Yankees Clip Amish in Charity Basketball Game
March 14, 2024 by Alan Kornspan

Berkshire High School played host to the annual Yankee vs. Amish basketball game March 8 to raise money for the DDC Clinic, a center for special needs children located in Middlefield.

Game photos click here.

Berkshire High School played host to the annual Yankee vs. Amish basketball game March 8 to raise money for the DDC Clinic, a center for special needs children located in Middlefield.

It was a very close game that came down to its final seconds, with the Yankees claiming a 63-60 victory.

Patti Gallagher, the clinic’s operations director, shared the purpose of providing the community with this fun and exciting game.

“We see children with rare genetic disorders, and now adults with rare genetic disorders since we now have an adult physician (on staff) as well,” Gallagher said. “The basketball game, believe it or not, has been going on for over 25 years. My son (Bryan Kuch) is in charge of the Yankee basketball team, and also gets the Amish team to come (to participate).”

After holding the event at other locations for many years, Gallagher said her son saw and embraced an excellent opportunity last year to hold the event at the new gymnasium of Berkshire High School.

One of the things she loves most about the event is seeing the special needs clients enjoying it.

“It just warms my heart to see that,” Gallagher said.

The contest kicked off with the Yankees taking an early 14-7 lead into the second quarter. Midway through the second, the Amish took a 17-16 lead midway when Marlon Miller made two 3-pointers. But the Yankees would outscore the Amish 6-3 to take a 23-19 lead to end the half.

Leading the Yankees in the first half was Dave Heiber, who had eight points; the Amish were led by Miller with six.

The Amish started pulling away in the third and fourth quarters, making five 3-pointers and scoring 20 points. Leading the Amish with six points each in the third quarter were Miller and John Byler.

They entered the fourth quarter ahead 39-37 and extended their lead to 55-44 with under three minutes to go in the game.

But the Yankees didn’t give up, and came back from their 11-point deficit with three minutes left in the game.

A 12-0 run gave them a 56-55 lead, then they outscored the Amish 7-5 in the game’s final 48 seconds to make it 63-60 Yankees in the end.

In addition to the evening’s good cause, Kuch said the teams were also compelled to put on a good performance for the event’s many sponsors.

“It was a great event, nice showing,” Kuch said.

Of the Yankee team he coached, he added, “I think we did really well.”

Leading the scoring for the Yankee team from Precision Orthopedics were Dave Heiber (17 points), AJ Henson (17) and Tyler Walters (10).

Also contributing to the offensive point total for the Yankees were Kent Wohlberg (5 points), Jack Rolf (4), Kelly Blair (3), Bryan Kuch (3), Jeremy Feeham (2) and TJ Sweigert (2).

Leading the scoring for the Amish were Miller (22 points), John Byler (15) and Mark Miller Jr. (9).

Also contributing points to the Amish point total were Junior Schmucker (5 points), Mark Miller (3), Robbie Gingerich (2), Chris Byler (2) and Adam Miller Jr. (2).

After the contest, DDC Executive Director Eli Miller summed up the event.

“Both teams, the Amish and Yankee teams, came out after working all day and just played their hearts out,” Miller said. “Competitive, but at the same time it’s more about raising money for DDC Clinic. So we certainly appreciate them, all the sweat and everything that went into the game. It was a great game (and) both sides had close scores, so it was great to see.”