli finished the slammed and was very close to performing a 360 in the process. The dunk received a score of 30 from the judges. Bringing out the hardware and on the baseline for his second dunk, Pendergast jumped over a basketball rack, completing a one handed dunk. Pendergast officially scored a 30 and went on to advance to the next round with Petrucelli.

   In the final round, Petrucelli bounced a pass to himself and pulled off a dunk that had windmill written all over it. For his final attempt, Pendergast pulled out one more trick that was up his sleeve, sending assistant coach Jason Fiscina to the front of the basket. With everyone on their feet in the arena, Pendergast proceeded to jump over Fiscina while receiving a pass from Gatson midair. The dunk electrified the room and what's more impressive is he did it on his first try while not hurting Fiscina in the process. Pendergast didn't even need to see the judges' score cards as he became the 2013 Maroon Madness Slam Dunk Champion.