Castle Point crowned champions
Dan Murphy | Monday, April 30, 2007
Team Castle Point was crowned kings of the Bookstore court Sunday afternoon with a 21-18 victory over Mean Girls.
Sophomore Pat Kuntz banked in the final hoop of the tournament after being fouled down low by one of the Mean Girls. Fouls proved to be the difference maker in Castle Point’s win as they hit three huge baskets from the charity stripe to close out the game.
“We didn’t get all the calls we were looking for, but thankfully we got enough to help us out at the end,” Castle Point captain Paul Pogge said.
Rebounds and physical play gave Castle Point the advantage they needed to edge out the Mean Girls. Big men Kuntz and fellow football player – and Mean Girl – Konrad Reuland battled each other down low the entire game and Castle Point’s Ben Lepak grabbed several big boards.
“There were a lot of big guys out there, so we definitely expected that it was going to be [physical] going in,” Mean Girls captain Mike Ortiz said. “Down the stretch they just hit their shots, and we didn’t.”
Ortiz, who was named the 2007 Mr. Bookstore following the game, had no problems hitting shots throughout most of the game or the tournament.
Team Castle Point took over the momentum after Sergio Brown hit a fade-away jumper from three-point range as he was fouled. The crowd, which was riled up after the Mean Girls previous basket, was quickly silenced by Brown’s swish.
The win was a complete team effort with all five players filling their roles. Tournament MVP Robby Parris picked up several key baskets during the second half with his aggressive play. Brown, who joined the squad halfway through the tournament to replace an injured Richard Jackson, also pitched in with several points of his own.
“We were able to isolate Sergio on the wing, and he got some big buckets from outside,” Pogge said.
The Mean Girls were disappointed to let the opportunity slip away from them but said the loss was bitter sweet since they had made it so far in the tournament. They made it to the championship by defeating the No. 1-seeded Kramer Properties 22-20 in a thrilling semifinal game Saturday.
“I think we delivered a good game, there were a lot of fans there, and they seemed happy,” Ortiz said about the loss.
He is the only senior on the team and expects teammates Nick Possley, Rob Seery, Garret Flynn and Reuland to avenge their loss in next year’s tournament. In order to do so, they will have to get through the Castle Point squad once again, who will return all five players next spring.
The champs are sure to be a favorite on their quest to become the second straight back-to-back champs, but Pogge wasn’t willing to make any predictions yet.
“It’s hard to tell, the tourney is so hard to win, and it takes so long. It really just comes down to who hits the big shots when they need them.”