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Bookstore Basketball XXXVI: Close games highlight Super-Regionals

Ellyn Michalak and Michael Bryan | Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Bookstore Basketball returned to the courts Tuesday for Super-Regional Finals games. The action was typified by close games and rough play, with the winners earning a day off before Thursday’s Round of 16.

Team 110 21, Dropping Trout 14

With intensity and effort, Team 110 prevailed over Dropping Trout 21-14 in Tuesday night’s Bookstore game.

Team 110 wasted no time gaining a substantial lead over Dropping Trout. Forward Andrew Cavanaugh’s fast break layups combined with guard Chad Breeden’s offensive intensity in the paint allowed Team 110 to score numerous uncontested points within minutes. By halftime, Team 110 gave up just five points to Dropping Trout, leaving the score at a commanding 11-5.

Dropping Trout forward Dave Post spoke at halftime about his team’s strategy.

“We need to score more points than the other team,” he said.

But Dropping Trout’s strategy proved faulty. Though it battled intensely, Team 110 continued to dominate offensively, with guard Pete Dolan sinking several outside shots. Dropping Trout grew physically more aggressive in the second half and earned more points, but also accumulated more fouls. Team 110 forward Mike Henry dominated defensively, allowing the team to finish 21-14.

“It was a dirty, dirty game with a lot of fouls,” Team 110 fan Megan Krizmanich said.

Team 110 has great expectations for the next game.

“We’re really happy with making it to the Sweet 16 as freshmen, and one sophomore. It’s a real honor,” Henry said. “One thing’s for sure though – we’ll definitely be the prettiest team in the Sweet 16.”

Craig Fencing 22, We Play for Winabi 20

It was a neck-and-neck competition Tuesday night for top Bookstore teams Craig Fencing and We Play for Winabi, but as both teams lost energy, it was Craig Fencing’s heart and hustle that allowed it to grasp the win 22-20.

Prior to the game, We Play for Winabi guard freshman Mike Streit spoke about his team’s strategy.

“We drew up a really complex alley-oop play for [forward] Jimmy Wilson. We’re planning on catching them off guard and running it on the first possession,” he said.

Though the “complex alley-oop play,” We Play for Winabi earned the first point off of a fast break. It continued to dominate throughout the first half and never lost the lead. Wilson’s stellar defense combined with Joe Statz’s dominance in the paint allowed the team to stay in the lead until halftime, when the score was 11-10.

Craig Fencing began to take control deep into the second half. With Mike Kaiser’s defensive prowess and Tommy Forr’s offensive intensity, the team entered – and left – the second half unstoppable. The game became a physical battle, and each team went into bonus free throw shooting rather quickly.

In the final minutes of the game, the score 21-20, Forr effortlessly drove into the paint past two defenders to sink the final shot.

Craig Fencing forward Anthony Bartolacci spoke about his team’s efforts and expectations for the next round of play.

“We’re ecstatic for having made it to the Sweet 16,” Bartolacci said. “We’ve been together since freshman year, and now we’re hungry. We’ll beat you in basketball, and we’ll put up a damn good fence.”

While Craig Fencing basked in its victory, We Play for Winabi players spoke about their plans for next year.

“You win some, you lose some,” Streit said as he wiped tears from his Rec Specs.

Fan Brianna Muller was hopeful for We Play for Winabi’s next season.

“With this year’s experience and Mike Streit with his sports goggles, the team definitely will have Specs appeal and will be unstoppable,” she said.

Break Yo Neck 21, Nunc Dimittis 17

Break Yo Neck held on to its lead tightly down the stretch to take a hard-fought win over Nunc Dimittis.

Nunc Dimittis, composed of five members of Moreau Seminary, struggled to score at the game’s outset against Break Yo Neck’s defense. Break Yo Neck worked hard to deny interior passes and force Nunc Dimittis to shoot long jumpers.

After Nunc Dimittis recovered from the poor start to tie the game at 3-3, Break Yo Neck went on an 8-3 run to take a 11-6 lead into the half.

Guard Zack Capozzi led Break Yo Neck with five points at the half, mostly on outside jump shots.

Break Yo Neck’s up-tempo offense was key to its success in the first half, and Nunc Dimittis showed a resolve to slow the game down in the second half. With both teams playing in half-court offenses, Nunc Dimittis cut the lead to 13-12.

Break Yo Neck went on a 5-0 run at that point, taking advantage of Nunc Dimittis’s foul trouble. Zach Mady led Break Yo Neck offensively on the run, controlling the paint and passing well out of double-teams.

“We weren’t very nervous down the stretch,” Mady said. “We had a comeback last game and we know what it takes to win.”

Nunc Dimittis showed its resiliency yet again, grinding the lead away to 19-17, but a Mady free throw and a layup put away any chance of a comeback and clinched the win.

Mady said the early defense and focus were crucial.

“The intensity and our good hands were really important for us to win,” he said.

South Bend Orthopedics 21, I Can’t Believe We’re So Butter 16

South Bend Orthopedics used a big second half to beat I Can’t Believe We’re So Butter 21-16.

The first half was a back-and-forth contest, with neither team seizing a sizeable lead. Both teams had many fouls in the first half, and a Butter free throw gave the team a slim 11-10 lead at the break.

“It’s only shots not falling,” SBO guard Pat Lopez said at halftime.

Lopez, who led the team in scoring, would see his team’s shots start falling in the second half.

Three quick baskets by SBO let the team retake a 13-11 lead, and I Can’t Believe We’re So Butter slowly fell further behind. SBO stretched the lead to 18-14, working hard on the offensive boards and sharing the ball well to generate points.

Behind more solid play from team members Matt Henry, Tim Capecchi, Joe O’Connell and Casey “Pistol” McGushin, SBO was able to hold off Butter for the 21-17 win.

“It was a very hard-fought game,” said O’Connell, the team captain. “They were very physical and attacked our zone well.”