Unified Bulldogs take down Tri-Town police in annual basketball game

Nov 21, 2023

MATTAPOISETT — Finding a seat in the Old Rochester Regional High School gymnasium was nearly impossible on the evening of Tuesday, Nov. 21 as the Old Rochester unified basketball team took on Tri-Town police officers.

The Unified Bulldogs went into Tuesday night’s game with an undefeated record and kept that run going with a 67-46 victory to finish the season 9-0.

The unified sports program features teams that have players with disabilities, called athletes, and players without disabilities, called partners. 

Marion Harbormaster and Rochester Select Board member Adam Murphy, whose son Adam plays for the Unified Bulldogs, came up with the idea for the event in 2022.

Bulldogs first-year Head Coach Emma Fenton started teaching at Old Rochester in the fall.

“This season has been nothing short of incredible, the team is just amazing,” she said. “It is the best part of my day and they are my favorite people in the world.”

Fenton said that the teamwork shown by the Bulldogs has been the key to their success.

“You’ll see players who have a fast break and they could take a layup but instead they pass it because they all want their teammates to get baskets,” said Fenton. “In most of our games every person on the roster has scored.”

During the game, players from both teams made sure that everyone had the chance to score a basket — and the crowd went wild each time. 

“If you ask anyone they will tell you that I cry ten times a game — the happiest tears ever. I couldn’t be more proud of these kids. They have put in a lot of time and effort.” Fenton added.

Adalberto “Junior” Cardoso, a school resource officer at Old Rochester Regional High School, played on the Tri-Town police team and said that there has been a lot of friendly banter at school leading up to the game.

“I know all of them and they have been talking trash since last year when they beat us,” said Cardoso. “It really is amazing to see the smiles on their faces and how much fun they were having regardless if the ball went in or not.

Last year the Unified Bulldogs won 72-51 against Tri-Town police

The event also had t-shirt sales and a 50/50 raffle, which raised over $3,000 for the unified sports program at Old Rochester. “This community always comes out to support everybody and it is really great to see,” said Cardoso.

After the game, an awards ceremony was held and the Bulldogs were presented with a new trophy that will continue to be passed on to the winner of the game each year.

Even though the Unified Bulldogs took a decisive win against Tri-Town police, both teams shared pizza and laughs together following the game.