Coaches top cops but charity is big winner

Published Jan 15, 2018 at 4:00pm

More than $1,800 was raised at the second annual Cops vs. Coaches charity basketball game Saturday night. All proceeds will go to support the police department’s Shop with a Cop program.

The city school district coaches defeated the city’s finest 90-89 in overtime, making it the first defeat in five charity games for the boys and girls in blue.

“I think everybody had a great time. The game itself was very exciting. I think everybody got to see a very competitive game,” said Police Chief Kevin C. Beach this morning.

“Our guys really appreciate the faculty of the school district for coming out and putting a team together to support such a great cause.”

The coaches trailed by three in the final second of the game when one of their players posted for a 3-point shot, only to be fouled with less than a second to go. The coach sank all three foul shots to tie the game at 79 at the end of regulation, leading to overtime.

Officer Charles E. Zonnevylle IV sank a half-court buzzer beater at the end of overtime to bring the police within one point, but it was not enough.

“They bested us this year, we won last year, so it looks like we might have a rubber match coming up next year,” Beach said. The police department previously faced off against the fire department in the first three charity games.

Beach said he wanted to thank the many volunteers who helped put the game together. Along with the school district team, there were volunteers to announce, keep score, keep time, sell tickets and hold a raffle. Beach said the Rome Free Academy varsity basketball team was also in attendance.

“It was a tremendous effort on everybody’s part,” he said. The game was held in the gymnasium at Rome Free Academy.

“The turnout was very good, especially considering the weather,” Beach said of the chilly Saturday night. “The stands were pretty full.”