New River Sock Monkeys Win Tournament

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After months of sweaty practicing, no-holds-barred trash talking, and general basketball mania the 1st Annual Gorge Cup Classic was held this weekend at the Kistler half court in Lansing.  The New River Gorge Sock Monkeys battled it out with the Red River Gorge Red Rockets to determine who could claim bragging rights to Best Crag in America. 

The three-on-three tournament kicked off Friday night with a two game split, making it clear that the two teams were evenly matched, scrappy and ready to duke it out.  Tension was high as the games commenced in front of a crowd of 50.  The respective cheerleading squads sized each other up and shook some pom poms and some booties.  It soon became apparent that street ball was the name of the game: lots of body contact, elbows and spills on the asphalt.  Fortunately, tempers were well under control.  The Sock Monkeys took the first game with the Rockets coming back and taking the second.

After a dinner at Pies and Pints (a tournament sponsor) Coach Kenny Parker escorted the visiting team to Charlie’s where he tried to sabotage their chances for success the following day by keeping them drinking til all hours.  The resilient Rockets were up and climbing at the crack of noon and, word has it, found the New River Gorge climbing to their liking. 

The Big Games were Saturday.  A boisterous crowd of 120 was on hand to cheer, drink Bridge Brew Works Ale (courtesy of Water Stone) and watch the shenanigans. Kurt Smith emceed from under his
Evolv pop up and kept things rolling with some Howard Cosell patter and some time tested rock n roll.


  • Game 1.  Rockets take it 15-13.  Big Guy Jordan and college ball ringer Peter joined forces with Dead Eye Dario to present a formidable challenge for Sock Monkey starters (and Water Stone employees) Adam, Micah and Vince–shorter, less experienced but fully in the game.  Dario’s brother Mark, 15, who obviously grew up shooting, held his own against his meatier competitors.  Rocket Andrew sported some seriously hip cornrows.  The Sock Monkeys, missing critical players George and Brother Matt, relied on our Big Guy Justin, street baller Jeremy, and rusty but talented Levi
  • Each team had a gal who had played college ball.  Lisa for the Rockets and Mariah for the Monkeys got into one extended shovefest that involved lots of elbows and some serious grit.  Way to throw down girls!  We were wondering if one of you was gonna throw a punch.
  • Game 2.  Monkeys take it 15-11.  Rockets score big when John took off all his clothes, donned the Red Rocket cardboard head, covered his junk with a red beer cup and chased a Sock Monkey player around the court.
  • Sock Monkey Cheerleaders, under the able leadership of Stella Mascari busted out their step cheers and impressed the crowd with their swaggy routine.  What a bootie drop extravaganza.  
  • Game 3. Monkeys take it 15-13.  Things got incredibly tense in the last game and Dave was brought in to referee.  Everybody kept it together but the gals and the smaller guys let the b(r)allers handle it.  Darkness started descending, the score was tied 13-13, the crowd was going ballistic, tensions were peaking, a time out was called.  In a final, powerful surge Adam the MVP scored the final two points on his sprained ankle. The Gorge Cup (created by Kurt in his garage that morning) was presented to the Sock Monkeys.  It will reside at Water Stone until next year’s rematch at the Red.
  • A cookout/dance party ensued with team members, kids, dogs and assorted others getting after it til well past midnight.
  • All parties agreed that this tournament was a blast and basketball fever will continue and expand. We LOVED hosting all our new and old friends from the Red.  What a stellar bunch of folks who are now official non-local locals whether they like it or not.
  • Gunks?  Whaddya got?  Chatty?  Smith Rock?  North Carolina for crying out loud!  We are looking for the next match up.  Holla!

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Providing quality gear and friendly advice to rock climbers and outdoor enthusiasts in the New River Gorge of West Virginia since 1994. We are here for your needs to make your outdoor experience the best possible!

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