Bookstore Basketball: Crowning the Champs
Eric Prister | Wednesday, April 22, 2009
In an improbable upset of the defending bookstore champions, the all-freshman roster of Hallelujah Holla Back defeated top-ranked Main St. Pub 21-19.
“From day one we decided we were going to be a bookstore team,” Hallelujah Holla Back captain Jonas Gray said. “We didn’t care about sponsorship, we didn’t care about who our opponent was, we just came out and played our game.”
After trailing 11-9 at the break and 17-12 at one point in the second half, Hallelujah Holla Back went on a 5-0 run which tied the game, led by the imposing presence of 6-foot-7Joe Fauria. A rising sophomore tight end, Fauria, the tournament MVP, was the leading scorer for Holla Back, despite being double and even triple teamed most times that he touched the ball.
“We started pounding the boards more in the second half than in the first half, and it became our game,” Fauria said.
Main St. Pub, who has been known for their incredible fast break scoring and accurate shooting, looked to have the game in hand, leading by five with only four points left to score, but a tightly packed zone and aggressive defense from Holla Back’s Jonas Gray forced Main St. Pub to shoot from the outside, and they went cold.
“The weather kind of affected our shots,” Main St. Pub senior captain Alex Klupchak said. “We played really well. We had the lead, and then we just couldn’t buy a bucket late. They were huge, and there’s only so much we could do.”
After tying the game, Holla Back allowed reigning Mr. Bookstore Carl Andersen, who finished with a game-high seven points, to score the next two, giving Main St. Pub a 19-17 lead, and it looked as though Andersen was going to carry his team to victory.
But then Gray capitalized on a fast break, and Griffin Nayler hit a jumper that brought the game back to even. Holla Back’s other big man, 6-foot-4 Dayne Crist, posted up and scored to give them a one-point lead, and the Fauria put in a lay-up for the victory.
“We all play together as a team,” Fauria said. “There’s no MVP, there’s no one exceptional player. It’s all us playing as a team.”
When asked if his team would return next year to defend their title, Fauria had only three words to say.
“Hallelujah Holla Back,” he said.