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BOOKSTORE BASKETBALL: Western Conference turns up the heat in second half

Andy Ziccarelli and Griffin Dassatti | Thursday, April 10, 2008

With an 11-7 lead at half time, Western Conference was able to hold Team 318 to one basket and pull away with the 21-8 win.

Freshman Graysen Petersen-Fitts credited the inspirational halftime speech of senior William David William as the reason for the spark.

“It’s really their last chance to make a run,” Petersen-Fitts said of Western Conference’s win.

The first half was evenly matched, with neither team being able to take control of the court. But the second half was a different story as Western Conference’s defense allowed for the win. Western Conference’s defense was able to keep 318 “on lockdown” allowing its offense to pull away. Petersen-Fitts attributes the team’s success to his own abilities.

“Sometimes I feel like it’s really not fair when I’m on the court,” he said. “I had to have had at least 15 rebounds. I kind of lost count.”

For those unsure of the name, the Western Conference is the NBA’s dominant league, home to the best players and teams in the league. By placing themselves on the same level, it is clear this Bookstore team does not lack confidence.

For a team with a couple of varsity athletes, such talent and athleticism is expected. However, in the future, do not expect Western Conference to need a halftime speech to fire them up.

“The second half is indicative of what this team is capable of,” Petersen-Fitts said.

Western Conference will take the court again on Sunday, looking to advance into the round of 64.

No. 8 Anthony Travel def. Last Team In 21-6

Despite an early run, Anthony Travel sent Last Team In packing 21-6 in the third round of Bookstore Basketball.

Before the game, Anthony captain sophomore Mike Henry admitted that he wasn’t ready to rely entirely on his team’s No. 8 seed to create an easy win against Last Team.

“We don’t look past anyone,” Henry said. “We’re focused on the here-and-now. We’re focused on this game and only this game.”

Sophomore Pete Dolan, another Anthony team member, added his own thoughts about the upcoming contest.

“The scoreboard says 0-0 right now, and we won’t quit until it says 21 on our side. That said, we think our better is better than their better.”

Despite his captain’s modesty, Dolan’s prediction did come to fruition fairly quickly. Anthony started out on a 6-0 run, with effectively executed offense by Henry, Dolan, and fellow sophomores Andrew Cavanagh, Nate Sonoskey and Chad Breeden. But Last Team wasn’t ready to quit yet, as they closed the gap to 6-3 with an offensive run of their own. Retaliating, Anthony went on a 5-0 run before entering halftime.

After a short break, Anthony continued their run-and-gun style, accelerating the pace on the fast break and pushing their lead to 17-4. Despite two quick baskets by Last Team, Anthony closed the game out on a lay-up by Henry.

“Even though they had the height, we had the hustle and we thought that would win out in the end,” sophomore Aaron Pierre said. “We came off our two-game winning streak with a lot of confidence, we underestimated our opponents and they played really well.”

Team Two-Liner def. The Buttercutting Ballers 21-6

Despite an inspired late run by the Buttercutting Ballers, Team Two-Liner’s effective first half ultimately earned a 21-6 victory and advanced to the next round.

Two-Liner began the game on a 17-0 run and looked poised to go wire-to-wire in a shut-out victory, but just then the underdog Ballers got the inspiration they needed from a very unexpected source; an ankle injury to their captain, senior Melinda Welch.

After the injury, the Ballers were forced to take on Team Two-Liner five-on-four, but they went on a small run of their own, drawing the score to 17-6. After the game, Welch expressed her emotions about her team’s effort.

“I felt like I was letting my team down,” she said, “but they came back and scored six just for me.”

But Welch’s teammate, junior Matt Townsend, revealed that the injury might just have been a part of the Ballers’ strategy.

“We created a good diversion with [Welch’s] injury,” Townsend said. “And it almost worked. We almost came back.”

But after giving up six points, Two-Liner turned the defense up and finished the game strong, coasting to a 21-6 win. After the game, Two-Liner captain sophomore John Maier applauded the Ballers’ attempt at a comeback.

“It was a valiant effort,” Maier said. “Stuff just fell for them, and it really speaks clearly as to how powerful [they] can be.”

After complimenting his opponents, Maier conveyed the pride he feels for his team after their first two wins.

“I think our team really starts hard in the back and finishes quick in the front,” he said. “We’ve had two pretty weak teams [so far] and we think they should probably take up another sport…like knitting. Other than that I think we’ll be tested coming up against our next opponent.”