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Bookstore Basketball: Hoops, they did it again

Greg Hadley | Monday, April 29, 2013

In a back-and-forth battle that went all the way to the wire, No. 1 Sophomores at Holy Cross rode the hot shooting hand of sophomore Darrell McIntyre to best No. 2 Romeo Medical Clinic, 24-22, and claim their second Bookstore Basketball championship in a row Saturday evening.

With the win, Sophomores, composed of junior Dane Okuda and sophomores McIntyre, George Stainko, Alajowon Edwards and Shawn Brown, becomes the first back-to-back champions since 1996-1997. Okuda and Brown were substitutes filling in for brothers Zoe and Beau Bauer. 

But the victory wasn’t easy. Romeo Medical pushed the Sophomores to the limit and even led 21-20 at one point. But the Sophomores were bolstered by McIntyre’s dominating effort and offensive rebounding, pulling off the win against the bigger, more physical Medical Clinic.

“They were a lot bigger than us,” McIntyre said. “They were very physical down low. We had to use our speed and get out in transition.” 

Neither team gamed separation during the course of the game. Holy Cross’s largest lead of the night came after Romeo Medical Clinic junior Tim Fulnecky came down awkwardly on his right ankle while rebounding and had to be treated on the court for several minutes. With Fulnecky slowed down significantly, Holy Cross took a 7-4 lead and looked primed to break open the game. However, Romeo Medical, composed of juniors Dominic Romeo, Tyler Sonsalla, Jack Gardner and Tom Hickey in addition to Fulnecky, rallied on the strong shooting of Romeo and Sonsalla to take a 11-9 lead at halftime.

“Tim showed a big heart tonight,” Romeo said. “He came back and played really well. Overall, the injury didn’t affect us and it wasn’t the reason we lost.”

Instead, Romeo said the team was doomed by poor shooting inside and at the free throw line. Holy Cross encountered foul trouble early, but Medical failed to take advantage, missing all of their free throws. This allowed the Sophomores to rally back and take a narrow 19-17 lead.

“We laid an egg,” Romeo said. “Tom Hickey and I had to win the game down low, but we missed too many layups. It was a tough loss.”

The game remained tight until the end, but McIntyre ultimately lifted his team to the title, leading all scorers with 10 points including several key baskets in the final possessions.

“It feels really good to bring [the championship] back to Holy Cross,” McIntyre said. “We had a lot of fun this year.”

Contact Greg Hadley at ghadley@nd.edu