Mascots battle amidst successful Pilot weekend
During the Pilots 80-64 victory over Pepperdine, local mascots put on a show
By John McCarty
When the halftime buzzer sounded on Saturday night, the Pilots were ahead of the Pepperdine Waves 49 to 38 and two teams of mascots were preparing to face off in an epic basketball duel for the enjoyment of the 2,605 people present.
Saturday's duel with the Waves, an 80-64 victory, was also mascot night and Wally Pilot was joined by the likes of Timber Joey, the Winter Hawks's Tom-A-Hawk, a Duracell battery, Duck Vader, a Subway Sub Sandwich, Wesley the Cheerful Tortoise and even a giant Widmer Beer and Lemon combination.
"I had no idea it was mascot night until halftime," sophomore Scott Hines said.
"All of a sudden the court was full of people in costumes playing basketball. It was awesome."
Though some of the mascots were physically restricted by their costumes, both teams fought hard on every possession. "I almost cried when the turtle (Wesley the Cheerful Tortoise) tried to shoot a three pointer," sophomore Sean Spaulding said. "He completely missed the basket and ended up hitting the Widmer beer instead."
Actually hitting the basket proved to be a difficult feat for the majority of the mascots, especially the Widmer Beer and the Duracell battery who both lacked arms.
"I'm not sure why the battery even played, it must've been terrible running up and down the court in that suit and not being able to really get involved." Hines said.
A limited range of motion did little to deter the action on the court and the mascots battled back and forth across court in a chaotic mob. According to Spaulding, the lack of uniforms made it extremely difficult to differentiate between the teams.
More mobile mascots like Wally, Tom-A-Hawk and Wesley the Cheerful Tortoise were better able to control the ball and thus had the majority of the points during the mascot game.
"The bird (Tom-A-Hawk) had mad skill," Spaulding said. "He grabbed a rebound, showed off some crazy dribbling abilities and then went in for a clean layup."
The game proved to be a shootout between Wally, Wesley and Tom-A-Hawk while Timber Joey demonstrated superb defensive technique and tenacity.
Wesley the Cheerful Tortoise continued to attempt three pointers throughout the night even in the face of Wally's pressing defense.
"All the mascots were shooting like crazy," Hines said. "When the turtle finally drained a three, it was sick. I don't even think I could make that shot."
Halftime drew to a close and the mascot shenanigans came to an end with the only clear winner being the fans.
The Pilots stepped back onto the court and maintained a strong lead throughout the second half.
At the final buzzer, the score was 80-64, senior guard T.J. Campbell scored a carrier high 24 points, and junior guard Jared Stohl made six threes and moved up to second most career three pointers.
The Pilots shot 53 percent overall and toughened up on defense in the second half to add another win atop Thursday's 79-39 trouncing of Loyola Marymount.
UP's defeated LMU by the largest margin since the 1999-2000 season and was accomplished without regular starter senior guard Nik Raivio, who is currently out with a strained Achilles tendon.
The team travels to San Francisco to face off against the USF Dons on Thursday and the Santa Clara Broncos on Sunday.