Bookstore Basketball: Alexander’s Grill, He Went to Jared advance
Allen Joseph and Andrew Owens | Thursday, April 22, 2010
In a thrilling contest, Street Ball Killaz pushed the top team in the Bookstore Basketball tournament to the brink of elimination before falling 21-19 to fail to advance past the round of 16.
Alexander’s Grill, composed of juniors Dan Crisman and Sean Reed along with seniors Sean Reed, Tim Andree and Nick Fessler, appeared to match up well with Street Ball in terms of size, with the 6-foot-8 Andree providing a suitable counterpart to Street Ball’s slightly taller sophomore Taylor Williams. Junior Adam Dobrzykowski and sophomores Zac Cook, Brad Kendall and J.T. Breveard rounded out the Street Ball squad, demonstrating an athleticism comparable to Alexander’s Grill, who expected a tough matchup.
“We knew these guys were tough — they beat a high seed the other night,” Crisman said. “We knew this was going to be a tough one coming in.”
Street Ball started the game slowly, working the ball around on offense until Breveard could find an open man, while Alexander’s Grill pushed the ball down the court and looked for quick shots. Street Ball jumped out to an early 5-1 lead on the strength of some high-percentage shots. The lead stretched to 8-3 before Alexander’s Grill began to settle down, especially on the offensive end. The favorites began to be more patient with the ball and work for better shots, getting more of them to fall and beginning to close the gap. Street Ball, however, continued to shoot the ball at a very high accuracy and took an 11-7 lead and all of the momentum into halftime.
“They came out in the first half lights-out,” Crisman said. “I think they hit just about every shot they took.”
The second half was dominated by an intense individual struggle between Reed and Breveard —each guarding the other on the perimeter and going point-for-point at times. Reed opened the second half with a bang, driving to the hoop and feeding DeMott for an easy layup. He followed that effort with two more scores of his own to quickly cut the Alexander’s Grill deficit to just one point.
Breveard, however, sparked another Street Ball run in which Alexander’s Grill could get nothing to fall while Street Ball continued its accurate shooting. Reed would not let his team fall too far behind. Feeling a sense of urgency on the offensive end to keep pace with Breveard’s torrid shooting, Reed cut the deficit to as little as one point on a banked-in, long-range jump shot.
Street Ball appeared to have the game in hand at 19-17, when Breveard stole the ball from Reed and had a 2-on-1 situation with Williams. Breveard fed his big man with an alley-oop pass. Williams caught the ball, stretched, and missed the dunk, with Crisman recovering the rebound for a huge Alexander’s Grill break.
On the next Street Ball possession, Reed violently blocked Breveard’s shot to spark a fast break. This sequence of plays shifted the momentum completely to Alexander’s Grill, who promptly tied the game 19-19. Both teams locked down on defense while both offenses sputtered. Alexander’s Grill missed multiple free throws, while Breveard was called for traveling on an open breakaway. In the end, Andree and Reed were able to sink free throws at the end to push the top seed into the round of eight on the strength of Reed’s MVP performance.
“Sean was huge. We knew he had a mismatch all day,” Crisman said. “He’s a tough guy to guard, no matter who you put on him.”
He Went to Jared 22, The Firm 20
He Went to Jared used a strong first half and a late push in the second to move on to the round of eight as the No. 2 seed.
He Went to Jared consisted of second-year graduate students Chuck Flynn and Brendan Bush, first-year graduate student Fritz Shadley, senior Alex Shadley and sophomore Chris Jung.
“We’re team He Went to Jared because Chuck just got engaged, and Chuck went to Jared,” Bush said.
The Firm fell behind 11-7 at halftime but played inspired basketball throughout the second half. The team was made up of sophomore Mike Renner and freshmen Gary Hunt, Matt Huber, Will Reising and Steve Conway.
Conway’s strong outside shot powered a comeback for The Firm. That, along with a more aggressive approach defensively, allowed them to eventually tie the game 16-16.
“We came out and played hard,” Reising said. “Our size kind of hurt us. Steve kept us in the game with some jumpers late in the game. It was our first experience in Bookstore and it was a good experience for us.”
The teams traded baskets all the way to a 20-20 score, forcing overtime. At that point, Shadley picked up a crucial offensive rebound and put it back up to give He Went to Jared the lead again.
After the biggest defensive stop of the game, He Went to Jared came back and clinched the victory with another lay-in after an offensive rebound. This time it was Flynn coming up with the big play.
Flynn was the most consistent player for He Went to Jared, as he had double-digit rebounds, several of which came on the offensive end.
“Our bread and butter is our defense. We had a sense of urgency when it was 20-20,” Bush said. “The other team played awesome. They’re freshmen, but they were tough.”
He Went to Jared advances to the next round and will play at 7 p.m. tonight.