Bookstore Basketball: No. 1 Saturdays in America battle elements en route to victory
Jack Hefferon | Friday, April 29, 2011
Much like the rain that poured down throughout the game, the offense of No. 1 Saturdays in America was driving and relentless in its 21-13 win over No. 8 The Firm.
The game was competitive from the opening whistle, as it did not take long for the two teams to begin trash talking and arguing throughout the game. That did not take away from the level of play though, as both teams put on a show with two unique offensive styles.
The older Saturdays in America played with poise and scored by hitting mid-range jumpers and finding open cutters for easy layups. The Firm, on the other hand, preferred to attack from long range, shooting from well beyond the arc. Their shots were off in the first half though, and they found themselves trailing 11-6 at halftime.
“We thought we were going to be able to use our speed to our advantage,” Firm sophomore captain Steve Conway said. “But with the rain, we weren’t able to do that, and we decided to lean on the outside shot.”
In the second half the rain fell even harder, forming puddles on the court and soaking the ball. The game got a little rough after the break, and hard fouls, rain-soaked collisions and a dislocated shoulder were all evidence of the high stakes of the quarterfinals.
Saturdays in America continued to pull away behind the offensive leadership of graduate student Alex Klupchak and law student Brendan Bush, who finished with eight and six points, respectively. However, the Firm remained in contention thanks to the unbelievable shooting of Conway, who in one memorable sequence made two wild fade-aways from five feet behind the three-point line.
In symbolic fashion, Saturdays in America scored the final point on a perfectly executed alley-oop to claim the victory and advance.
“It was tough playing out here, but we kept fighting until the end,” Saturdays in America senior Aaron Nichols said. “We’re looking forward to the Final Four.”
Pizzeria Siegfried-The Delivery Boys 21, Texas Roadhouse 17
In a rainy matchup between two evenly matched teams, No. 4 Pizzeria Siegfried-The Delivery Boys used cohesive team play to grind out a 21-17 victory over No. 5 Texas Roadhouse.
Pizzeria Siegfried started with the ball and immediately went to work on the Texas Roadhouse defense with an offense based on picks and constant movement. Behind that gameplan, they jumped out to an 11-9 lead at halftime.
“We made the shots we had to make in the first half, and we just wanted to keep grinding it out all game,” Pizzeria Siegfried junior forward Andrew Nelligan said.
In the second half the game stayed tight, with both teams trading baskets and fouls. Texas Roadhouse, a group of players from Holy Cross’ varsity basketball team, used the superior size of 6′ 8″ junior forwards Taylor Williams and captain Adam Onderdonk to pound the ball inside on offense and keep the opposition outside on defense. The tandem was able to control much of the action on the boards.
Pizzeria Siegfried managed to maintain their lead though, largely due to the play of senior Kevin Kelly, who had a game-high eight points. Senior Dave Rudy was fouled on his way to the basket and went to the line with the score at 20-17 in favor of Pizzeria Siegfried. The foul shot was a little bit to the left, but the rain-soaked rim gave Pizzeria Siegfried a friendly bounce and the victory.
“I just wanted to make it. I thought I missed it when it left my hand, but we got a lucky bounce,” Rudy said. “We’ve been playing together for a while now, and it’s an honor to be in the Final Four.”