Cindy Cerny and Nathan Paris: Indiana cheerleaders lauded for EPIC recovery of stuck ball

'The cheerleader saves the day!' The best play of the day may not have come from a basketball player or coach

                            Cindy Cerny and Nathan Paris: Indiana cheerleaders lauded for EPIC recovery of stuck ball
The basketball was stuck between the shot clock and the backboard during the Indiana and St. Mary's first-round NCAA Tournament game (Twitter and NCAA)

Indiana was knocked out of the NCAA Tournament after an 82-53 loss to St. Mary's in Portland. Even though the team lost, the tournament's most memorable moment may have come from an unlikely source: the Hoosiers' cheerleading squad. What a match it was!

The second half of Saint Mary's and Indiana's first-round game at the Moda Center in Portland on March 17, which the Gaels won 82-53, was delayed after the ball became stuck on top of the backboard. When all of the tall players, as well as one official seated on a chair carrying a pole, were unable to dislodge the stuck ball, the arena enlisted the help of a Hoosiers cheerleaders. The footage of this one-minute stoppage is now going viral.


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According to Gregg Doyel of the Indianapolis Star, the cheerleaders who saved the day or rather match are Cassidy Cerny and Nathan Paris. Both cheerleaders are Indiana natives. Paris is from Floyds Knobs, while Cerny is from Avon.

Saint Mary's tipped an Indiana pass high into the air with 18:25 left in the second half and the ball lodged itself behind the backboard. The ball was so far up  that Matthias Tass, a 6'10" Gaels forward, couldn't even knock it loose with a mop handle. The Indiana cheerleaders then went on to win the game. An Indiana cheerleader retrieved the ball from the backboard with the help of one of her teammates, bringing the game's one-minute stoppage to a close.

"What a play!" exclaimed Andrew Catalon, the play-by-play announcer for TBS, yelled. "The cheerleader saves the day! And that is her one shining moment! This place is on its feet!"


After the event, reporter Andy Katz sought out Cerny and Paris. Cerny added that climbing that high was "nothing really," given that the squad does stunts on a daily basis. She also added that she entrusted Paris "with her life" and that she was not intimidated by the task.

Indiana's cheerleaders' performance was one of the team's one shining moments, as the Gaels crushed the team at nearly every turn. In the second round, St. Mary's will face either UCLA or Akron.

Cassidy Cerny with Nathan Paris (Instagram)

Twitter users were completely awed by the rare moment. One Twitter user wrote, "Indiana cheerleader upstages Hoosiers. She hustled harder for loose ball than entire team combined all game. @saintmaryshoops up 32!"


According to another Twitter user, "Be the Indiana cheerleader in someone else’s life."


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