About 100 friends and family members came out to Coventry High School Friday night to see members of the Coventry Police Department and Central Coventry Fire District go head-to-head on the basketball court in support of the Coventry Food Bank.
Admission to the game was free, but donations of canned goods were accepted in lieu of a monetary fee.
Both teams were practicing fiercely before the game, the firefighters donning blue Coventry Fire/Rescue shirts and the police officers with white Coventry Police tees complete with each officer's badge number on the back.
The crowd was alive, giving shouts and whistles of encouragement to the players. Even a cowbell could be heard coming from the CCFD side during exciting plays.
Despite the game being played all in good fun, the occassional good-natured jab could be heard throughout the game, coming from the court and in some instances the stands.
Both teams played an aggressive game, with CCFD taking an early lead. The police officers caught up about halfway through, however several successful free-throws and three-pointers allowed the firefighters to quickly take the lead again.
At the end of the day, only one team could walk away the winner and Friday night it was the Central Coventry Firefighters who took home the title, winning the game with a close 31-29 lead.
"We're letting them have a few victories," said Police Chief Bryan Volpe. "Years back, we beat them at a lot of things, so right now we'll let them take a few wins and then we'll come back and beat them again."
Both sides demonstrated good sportsmanship, helping one another up after falls and knock-downs. The police even posed for a post-game photo with a sign reading "We ❤ Coventry Firefighters".
Winning and losing aside, the main objective of the event was to collect canned goods for Coventry's Food Bank, and that was definitely accomplished.
"It was a really great turnout," said Director of Human Services, Pat Shurtleff. "We collected at least 100 canned goods and food items. And it was a really fun game to watch."
The Coventry Police will also donate $100 to the food bank as part of a wager made before the game.
If you are interested in donating or volunteering at the food bank, contact Coordinator Stefanie Dougas at 822-9199.