Basketball: Officials vs Cancer keeps eye on prize

The St. Joseph High basketball programs played host to Trumbull High before a full house in the Officials vs. Cancer Battle for Trumbull basketball doubleheader at Alumni Hall at Fairfield University on Saturday.

“It’s two programs coming together for one cause,” St. Joseph girls basketball coach Chris Lindwall said. “That’s been the division of this thing for years. With the collective effort of both schools, with the sponsors that we’ve had, it’s been a great success.”

The games are part of the annual Officials vs Cancer fundraiser to benefit the American Cancer Society. Fairfield County Board #9 of Approved Basketball Officials have raised more than $250,000 the past eight years.

ACS fund-raising events took place during the games.

Chances were sold for one half-court shot to win a new 2017 Nissan Rogue, courtesy of Napoli Nissan of Milford. Lexi Pfohl’s ticket was drawn, and the former Trumbull High standout front-rimmed her shot, as the crowd oohed than awed.

Napoli Nissan, the Boy's and Girls Club of Lower Naugatuck Valley, Trumbull Stop and Shop, Dennis Lindwall Foundation, Connecticut Hoopsters Girls Basketball AAU Program, BTX Global Logistics and the US Army were all sponsors.

Trumbull girls basketball coach Steve Tobitsch said, “This was fun. Our girls enjoy it. The programs all get to watch each other play. I give Chris Lindwall a lot of credit for organizing this. To have everyone come out to watch and support both teams, and a great cause, is something special.”

St. Joseph boys coach Paul Dudzinski said, “You can’t beat the environment. The kids and fans enjoyed it. Getting to be there early, to watch the first game and see the way the crowd responded to everything was an honor for me and my team.”

Trumbull boys coach Buddy Bray said, “The game itself, the environment, affected us. When Timmond (Williams) made that finish (late in the game), it was deafening. The moment. It’s a thrill to coach in this event and a thrill for high school kids to play here. I can’t thank everyone enough, all those involved, all the volunteers, for this great cause. We were happy to be part of it.”

Lindwall said, “I’m excited that everyone comes out. The support was there for all four teams. And everyone understands the greater purpose of the event.”