It was a day for honor, remembrance and celebration Dec. 6 at Fife High School. While the Trojan boys basketball team would be hosting the Bonney Lake Panthers, it was the halftime business that brought out even more spectators to the Fife gym.
In honor of legendary coach and administrator John McCrossin, the Fife gymnasium has been renamed “John McCrossin Court.” Extra kudos should be given to the Fife administration for moving so quickly on the decision and keeping it fresh and current. One of the highlights of the event was the special appearance by McCrossin’s 1987 Fife boys basketball team that finished 22-6 and took third place at the state tournament that season.
In addition, the Western Washington Basketball Officials Association has created the John McCrossin Rookie of the Year award which will be given out each year to one of the WWBOA’s new officials. The award also comes with a scholarship for that official to attend an official’s camp. A perpetual plaque will reside at Fife High School.
Meanwhile, there was a great basketball game surrounding the festivities.
Fife and Bonney Lake put on a defensive clinic for much of the game. At the end of the first quarter, Fife led the Panthers 12-8, however the Trojans would only muster four points in the second quarter as Bonney Lake caught-up and passed Fife to take a 21-16 lead into halftime. Fife’s Jackson Cooley got connected on a jumper just as the buzzer sounded and the officials waived it off.
The third quarter was a slugfest with both teams barely giving an inch. Fife’s 6-5 senior center, Jephthah Donkor would score eight points in the quarter and helped Fife trim the lead to two points shortly before time expired. Junior forward Kyle Mozzone got off a 22-foot three-pointer before the buzzer that banked in and gave Fife a 29-28 lead going into the fourth quarter.
Bonney Lake would retake the lead at the beginning of the fourth stanza off of a three-pointer by J.C. Herd, but that would be the end of the line for the Panthers. Fife would go on to outscore Bonney Lake 15-5 to end the game for a 44-36 victory. Donkor scored 16 of his game-high 21 points in the second-half. Mozzone added 10 points and was strong in the paint.
The win pushed Fife to 4-0 to open the season. Just before going to press, the Trojans next contest saw them fall to a tough River Ridge squad 57-38.