Wakim’ole edges Blue Steel
Jay Fitzpatrick, Michael Bryan, Meaghan Veselik, Pete Reisenauer | Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Wakim’ole took down No. 14 seed Blue Steel 21-16 in one of the few upsets in the round of 64.
The game was never in doubt as Wakim’ole built a quick lead and never let Blue Steel back in the game.
Wakim’ole pulled out the win despite having a distinct height disadvantage. Blue Steel had a near 7-footer who towered over the rest of the players. But during the second half, Wakim’ole used a swarming defense to shut down the colossus – and the rest of their opponents.
“[Center Chad Krause] did a good job manning up the whole game,” guard Pat Richel said.
In the second half, Krause made a courageous play, taking a charge from the gargantuan Blue Steel center.
Even though Krause manned up against Blue Seel’s center most of the game, forward Mark Witte blocked a layup attempt in the first half. After the swat, Witte let out a primordial scream, energizing his team and the crowd.
“I saw him coming, I lined up, and I jacked it,” Witte said of the block.
Point guard Michael Wakim had a different approach on the play.
“[The block] gave us the strength to slay giants,” he said.
Blue Steel picked up a lot of unnecessary fouls throughout the game, costing them points and possessions. In fact, the final shot of the game was a free throw made by forward Ryan Winiarski, who banked the shot off the glass.
“Ryan proved to all of South Bend that banks are, in fact, open on Monday nights,” Richel said.
Even with a leviathan on their opponents’ roster, Wakim’ole was able to work the inside and score solid baskets in the post.
One reason for the solid inside game was the play of Winiarski, who nailed clutch jumpers and acrobatic shots.
“Although he looks like Baloo, I still love him,” said Wakim, referencing the bear from Disney’s classic “The Jungle Book.”
Blue Steel’s Goliath was consistently out of position at both ends of the court, camping out in the high post on defense and waited from beyond the arch offensively.
Wakim’ole took charge of the baseline in the second half, using it for drives and baselines to pull away late.
Defensively, Wakim’ole took advantage of sloppy passing and ill-advised drives to force turnovers throughout the game. Guard Pat Richel alone accounted for double-digit steals.
Wakim’ole – comprised entirely of Dillon residents – will take on Nunc Dominitus, a team comprised of mostly priests, including former Dillon assistant rector Fr. Pete McCormick.
“We’re not worried. God doesn’t take sides,” Wakim said. “We’re all His children.”
No. 3 Castle Point 21, Western Conference 19
In one of the best games of the tournament so far, Castle Point, the third ranked team in the tournament and defending champion, pulled out a close victory against the determined Western Conference.
The game was close throughout, but Castle Point was able to pull it out in the end, despite a valiant comeback attempt headlined by Western Conference freshman Grayson Petersen-Fitts, who made two field goals to bring it within two points before Castle Point was able to put the game away, and come out with a win.
Castle Point was lead by junior Richard Jackson who had 6 points in the first half alone to propel his team to an early 11-9 lead.
The defense of the Western Conference kept them in it, and they were led on that end by freshman Buchi Offodile who had four blocks to keep his team in the game.
In the end, turnovers prevented the Western Conference from pulling off the upset, and let Castle Point keep their dreams of repeating as tournament champions alive.
What was perhaps most upsetting for the Western Conference was the loss that ended their seniors’ hopes for a Bookstore crown.
“It is tough for the seniors to go out with a loss, but this game exemplified what Bookstore Basketball is all about.” Petersen-Fitts said.
No. 1 Kramer Properties 21, Clients No. 10-14 5
Clients No. 10-14 lost a hard-fought matchup to top-seeded Kramer Properties last night in front of several dozen rabid fans at the Bookstore Courts.
“I wetted two three balls,” leading scorer Tae Andrews said in a post-game interview. “We pretty much all bought into the team concept. We all drank the Kool-Aid before the game, if you know what I mean.”
Andrews went 2-6 from the field, including a missed dunk and two would-be three-pointers. However, due to Bookstore Rules, the long jumpers only counted for a pair of points.
Andrews’ teammate Chris McGrady contributed another basket en route to the loss. “I knew that taking it to the basket wouldn’t work against the taller defenders and I was too far away to dunk,” McGrady said, “So while I was in transition I pulled up and made it splish-splash. What can I say? My jumpshot smells like pancakes.”
Team captain Sean McGarvey contributed another would-be three-pointer. “I hit my shot early on,” he said, “and then they switched up to six foot two Chris Devitt to block my shot.”
Teammate Matt Bold agreed that the Clients found themselves outmatched. “While we were athletically superior, they had the luck of the Irish on their side,” he said of his opponents. Ballhandler Joe Runde agreed that the Clients suffered from an off shooting night. “Our offense stank like a turtle cage,” he said.
A Bit Underrated 21, Discount Cash Flow 18
No. 27 A Bit Underrated proved their name was accurate last night as they defeated No. 18 Discount Cash Flow.
Starting off the game with a 3-0 lead, A Bit Underrated showed their skills from the start. With strong passing and sharp shots, Discount Cash Flow couldn’t keep up in the beginning. They tried calling out plays and taking multiple shots, few of which were making it into the basket or even on the boards. What the Cash Flow boys could do well in the first half was foul, which they did often in the start of the game.
“It was harder than we expected,” A Bit Underrated’s captain David Pope-Davis said. “It was a great team effort, and everybody was hitting their shots.”
While Discount Cash Flow struggled getting the ball into the basket, A Bit Underrated had no trouble. Making shot after shot, they kept the ball moving up and down the bookstore court as they kept a three point lead for most of the first half.
The baskets continued for the Underrated players against the feeble Cash Flow defense. Key to Underrated’s lead was their constant rebounding. Discount Cash Flow struggled to box out the Underrated players, and towards the end of the half, stopped attempting to rebound altogether.
At the half, A Bit Underrated led Discount Cash Flow 11-6, but the Cash Flow players weren’t ready to give up entirely just yet.
Discount Cash Flow started the second half off strong, scoring twice before A Bit Underrated had a chance to score once. They stepped up their defense as well, forcing the Underrated players to work harder for their shots. The game began to be one of who wanted to win more.
Cash Flow tied the game at 15, but was unable to hold on for long. A Bit Underrated took back their lead, scoring four more points before Discount Cash Flow got another basket. However, the Underrated’s lead soon was in jeopardy as the Cash Flow players moved the score to 19-18, Underrated. However, A Bit Underrated pulled out the win with two back-to-back baskets, beating Discount Cash Flow 21-18.