Basketball took a back seat Tuesday night when Evansville and Edgerton renewed their longtime rivalry in boys basketball.
The final score showed the Crimson Tide holding on for a 51-48 Rock Valley Conference win, but the real story was the outpouring of support for Jordan Faust.
The 3-year-old Edgerton boy is battling neuroblastoma—a cancerous (malignant) tumor that begins in nerve tissue. Jordan was unable to be there because he’s currently hospitalized in Madison undergoing treatment.
Both teams wore Jordan Strong T-shirts in warmups, as did the majority of both student sections.
A 50/50 raffle raised money for Jordan’s escalating medical bills.
Edgerton coach Daryl Fox said Jordan’s illness certainly put things in perspective Tuesday night.
“We go at it like cats and dogs on the court, but to see the outpouring of support from not only the good people of Edgerton but those Evansville folks, as well, is really special,” Fox said.
“To see them show up and support our little guy really says a lot about what’s really important.”
Faust is the younger brother of Edgerton starting forward Skylar Gullickson.
Evansville coach Kendall Buttchen said Jordan Strong Night made the sting of losing a little more tolerable.
“Our guys know all about his story and the struggles he has gone through,” Buttchen said. “They were glad to take part in it and to wear the Jordan Strong shirts. We’re all pulling for him.
“After all, we’re just playing a game of basketball.”
A game of basketball that Tuesday night, had a greater cause.
Here’s a look at three area games on tap the next three nights, including tonight’s showdown for first place in Rock Valley Conference girls:
Clinton (9-2, 6-1) at Evansville (7-4, 6-1), girls, Rock Valley, 7:15 p.m., today—First place in the Rock Valley is on the line as the co-leaders meet for the first time this season.
The Cougars have won six of their last seven, including four straight conference games.
Seniors Liz Kalk (13.1) and Addyson Ciochon (12.1) are both averaging in double figures in scoring.
Clinton is averaging 61.4 points per game and has scored 80 or more in two of its last four games.
Evansville suffered its first conference loss of the season last Friday at Jefferson, scoring a season-low 38 points in a one-point setback.
Senior point guard Paige Banks leads the Rock Valley in scoring at 17.6 points a game.
Best guess: Evansville 57, Clinton 51
Milton (4-5, 2-3) at Madison Edgewood (3-6, 2-3), boys, Badger South, 7:15 p.m., today—The Red Hawks have lost nine straight to the Crusaders, with the last win coming Feb. 5, 2015.
Isandro Jimenez and Michael Regnier are averaging a combined 30 points a game for Edgewood.
Milton had won three straight before losing 63-55 to Watertown in a Badger South game last Saturday.
Sophomore point guard Jack Campion is second in the conference in scoring at 19.2 points and third in assists at 3.9. per game.
Junior Samuel Burdette is averaging 10.1 points per game for the Red Hawks.
Best guess: Edgewood 67, Milton 59
Middleton (3-2, 4-3) at Janesville Craig (5-4, 3-3), boys, Big Eight, 7:15 p.m., Friday—The teams have split the season series the last two years, with the home team winning all four games.
The Cardinals have won two straight conference games, including last Saturday’s 58-56 win over Beloit Memorial that was called with two seconds left to play because of a fight in the stands.
Cole Deptula leads Middleton in scoring at 12.2 points per game, while Logan Schultz is also averaging double figures at 10.3 a game.
Craig is looking to snap a three-game losing streak. The Cougars’ last two losses were to second-ranked Madison La Follette and fifth-ranked Madison East.
Junior Angelo Rizzo (18.2) and senior Caleb Scoville (18.0) rank third and fourth, respectively, in the Big Eight in scoring.
Best guess: Craig 72, Middleton 69