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Bookstore Basketball: Top seeds prevail on the court in sweet sixteen

Dan Murphy and Greg Arbogast | Friday, April 28, 2006

It was business as usual for U Got a Bad Draw, as the top seed defeated the Marksmen 21-9 Thursday at the Bookstore courts.

The Marksmen, the last unranked team remaining in the tournament, put up a good fight early but could not contend with the size of Bad Draw.

Bad Draw towered over the competition and used its power to drive the lane. The Marksmen had to foul early and often and soon found themselves in trouble. Bad Draw big man David Fitzgerald (five points, five rebounds) was 3-for-3 on free throw attempts, and Chris Devitt added one more from the line. Devitt led all scorers on the game with eight points.

Jay Morris led the Marksmen with three baskets. The team had trouble hitting shots early, despite creating scoring opportunities to stay in the game. The Marksmen trailed by seven at the half.

“They were a pretty good team – they hung with us for a while,” said Bad Draw’s Brady Quinn, who had four in the winning effort.

Quinn and Chinedum Ndukwe looked for the big play throughout the game – the two attempted two alley-oops but were unable to connect on both. Ndukwe also had a chance to end the game with an exclamation point, but his dunk attempt rimmed out and went out of bounds.

“He can get it there,” Quinn said. “We are all just a little tired right now from lifting and running.”

The game highlights all came from Marksmen’s undersized guard George Fisher. Fisher’s 5-foot-6 frame took a beating as he fearlessly stepped in the lane to take charges from Ndukwe and the 293-pound Fitzgerald. Fisher also managed to tie up the senior offensive lineman at one point – earning a jump ball for the Marksmen.

“He showed a lot of heart out there, he’s been doing that throughout the whole tournament,” teammate Dan Djondo said.

Fisher finished with two points, and Djondo added two of his own.

“We were happy with the performance overall,” Djondo said. “Hopefully, we will be able to come back next year and earn ourselves a seed.”

U Got a Bad Draw now moves on to the Elite Eight, only three victories away from collecting its second title in three years.

No. 5 Clover Ridge 21, No. 12 Rocco’s Pizza 18

Despite tallying 10 points, Brendon Collins could not lead Rocco’s into the Elite Eight as it fell to Clover Ridge 21-18 Thursday at the Bookstore courts.

Collins scored four of the first five baskets for Rocco’s and remained hot throughout the contest. He was helped by teammates Kern Creevey (three points) and forward Chris Cavanaugh, who added two.

But the bigger and stronger Clover Ridge team passed the ball with ease, spreading around the offense as all five players dropped multiple baskets.

The team used its size as an advantage as it was able to get to the foul line nine times. John Carlson led the team, hitting two free throws on five attempts. He had seven points in all.

“The difference in the game was John Carlson – his monster play and hustle led us to victory,” teammate Pat Devitt said.

Devitt, a Zahm freshman, had two buckets, and his brother Ed added five more. The siblings provided a height advantage and worked themselves into the key against Rocco’s defenders.

“I thought we played them pretty tough,” Rocco’s guard John Paul Lichon said. “They were a big team.”

Rocco’s was able to keep the game close but couldn’t hit the big shot to take the lead. Creevey played well down the stretch, hitting two jumpers from behind the arc. But Clover Ridge’s Paul Hagan answered with his own deep basket to ice the game and push his team to the Elite Eight.

No. 7 Mean Girls 21, No. 10 Saltines 12

With a vicious put-back dunk, Pete Courtney finished off No. 10 Saltines’ 21-12 victory over No. 12 Mean Girls and sent his team through to the final eight with an exclamation point.

While Courtney’s dunk brought down the house, it was his freshman teammate point guard Carl Andersen who was the crowd favorite throughout the night. Displaying a variety of inside moves as well as a delicate outside touch, Andersen led the Saltines with seven points.

The only freshman member of the team, Andersen played much older. It was clear that the Saltines were his to lead – and team members said they are thankful they were able to discover their star point guard.

“I played against him a couple of times at Rolfs, and we really needed a point guard so we asked him to play with us,” sophomore Chris Lund said. “He’s better than some D-1 players I know. We’re just glad to have him.”

It was not just Andersen, however, who contributed on Thursday night, as all five Saltines scored at least two points. In addition to some fluid ball movement that led to several easy layups, the Saltines were able to get inside the whole game through their big men Courtney, Lund and Brent Locey.

“Our style is impetuous and our defense is impregnable,” sophomore Dan Ott said. “We’re nasty.”

While the final score indicated a lopsided victory, the game was close throughout much of the evening. After Mean Girls’ Nick Ortiz’s layup cut the deficit to 13-9, the Saltines went on an 8-3 run capped off by Courtney’s dunk.

The bigger problem for the Mean Girls came earlier in the game when they were unable to capitalize on some beneficial foul calls. After an aggressive style of play put the Mean Girls in the bonus with the score only at 4-2, the Mean Girls were unable to take advantage as they went 1 of 4 from the charity stripe for the rest of the half.

“Those are free points, and you’ve got to capitalize on those,” Mean Girls’ guard Alex Klupchak said.