SuperHeroes, Baldwin part of Hilltopper Hysteria
By Jim Turner

Posted on January 1, 0001 12:00 AM

The 92nd season of basketball at Western Kentucky University got off to a rousing start Friday night at E.A. Diddle Arena, when approximately 3,700 fans were on-hand for Hilltopper Hysteria festivities with the men's and women's basketball teams.

Logan Countians were in the midst of the festivities. The WKU SuperHeroes, a trio 
of costumed WKU supporters, helped bring Topper star Sergio Kerusch on the 
floor. Kerusch came out wearing a Transformers mask and a SuperHeroes cape saying “Power Serge.”

The SuperHeroes consist of LCHS graduates Trey Turner, Tray Allen and Joe Dan Laster. They have their own Facebook page and fans. Kerusch’s cape was made by Elaine Turner of Russellville. His parents took the cape back to their home in Memphis with them.

Terry Baldwin of Adairville was one of three officials who worked both intrasquad scrimmages/ He was joined by Will Jones and Barry Vincent.

The fans were treated to over two hours of entertainment, including an autograph session with the teams and performances by the Topperettes, cheerleaders and Big Red. Everyone in attendance also had the opportunity to win great prizes and giveaways all evening.

The entertainment on the court was just as exciting, as the men's team held a slam dunk contest, the women's squad played a game of knockout against a selection of fans and the two teams participated in a three-point shooting contest. The crowd was also able to get its first look at the 2010-11 editions of the programs in a pair of 15-minute scrimmages.

Kerusch was dynamic in winning the slam dunk contest.

The Lady Topper scrimmage, an 18-10 win for the red team, was highlighted by a 12-point, 10-rebound effort by junior forward LaTeira Owens. Keisha Mosley grabbed five rebounds for the white team.

Juan Pattillo, Cliff Dixon and Kahlil McDonald each scored in double-figures to lead the red team to a 41-37 victory in the men's scrimmage. McDonald, a freshman from Brooklyn, N.Y., knocked in four three-pointers and finished with 14 points. Pattillo and Dixon each added 10. Sergio Kerusch and Steffphon Pettigrew led the white team with 14 and 11 points, respectively.

The team of Janae Howard and Caden Dickerson won the three-point shooting contest with a score of 17, which bettered the 15 baskets made by Vanessa Obafemi and McDonald. Kerusch won the slam dunk contest for the second time in three years with a dunk over a table as a teammate passed him the ball. Freshman Brandon Peters finished second after he could not convert a dunk over WKU mascot Big Red in the final round.

In their addresses to the fans in attendance, both Hilltopper head coach Ken McDonald and Lady Topper head coach Mary Taylor Cowles stressed the importance of reviving a tradition unique to WKU. 

“The theme of our whole athletic department is to reintroduce and enforce the red-towel tradition that is so unique to our University,” said McDonald. “What we have is so unique, and we want to get back to that night in and night out at Diddle Arena.”

“We really want to encourage all of our fans to get the red towel back to Diddle and to all our athletic events,” added Cowles. “All of our student-athletes and coaches take pride in the red-towel tradition at WKU, and we want our opponents to know about it every time they step into this arena.”

The Lady Toppers hit the E.A. Diddle Arena hardwood again on Tuesday, November 2 for an exhibition game against Lindsey Wilson. The regular-season opener for Cowles' squad is Tuesday, November 16 at Louisiana Tech, with the home opener coming two days later on November 18 against Northwestern.

The men's team has its first of two exhibition games at E.A. Diddle Arena on Sunday, October 31 against Campbellsville and will begin the regular season on November 12 at St. Joseph's. The home opener for McDonald's Hilltoppers, who were picked to finish first in the Sun Belt Conference East Division by Blue Ribbon Yearbook, is Monday, November 15 against Alabama A&M.

Season tickets for both the men's and women's basketball teams are on sale now and can be purchased by calling the WKU Ticket Office at 1-800-5-BIG RED or locally at 745-5222. Women's season tickets are as low as $25, and season tickets for men's games can be purchased for as little as $99.

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