BC wins Second Annual McDonald's of Bluffton Holiday Tournament

By Tim Stried, SID
For Scope Magazine, January 11, 2000

Although the holiday season usually puts people in the giving spirit, the BC men's basketball team has been in the taking mood the past two seasons, as the Beavers once again captured the championship trophy of the McDonald's of Bluffton Holiday Tournament.

And even though the Christmas vacation weather outside was quite chilly, the action inside Founders Hall was hot enough to keep the home-town faithful quite comfortable. BC earned victories in the two-day affair over North Central College (Ill.) 89-86 on December 29 and then over Grove City College (Pa.) 89-80 in the championship game on December 30.

"Hosting the holiday tournament has been a positive for our program," said Head Coach Guy Neal. "The tournament gives us two more games in Founders Hall and has brought some quality Division III basketball to the Bluffton community over the holidays."

Bluffton junior Jeremy Roberts (Bucyrus/Wynford) was named the Most Valuable Player of the tournament, and joined BC sophomore Travis Elsass (Wapakoneta/Jackson Center) on the All-Tournament Team. Roberts totaled 39 points in Bluffton's two games and collected 11 rebounds, three assists and three steals. Elsass scored 30 points in the tourney, including a game-high 23 in the title match.

"The tournament has been well received based on the excellent crowds that we had for all four games this year," continued Neal. "We have had great fan support even with the students gone for Christmas break."

And speaking of fan support, the Beavers are leading the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference in home attendance again this season as BC fashioned a 7-5 record in November and December before heading into their HCAC slate.

The visiting teams in the McDonald's of Bluffton Tournament, which also included Mount Union College (Alliance, Ohio), put up a serious charge against BC, but the Beavers defended their home court and remained perfect in the two year history of the tourney.

"By winning the tournament for a second year in a row we have started some positive tradition," said Neal. "I'm sure that next year the guys will remind each other that we have not lost in our own tournament."

Coach Neal also praised McDonald's of Bluffton for their support of the tournament. "We also owe a big thank you to Mr. Lou Britt and the McDonald's of Bluffton for sponsoring the tournament for the past two years."