Apples Versus Donuts: For a good cause and some old fashion fun

Thursday, May 12, 2022
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MHP Trooper Wyatt Duncan tries to steal the ball from Amy Jeffrey. Photo by Bud Chenault

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Undersherriff Randy Smith ends up on the ground amongst teammates. From the left, MHP Trooper Wyatt Duncan, Deputy Daylon Richard, Amy Jeffrey and Bryan Feddes. Photo by Bud Chenault

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Tandy Planichek talks to a coach. Photo by Bud Chenault

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A Donut questions a call. Photo by Bud Chenault.

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Deputy Cactus Anderson takes the shot as Deputy Dan Palmer guards. Photo by Bud Chenault.

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Deputy Toby Reissig takes a shot as Matt Mullen goes for the block. Photo by Bud Chenault

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Apple Amy Jeffery goes in for the steal from Deputy Daylon Richard as Matt Mullen blocks. Photo by Bud Chenault

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Apple Beth Pelton and Deputy Dan Palmer battle for the ball. Photo by Bud Chenault

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MHP Trooper Wyatt Duncan takes a shot as opponents Nicki Reissig and Matt Mullen block. Photo by Bud Chenault

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Stillwater County Undersheriff Randy Smith gets some defensive pressure from Tori Lewis as Gregg Feddes hustles to help his teammate out. Photo by Bud Chenault

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Undersheriff Randy Smith and Gregg Feddes go all in for the ball. Photo by Bud Chenault

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Deputy Clay Waltner squeezes between two Apples. Photo by Bud Chenault

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The Donuts — Back row, from the left: Stillwater County Sheriff’s Deputy Clay Waltner, Undersheriff Randy Smith, current Dispatcher who will start as a deputy soon Britnee Purdum, Deputy Dan Palmer, Deputy Cactus Anderson, Deputy Toby Reissig and Bailiff Larry Bernhardt. Front row: Deputy Daylon Richard and Montana Highway Patrol Trooper Wyatt Duncan. Photo by Bud Chenault

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The Apples - Back row from the left: Matt Mullen, Chris Gunderson, Cameron Barber, Gregg Feddes and Brian Feddes. Front row: Darcy Sturm, Beth Pelton, Nicki Reissig, Tori Lewis and Amy Jeffery. Photo by Bud Chenault

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AHS student and game referee Tandy Planichek struggles to keep a “game face” during last Thursday’s event. Photo by Bud Chenault

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AHS student and game referee Ireland Robbins works the game while laughing. Photo by Bud Chenault

There have been thousands of basketball games played in the Absarokee High School gym before.

But none quite like what went down last Thursday.

A squad of teachers — named “The Apples” — did battle with a squad of local law enforcement officers, named “The Donuts.” What ensued was nothing short of side-splitting fun and a game that in the end, was one by the Donuts — 52 to 49 — or somewhere in that vicinity.

With 2:29 left to go in the game, the Apples were down by more than 20 points. That’s when regular Columbus Cougar announcer Blake Haug instituted a new rule.

“We changed the scoring to each basket being worth 10 points.  Teachers made two shots and closed the gap to within three points,” said Haug.

Three technical fouls were issued to the Donuts.

“It was such a blast. I couldn’t tell what was more sore the next day — my muscles for running up and down the court, or my stomach from laughing so hard,” said AHS counselor Nicki Reissig, who played against her husband, Stillwater County Sheriff’s Deputy Toby Reissig.

Serving as coaches were Absarokee students Trevor Zumbrun, Nila Dawson, Monique Mondragon, Avery Gates, Candela Vidal and Adree Langley. Tandy Planichek, Cheyenne Turner and Ireland Robbins served as officials.

The idea for the game came from MHP trooper Wyatt Duncan.

“The idea of the Apple V. Donuts basketball game started when I was working for Valdez PD in Alaska. The youth Court program in Valdez started the event as a fundraiser. I played in multiple games in Alaska and It was always a great time,” said Trooper Duncan, who was quick to give Nicki Reissig full credit in running with the idea and making it happen.

The event generated enough money to award a $500 scholarship to next year’s graduating class and hopefully fund the 2nd Annual Apples/Donuts Game for 2023. Nicki Reissig said the event would not have been possible without the volunteers, the sheriff’s office and AHS staff members and AHS students who served as coaches and referees.

“A special shout out to Blake Haug for his hilarious commentary,” said Nicki.

Undersheriff Randy Smith, who found the ground several times during the game, said it was a good time for a good cause.

“Our office is always willing to try and help out in any way we can especially in the county schools,” said Smith.

“I am happy that our local law enforcement was able to participate. They all had fun doing it.  Thanks to Absarokee High School and to Nicki Reissig in particular, for making it happen,” said Sheriff Chip Kem.