RALEIGH — There was plenty of action from the start of the games in Cardinal Gibbons gymnasium Tuesday night, but the Crusaders fans uttered not a “rah,” stomped not a foot, nor put hands together to clap – not at least until the 10th point, that is.
Then the crowd erupted, and would cheer nearly nonstop from that point.
The idea of the “Silent Night” for Cardinal Gibbons’ basketball quadruple-header against Ravenscroft came from an event at Taylor University, a small private college in Upland, Ind.
The Crusaders took to the idea with gusto in a gym that also had wise men and reindeer, tacky holiday sweaters and even a Santa Claus in cowboy boots. Fans sat still and remained silent throughout player introductions and for the first 4 minutes, 2 seconds of the boys’ varsity game.
Ravenscroft fans on the other side of the gym caught on after the first three installments of the four-game matchup, erupting into their own cheers when the Ravens took a 10-8 lead nearly four minutes into the boys’ varsity game, before Justin Reid’s free throws put Cardinal Gibbons into double digits.
The event capped the school’s Christmas toy drive, which was announced at halftime to have raised $33,395 in new clothes and toys for 83 children at Beginning & Beyond day care and the Charlie Gaddy Center.
“We were simply looking for a way to celebrate community and basketball,” said Mike Rogosich, assistant principal for student activities, adding that the celebration began long before the junior varsity girls’ game tipped off at 3:30p.m.