By GREG KEIM
THE GOSHEN NEWS
It was championship Thursday — or the Elkhart County 4-H Fair’s version of “July Madness” — in the annual 3-on-3 basketball tournament as champions were crowned in five age divisions.
Team Stichter topped Team T. Chupp, 18-12, in the finale of the male age 19-30. Playing for the winning team were Riley Stichter, Jake Frazier, Steven Heatherly and Greg Miller. Members of T. Chupp were Tim Chupp, Rodney Lee, LaVon Parker and Danny Parker.
“We have a talented group and we play well together,” Stitchter said. “I play with Heatherly at IUSB and I played with Miller two years ago in the Bourbon League.”
This is the second win in a row for Stichter as he won a year ago with Miller, Justin Jantzi and Michael Paul.
Stichter got off to an unusual start in the tournament as they had to begin their first game with just two players.
“That was tough. We were just trying to survive,” Stichter said. “Heatherly and I played for about 10 minutes before Frazier showed up. He saved us.”
Team Stichter defeated Team Hussey 18-10 in the quarterfinals and topped Team D. Chupp 18-7 in the semifinals on Thursday.
In the lone female championship game, Team Hales defeated Team McKinley 15-11. Members of the winning team were Grace Hales, Maria McCoy, Riley Hochstetler and Becca Schermerhorn. Team McKinley was made up of Brooke McKinley, Carisa Kine, Sara Doi and Delaney Graves.
“Playing in this tourney is about playing with friends and having fun,” Hales said. “I like playing here.”
In the male age 10-12, it was Team Hales over Team Pearison 16-15. Competing for the winning team was Elijah Hales, Charlie Yoder, Nick Rensberger and Matthew Jones. Playing for Team Pearison were Dusstin Pearsion, Ryan Charles, Tarron Jones and Ben Foster.
Yoder hit a 3-pointer to give his team up 16-15.
“That was a tough shot off a good pass from Elijah (Hales),” Yoder said. “This is the third year I’ve played in the tourney and the second year I won.”
Charlie Yoder is the son of Westview High School boys basketball coach Rob Yoder.
Grace Hales and Elijah Hales are the children of former Elkhart Memorial High School who went on the play football and basketball at Indiana University. He is currently an assistant coach for the Westview team.
Team Stutzman topped Team DeShone, 15-12, in the male age 13-15 finale. Members of the championship team were Nathan Stutzman, Benson Yoder, Dustin Miller and Riley Hochstetler. Deshone was made up of Adam DeShone, Trevor Hobbs, Dylan Galdager and Danny Garner.
“Good defense is what turned the game in our favor,” Stutzman said. “We wanted to play in this tourney. We’ve played here before and the competition is very good.”
The male age 15-18 championship was very competitive as Team K. Hochstetler edged Team Danner 20-18. Members of the winning team were Kurtis Hochstetler, Caleb Kiser, AJ Gary and Dimitri Gieger. Playing for Team Danner were Austin Danner, Ghaneah Wayker, Filip Serwatka and Ramon Pressler.
Hochstetler and Kiser play at Northridge High School.
“I like competition and I like to win,” Hochstetler said. “We play together on an AAU team. It’s my dream to play at IU.”
Hochstetler played in the finale a year ago and lost.
“That was part of the reason why I wanted to win tonight.”
In the 3-point shooting contest, 16-yar-old Josh Stevens who plays at Fairfield High School was the winner after he made 12 treys in the one-minute time limit.
Kiser was the winner in the slam dunk contest.
Female Age 13-15 Championship
Team Hales def.. Team McKinley 15-11
Male Age 10-12 Championship
Team Hales def. Team Pearison 16-15
Male Age 13-15
Team DeShone def. Team Willard 15-13
Team Stutzman def. Team Frey 15-11
Team Stutzman def. Team DeShone 15-12
Male Age 16-18
Team K. Hochstetler def. Team J. Line 18-15
Team Danner def. Team J. Rhodes 18-13
Team K. Hochstetler def. Team Danner 20-18
Male Age 19-30
Team Gingerich def. Team Randolph 18-16
Team T. Chupp def. Team Deckert 18-15
Team D. Chupp def. Team Santisteven 18-16
Team Stichter def. Team Hussey 18-10
Team T. Chupp def. Team Gingerich 20-18
Team Stichter def. Team D. Chupp 18-7
Team Stichter def. Team T. Chupp 18-12