Red and Black Night to kick off Cruiser basketball season

By Rick Palsgrove
Southeast Editor

Messenger photo by Rick Palsgrove
Rashawn Smith posts up Kolly Adebanjo during the alumni game as Jon Van Gundy (at right #34) looks to help defend during last year’s Cruiser alumni basketball game.

It’s time for old Cruiser basketball players to pull on their sneakers and prepare for sore muscles at Groveport Madison’s Red and Black Night, which feature’s the alumni basketball game

“We have made great strides over the last eight years building on the success and traditions of the Groveport Madison basketball program,” said Cruiser boys varsity head basketball coach Ryan Grashel. “In building on those traditions, we are going to continue with our fourth annual Cruiser Alumni Basketball Game on Nov. 16 as part of our annual Red and Black Night.”

Grashel said his favorite part of the alumni game is the players’ desire to win and the competitiveness each one brings to the game after all these years.

“Last year was definitely unique since none of the alumni attended the new high school,” said Grashel. “Every year it’s great to see the pride they have in this high school and community.”

Grashel said when they started Red and Black Night and the alumni game they were not sure how it would turn out.

“Going into our fourth year, it has become a highlight for many of our student-athletes, alumni, coaches and supporters,” said Grashel. “I personally am excited to add our middle school programs this year because they are the future of our programs and this high school.”

Grashel said the structure of Red and Black Night on Nov. 16 will be slightly different than last year. The middle school boys and girls basketball programs and cheerleaders will be spotlighted from 4-5 p.m. The Cruiserettes will be introduced at 5 p.m. From 5:10-5:30 p.m. it will be girls basketball vs alumni. There possibly will be a dunk contest from 5:30-5:40 p.m. The high school cheerleaders will be introduced from 5:40-5:50 p.m. Three point shooting contests will be held from 5:50-6:10 p.m. At 6:15 p.m. the boys basketball introductions and games will start. The men’s alumni game starts at 7 p.m.
There will also be raffles, a bake sale, and other activities.

To play in the alumni game, the player must have varsity lettered their senior year. Players must register by Nov. 1 to play in the alumni game. For information email

“My hope is that this tradition will only continue to grow,” said Grashel.

2019-20 boys varsity basketball
Grashel said this year’s Cruiser boys varsity basketball team is going to be young and inexperienced, but talented.

“This group is extremely coachable and has the desire to continue the great traditions of our program,” said Grashel. “We will absolutely compete for an OCC title and that is the ultimate goal. When you win a league title, it means you had a great regular season and you’re ready for the tournament.”

He said Newark, Canal Winchester and New Albany are strong teams in the league besides the Cruisers.

“Those teams bring back a lot of experience and are very well coached,” said Grashel.

Cruiser boys basketball schedule
Nov. 27, 6 p.m., at Westland; Dec. 3, 7:30 p.m., St. Charles; Dec. 6, 7:30 p.m., at Franklin Heights; Dec. 7, 2:30 p.m., at Hilliard Darby; Dec. 10, 7:30 p.m., Pickerington Central; Dec. 13, 7:30 p.m., Canal Winchester; Dec. 17, 7:30 p.m., at Grove City; Dec. 20, 7:30 p.m. at New Albany; Dec. 21, 7:30 p.m., Granville; Dec. 30, 7:30 p.m., at Teays Valley; Jan. 3, 7:30 p.m., Newark; Jan. 4, 1 p.m., The Challenge at Pickerington North; Jan. 7, 7:30 p.m., at Central Crossing ; Jan. 10, 7:30 p.m., at Big Walnut; Jan. 14, 7:30 p.m., Westerville Central; Jan. 17, 7:30 p.m., Franklin Heights; Jan. 21, 7:30 p.m., at Pickerington North; Jan. 24, 7:30 p.m., at Canal Winchester; Jan. 31, 7:30 p.m., New Albany; Feb. 4, 7:30 p.m., Lancaster; Feb. 7, 7:30 p.m., at Newark; Feb. 14, 7:30 p.m., Big Walnut

Cruiser boys basketball history
Grashel said he and researchers accumulated all the Cruiser boys basketball box scores dating back to the 1918-19 season.

“We now have an all-time scoring list,” said Grashel. “We also have information on things like the most 3-pointers in a game, season, career, player points per season, conference standings, season records, and so on. The all-time scorers list includes over 500 players.”

Some Cruiser boys basketball history highlights include:
•League championships: 1933, 1935, 1938, 1939, 1945, 1964, 1975, 1976, 1980, 1982, 1983, 1985, 1992, 1993, 2005;
•District titles: 1935, 1985;
•Most wins in a season: 1937-38, 21-1;
•Team average points per game: 1989-90, 71.5;
•Team single game scoring: 103-53 win over Walnut Ridge Nov. 30, 2004;
•Most points in a season, individual: Scott Jones 1987-88, 472;
•Career high scoring: Clarence Royal 1989-93, 1,081;
•Single game scoring – individual: Kevin Moody 45, Feb. 2, 1990;
•3-point field goal makes- career: Larry Drake, 111, 1995-99;
•3-point field goal makes – season: Dan Hillerich, 61, 1995-96;
•3-point field goal makes – game: Curtis Jacobs, 10, vs. Franklin Heights during the 2016-17 season.

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