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Local

Cue ‘Sweet Georgia Brown’: Mustang Grannies show off b-ball skills at YMCA fundraiser

Event organizers and team members of both the Newton YMCA All-Stars and the Monroe Mustang Grannies pose for a picture Friday evening after a fundraiser basketball game at Berg Middle School in Newton. The event raised more than $1,740 for the Newton YMCA.
Event organizers and team members of both the Newton YMCA All-Stars and the Monroe Mustang Grannies pose for a picture Friday evening after a fundraiser basketball game at Berg Middle School in Newton. The event raised more than $1,740 for the Newton YMCA.

The granny shot — an underhand, two arm basketball shot — is typically seen as a silly method to launch a ball into a hoop.

But if you ask basketball experts, such as NBA Hall of Famer Rick Barry, it can be one of the most effective ways to make a basket. And Friday evening, several community members witnessed first-hand how devastating this shot can be when the Newton YMCA All-Stars took on the Monroe Mustang Grannies at Berg Middle School for the YMCA’s annual fundraiser.

“Oh honey, we are going to let our game (talk),” Loretta Tool, team captain of the Monroe Mustang Grannies said prior to tip-off. “It is a lot of fun. (Audience members) are going to be so excited.”

With a superstar lineup, which included Newton Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Amanda Price, KCOB on-air personality Sarah Jorges, Newton Community School District’s Doug Smith and Newton Hy-Vee’s Joel Jones, disguised as Batman, Newton All-Stars team captain, Sen. Chaz Allen said his teammates were plenty confident before their bout started against the state-renowned granny team.

“They are going down. This is not fun anymore. We lost every year,” Allen said before the game. “They have a lot of tricks up their sleeves, but we are not going to put up with it. We are going to beat them ... the elbows are going to be out tonight.”

But as soon as the clock on the scoreboard started, the Mustang Grannies showed them why they have taken the W in every one of their seven encounters. And the Grannies definitely let their game talk that evening, coming out on top 51-49.

“We come to win. That is it. We come to win,” Violet Bakalar of the Mustang Grannies said. “We can handle them. We are grannies. We will definitely win next year and we are looking forward to it.”

The Grannies displayed an array of backdoor cut plays, astonishing behind the back passes and the old reliable, trademark granny shot. Although the All-Stars seemed to have homecourt advantage and youth on their side, the Grannies quickly showed that the Newton team was clearly overmatched — maintaining their lead after sinking their first basket.

The All-Stars tried their best to slow down the Grannies, with tactics such as on-court bribery, faking injuries, flashy costumes in an attempt to distract the other team, spontaneous hugs and tickles, adding extra players to the court and, of course, trash talk. This resulted in the referees sitting down players and even throwing out the All-Stars coach, Andy Karr.

“I was just pointing out a couple of mistakes the ref made have made there. Just trying to help her out, trying to make sure she got the calls right. She didn’t appreciate it that much,” the YMCA director of finance and HR coordinator said. “They asked me to step aside, and I may have thrown my hat.”

Despite the loss, the All-Star team members said they are already preparing for next year, and they said they are certain they will end their losing streak.

“We are going to work the entire off-season and be prepared for them to come back,” Rep. Wes Breckenridge, All-Stars team member said. “You see that score you saw tonight? We are going to have a blowout. Newton is going to win next year.”

Players on both sides said no matter the outcome, everyone came out as winners. Especially if you were someone like Newton Mayor Mike Hansen, who walked away with a tasty pie which was auctioned off during halftime.

“It is all about having a good time, having great family fun and supporting the YMCA,” Hansen, who played for the All-Stars, said. “We just want to support our community gym. With all the services the YMCA provides, it is awesome.”

According to Tool, the team’s current roster consists of players from Newton, Prairie City and Monroe. She said they are always looking for new team members.

“We have a league all over the central United States now. It is really spreading fast. We have a state tournament and a nationals tournament,” Mustang Granny player, Catherine Stout said. “The area Prairie City-Monroe team took third place last year in nationals.”

Any women ages 50 years and older interested in joining the Monroe Mustang Grannies is advised to call 641-521-7384 or visit grannybasketball.com.

Contact Anthony Victor Reyes at areyes@newtondailynews.com.

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