Big Dipper Scored Big with Community

Aaron Bell, Centurion Staff Writer

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Over the 2015 winter break, Rich South’s forty-third annual “Big Dipper” basketball tournament made its highly anticipated return. High schools from all around the Chicagoland area returned to Rich South’s gymnasium compete in the tournament, which has been a major staple in the school’s history. While sixteen varsity boys’ basketball teams competed—including Rich South’s—only one team prevailed over all of the rest.

The tournament, although under new management, made its forty-third annual return. The previous year, it was held under the name of the “McDipper” Basketball Tournament—due to the sponsorship it received from the Richton Park McDonald’s—which is located across the street from Rich South. This year however, McDonald’s opted not to sponsor the event. As a result, the name was changed back to its original title, the Big Dipper. The tournament itself is highly renowned in the nation’s Midwest, and recognized as a premiere basketball tournament in the state of Illinois. Hundreds of visitors come out annually to spectate the event, which provides an enjoyable tournament experience for visitors. Concessions and music are enjoyed while watching the games. __ games over a four-day period— December 26th, 28th, 29th, and 30th.

Including Rich South, a total of sixteen high schools came out to compete in the annual basketball tournament. Bolingbrook, Butler College Prep, Hales Franciscan, Joliet Central, King, Leo Catholic, Lincoln-Way Central, Marian Catholic, Marquette Catholic, Perspectives Calumet, Rich Central, Rich East, Thornton, Tinley Park, and University High all traveled to Richton Park, Illinois to participate in the tournament.

Both Rich South and Hales Franciscan—who competed against each other in the championship round last year for the championship title—were eliminated in the first round, by University High and Joliet Central respectively. University High would later fall to Marian Catholic (54-64), and Joliet Central to Rich Central (52-53).

After dominating all of the other competition, Marian Catholic and Thornton found each other as opponents in the championship round. The game was hard-fought for both teams, but in the end, Thornton pulled through with a 67-59 victory over Marian Catholic, securing the title as Big Dipper winners.

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