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Bookstore Basketball: Teams fight for final 16 spots

Matthew Robison and Tim Singler | Monday, April 19, 2010

Book It and Lock It came in the favorite, and did not disappoint, dominating BrosLikeThisTeam.com for nearly the entire game and winning 21-12.
Consisting of seniors Pat McHugh and Mike Bramante, junior Aaron Nichols and law students Kieran Pillar and John Romps, Book It and Lock It looked like a legitimate contender on the Bookstore courts Monday night. They had the inside-outside game and were knocking down the outside jumper — even on the shaky Bookstore rim — and rebounded and defended well over their opponents.
BrosLikeThisTeam.com, made up of seniors Patrick Robb, Wes Howard and Joe Idaszak, junior Kevin Laughlin and freshman Mike Dobrovic, gave Book It and Lock It a good run, but were simply overmatched and had no help from the referees. BrosLikeThisTeam.com was visibly and audibly upset by some of the commissioners’ calls, as their foul total climbed to eight in the first half, while Book It and Lock It had none.
Book It and Lock It was pleased with its performance, and especially happy with the great performance of their standout player, Nichols.
“I think we played pretty well, a lot better than our last game,” McHugh said. “Aaron [Nichols] was pretty much unstoppable.”
The Bros, who wore lacrosse pennies with the names Brosemite Sam, Brosef Stalin, Brochocinco, Apolo Anton Brono, and Haranbrody across the back, knew they were not the favorite heading into the game, and just wanted to make a game out of it.
“We knew we were the underdogs,” Dobrovic said. “Coming in, we just wanted to play hard and keep it as close as possible.”
Dobrovic attributed the loss to a lack of production offensively, which was due in part to a stifling defense from their opponents.
“We struggled offensively,” he said. “They weren’t letting us get to the hoop.”

Team No. 10 21, Vincent Van Bros 10
The Cinderella story of the Vincent Van Bros came to an end Monday as they fell to Team No. 10 in a fairly lopsided game. Vincent Van Bros’ freshman Chris Jacques, Ed Stivers, Eric Zeltwanger, Patrick Lampton and Matthew Hooks gave it all they had, but were simply overmatched by the favorite.
“It was a pleasure working with this team on our Cinderella run to the final 32,” Jacques said.
Team No. 10 came in with a rather business-like approach, getting to work early in the game and taking an 11-4 halftime lead.
“We wanted to play shutdown defense, no second chance opportunities, good rebounding,” captain Tim Lang said.
He and his teammates Mike Maney, Tim Wallace, Matt Gimlett and Tim Whelan did exactly that en route to victory.
Both teams had a sizeable turnout from their fans, and the Bros said that they were thankful for the support they have received during the tournament.
“I would like to thank the fans for coming out in mass numbers,” Jacques said.
The Vincent Van Bros never showed a lack of effort in the game, at times seeming like they were one big shot away from making a run.
“I blocked out the voice of my seventh grade CYO coach telling me to stop shooting,” Jacques said of his multiple shots that just would not fall in the basket Monday night.
“We played with a lot of heart,” Stivers said. “We modeled our game after Love and Basketball. We played with love, but didn’t play good basketball.”
For Team No. 10, the round of 16 awaits, where the competition is only going to get tougher. For the Vincent Van Bros, rather than going home with a trophy and championship medals, they’ll have a story and memories to last them a lifetime.

Steel City 21, DunkAroos 14
The No. 7 Steel City Ballers defeated the DunkAroos 21-14 Monday night in a heated contest, in which the underdog DunkAroos showed spectacular unexpected play throughout the game.
The Steel City Ballers did not begin to take control until the last few baskets. Up to that point, the DunkAroos came out strong and remained within a few points of the Ballers for much of the game.
“We started out kind of rough,” Steel City Ballers’ junior Mark Wilkins said. “We still managed to pull it off.”
The Steel City Ballers managed to maintain a lead throughout much of the game despite the fact that the pesky DunkAroos would not go away. The Steel City Ballers, featuring seniors Jonathon Peoples and Sean Dillon, juniors Mark Byrne and Mark Wilkins and sophomore EJ Jones held up to their ranking to come back for the win.
The Steel City Ballers faced a tough challenge in the DunkAroos on the cool night on the Bookstore courts. The DunkAroos, featuring freshman Erick Van Eperen, Matt Kilgannon, Joe McClay, Joe Williams and sophomore Matt Cirillo, gave the Ballers a run for the money.
Peoples drained some long-range baskets when he was given a little breathing room on defense. With some quick baskets and tough defense, the Ballers took control as the game wore on.
Van Eperen shined on the court for the DunkAroos Monday night. He proved to be too much to handle around the basket for the Ballers as he scored many of his team’s points. His moves in the post allowed him to get quality shots against the Ballers’ tough defense.
The DunkAroos played an excellent game despite being the game’s underdog.
“We are young, we played a good game against those guys,” said Williams. “There is not too much to complain about.”
The Steel City Ballers advance to the top 16 teams and are ready to compete yet again in the Bookstore tournament.

Alexander’s Grill 21, Just Wet 13
Alexander’s Grill, the No. 1 team in the Bookstore Basketball tournament, survived another round as they defeated Just Wet. Alexander’s Grill struggled to overcome the zone defense of Just Wet early, but then took over the game, especially in the second half.
The outside shots just were not falling for Alexander’s Grill as they became frustrated by Just Wet’s strong defense.
“We got off to a good start,” Alexander’s Grill senior Tim Andree said. “They played really well and hit a lot of tough shots.”
Aside from Andree, Alexander’s Grill featured seniors Joe DeMott and Nick Fessler as well as juniors Dan Crisman and Sean Reed.
Even though Just Wet played a tough defense at first, Alexander’s Grill outplayed them as the shots began to fall. Trying to remain in the game, Just Wet hit some well-contested shots, but they didn’t prove to be enough.
With a rather comfortable lead at halftime 11-6, Alexander’s Grill dominated the second half. Defense became key for the team as they turned numerous steals into transition points. Just Wet continued to fight back, but they were not able to prevail.
“We went in there playing hard,” Andree said. “We wanted to be physical with them.”
Just Wet consisted of senior Andrew Scheid, juniors Tom Friel and Matt Lauritzen and freshman Joey Connor.
Alexander’s Grill looks to keep their top ranking as they look ahead to the round of 16 in Bookstore Basketball.