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EHS Alumni hoops tourney starts today

Posted: Friday, Jun 28th, 2013

EVANSTON — What began as some good-natured trash-talking on a social media site has evolved and come to fruition in the form of a big-time sporting event.

Yes, it has arrived, and begins today, Friday, June 28 — a first of its kind event for Evanston, with the inaugural Evanston High School Alumni Basketball Tournament at the Red Devils’ gymnasium.

This is a Red Devil hoops fan’s dream come true and, really, a special treat for any big-time basketball or sports fan, no matter their high school allegiance. As mentioned in previous stories, all proceeds from the tournament will go back to the basketball programs via the booster clubs, and potentially fund some college scholarships through the Evanston Coaches Association. That is the common thread wish of all the players taking part.

With six games scheduled for Friday, beginning at 4 p.m., and 10 more starting at 9 a.m on Saturday, many questions will be answered over the course of two days, although some should be of the foregone conclusion variety. Some queries may include:

• What kind of shape will players 10 years or more removed from their Red Devils careers be in when they enter the tournament?

• Are there any who can match the level of fitness of those recently graduated? A stab can be taken at that pondering: sure, it would be rather difficult to imagine the tournament’s marquee player, Jaycee Carroll, fresh off a Euro-League Championship on June 19, with his Real Madrid team, losing much of a step.

• And there are likely others, but how many, and how much of a factor will physical fitness play? 

• Speaking of the best ever, from EHS, who on the teams Jaycee Carroll’s squad will face will step up with words to the effect, “I’ll take Jaycee?” Or, who will make that same defensive declaration against the likes of Cain Atkinson, another prolific scorer, second all-time in scoring, in not only Red Devils basketball history, but also that of Black Hills State University? 

• How much will three-point and free-throw shooting enter into the outcomes? 

• What about height? Will any team be able to snag rebounds against the giants of the 1996-97 team, with six-foot, eight-inch Elvin Nez, six-foot-seven Casey Poppinga, six-foot-six Jeremy Jones or six-foot-six Randy Barr?

And more questions...

• Of the “weekend warrior” variety of players, who will come the closest to demonstrating flashes of the player they once were?

• Will there be players — outside of Carroll, Atkinson and a select few — who have blossomed into being better basketball players than they were in high school?

• Who will be the surprise player of the tournament?

• Which former Lady Red Devil may demonstrate skills not seen in high school?

• Will any games go into overtime? Conversely, which team will have the largest margin of victory and what will that point differential be?

• Who will score the most points in a single game and for the tournament?

• Who will have the best-looking uniforms?

• Will the crowd be treated to any slam dunks?

• And, ultimately, which of the three girls teams and six guys teams will be crowned champions?

You know where to be to discover the answers to these questions and more, and witness the best of the best in Evanston basketball for almost the last 20 years, assembled under one roof. KEVA Radio will broadcast many of the 16 games on the schedule, and break into local programming with updates, more for the benefit of fans listening in online, who would love to be in attendance, but simply cannot, as the local station is not anticipating much of a local listening audience.

Will the EHS Alumni Basketball Tournament be an event destined to be repeated? Most assuredly. Will it become an annual event? It’s doubtful, but who knows? It’s up to the players. Maybe every second or third year, but anything is possible.

Will the future fields of talented players and teams rival the rosters of the former Red Devils and Lady Red Devils taking part in this inaugural event? Again, anything is possible, but the assembly of talent for this first-time staging, in and of itself, makes this tournament one you won’t want to miss. Hopefully, the teams crowned champions will return, intact, to defend their titles, whenever the next tourney is scheduled to take place, but the composition of the other teams is bound to change.

After all, there will be “new alumni,” and some teams or at least certain players taking part in 2013 tournament may hang up their high-tops. This is an opportunity to watch some legends in Red Devils basketball hoops lore go head-to-head, which in many respects could be deemed, “once-in-a-lifetime.”

The EHS Alumni Basketball Tournament has benefited from a few individuals working behind the scenes, in Jeremy Jones, Andrew Jackson and Dustin Matthews, to get the ball bouncing with promotion, while generating interest and excitement through local media sources, like the Herald, website creation and social media interaction with Facebook, making phone calls and conducting other correspondence.

Additionally, many thanks are owed to the individuals who took it upon themselves to contact former teammates and receive their buy-in and commitments to take part, most of whom are traveling back to Evanston at their own expense, to turn this concept into reality. School administration officials and many who will volunteer their time and talents as volunteers as PA announcers, score-keepers, working in concessions, collecting admission fees, facilities maintenance and more, are also deserving of a great debt of gratitude to ensure a successful and fun event which will benefit Red Devils athletics and student athletes.

The only component which could be considered an unknown variable, but it is the most vital for the tournament’s success, is the fan base. The EHS Alumni Basketball Tournament is hoping we can count on you!

Ticket prices are $5 for the general public on both days, with a discounted $3 admission for students and senior citizens, 55-plus. No charge for kids 5 and under. A $20 family pass for each day is available for $20, with an eight family member limit, for immediate families (parents and children). The schedule and team rosters are included below.

Official Schedule  

Friday afternoon into evening 

4:00 Short vs. Kurtis (Men)

5:00 Wacey vs. Carroll (Men)

6:00 Jones vs. State Champs (Men)

7:00 Wacey vs. Short (Men)

8:00 Jones vs. Carroll (Men)

9:00 State Champs vs. Kurtis (Men)

Saturday morning into

afternoon and early evening

9:00 S. Kofoed vs. T.Welling (Women)

10:00 Carroll vs. State Champs (Men)

11:00 Jones vs. Short (Men)

12:00 C. Query vs. T.Welling (Women)

1:00 Wacey vs. Kurtis (Men)

2:00 C. Query vs. S Kofoed (Women)

3:00 Men’s Semi-Final 1

4:00 Men’s Semi-Final 2

5:00 Women’s Championship Game

6:00 Men’s Championship Game

All games will feature two 20-minute halves, with a running clock except on free throws, time outs and during the last two minutes of each half. 

Teams - Girls


Representing: 1988, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2011, 2012

Tiffany (Welling) Mortensen 

Jessica Hutchinson

Megan (Martin) Matthews

Sarah Peterson

Stephanie Lee


Jana  (Barker) McMurdie 

Ashlee  (Corneilson) Walker 

Stephanie Sheets 

Mandi (Anderson) Clarke

Jenny (Hatch) Welling


Representing: 2010, 2011, 2012

Sami (Kofoed) Matthews 

Kenzie Kofoed

Erin Kirby

Breanna Sanders

Lauren Thomas


Jessica Chandler

Alyssa Hagstrom

Monse Magana

Abby Ehlers?

C. Query

Representing: 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2012, 2013

Susan Dean

Cortnee (Carroll) Query 

Kelsey (Hutchinson) McBroon 

Jessie (Brinkerhoff) Petersen 

Trina Karakas


Jo (Scanlon) Smith 

Kenzee Barker 

Shelley Heap

Teams - Guys


Jamis Short 6’2” PG

Troy Hill 6’1” SG

Trevor Valentine 6’1” SF

Matt Jones 6’5” PF

Tate Hancock 6’6” C


TJ Potts 6’ G

Corey Hooten 6’2” G

Kreg Shackelford 6’4” P

Jace Short 6’1” PG

Nick Klingler


Kurtis Murchison 5’ 10”

Chet Titensor 6’ 1”

Cody Ball 6’ 2”

Vance Bliss 6’ 3”

Jeremy Harris 6’ 4”


Derek Stonebraker 6’ 

Austin Kofoed 6’ 3”

Will Barnard 6’ 4”

Stephen Taggart 6’1”


Wacey Lym 5’9” PG

Cain Atkinson 6’0” SG

Brady Ehlers 6’1” SG

Trevor Hurd 6’0” PG

Beau Ehlers 6’3” PF


Josh Spero, 6’1” PF

Kole Thornton, 6’1” SG


David Johnson 6’

Jaycee Carroll 6’3”

Stephen Johnson 6’2”

Ryan Reeves 6’2”

Josh Walker 6’


David Perkins 6’ 

Hazen Davis 6’

Jon Keyes 5’ 10”

Weston Walker 6’


Jeremy Jones 6’6” PG

Andrew Jackson  6’1  SG

Randy Barr 6’6” PF

Casey Poppinga 6’5” C

Kelly Poppinga 6’4  PF


Elvin Nez, 6’8” C

Adam Phillips 6’3” PF

Manager Brady Poppinga 6’4?

State Champs

Rocco O’Neill 6’1” PG

Matt Eddington 5’10” SG

Tyler Chandler, 6’  PF

Matt Johnson, 6’3” PF

Taylor Siemers 6’3” SG


Jemini Leckie 6’2” SG ?

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