Final Four field set for Friday
Romeo Medical Clinic def. Team 8
Senior Tyler Sonsalla had 11 of his team’s 21 points, and senior Tom Hickey added six as Romeo Medical Clinic defeated Team 8 in the Elite Eight on Thursday.
Romeo Medical led 11-9 at halftime after the teams traded buckets for the first half, with neither squad opening a lead of more than one point until near the end of the half. But in the second half, Sonsalla began to take over as Romeo Medical Clinic looked to push the pace.
Senior captain Dominic Romeo said that transition offense has been key to his team’s scoring throughout the tournament.“Our whole game has been a lot of up-tempo, fast pace, pushing the ball on offense, so that is what we were looking to do today,” Romeo said. “At the start of the second half, they came out strong, but then I think they got a little tired.”
A gusting crosswind made shooting conditions less than ideal for both teams, but Sonsalla was effective with a mix of floaters and midrange jumpers.
“We are really proud of Tyler,” Romeo Medical Clinic coach Jude Rhodes said. “He is an invaluable asset to this team.”
Team 8 aimed to get the ball inside in the post to sophomore center Pat Mazza early and often, but the length and swarming help-side defense of Hickey made touches on the interior hard to come by for Mazza.
“Every time [Mazza] made a move, we had two or three guys in his face,” Romeo said. “We just wanted to contest shots.”
Touchdown 3s def. CJ’s Party of Five
Sixth-seeded Touchdown 3s pulled off a 21-15 upset over No. 3-seed CJ’s Party of Five last night to advance to the Final Four of the Bookstore Basketball tournament.
The squad never trailed and led by as many as seven points in the game.
“This game was a total team effort,” Touchdown 3s senior guard Chris Cali said. ”If you look at the point distribution, almost everyone scored the same amount of points. The way we play team basketball really distinguishes this team.”
On an afternoon when the wind limited both teams’ ability to shoot jump shots, Touchdown 3s adjusted its game plan to utilize its guards’ height advantage.
“Because of the wind, we knew that most of our points would have to come around the basket,” junior captain Kevin Gates said. “Even though they had bigger big men, we had bigger guards size-wise, so we used them to post up and score inside.”
After Touchdown 3s jumped out to an early lead, CJ’s Party of Five tied the game at eight and trailed by only two points at the break, 11-9. Touchdown 3s then went on a 7-1 run and never looked back as it claimed a six-point victory.
“I think it came down to the fact that we were able to neutralize their advantage down low,” Cali said. “We knew that they wanted to get it down to Tom Knight so our focus was deny, deny, deny.”
Touchdown 3s will face the No. 2 seeded Uncle Drew Nem in a semifinal game slated for 7 p.m. tonight. The winner will advance to the championship game Saturday.
Holy Cross Juniors def. The Show
The No. 4-seeded Holy Cross Juniors made several critical stops and survived a late push by No. 5-seeded The Show to secure a 21-19 victory in Thursday’s Elite Eight matchup.
Junior Zoe Bauer started Holy Cross Juniors off on the right foot, attacking the basket and knocking down a shot to put them up 2-0.
The Show responded with two quick baskets of its own, beginning a series of trading points until the score was knotted at 10-10. Bauer made his third shot from well beyond the 3-point arc to give Holy Cross Juniors a 11-10 halftime lead.
Bauer, who finished with 10 points, stepped up throughout the game, filling the void left by his cousin and former bookstore teammate for the past two years, Beau Bauer.
“Beau scored most of our points last year, so we needed to find points somewhere,” he said.
A 13-13 tie was broken when Bauer went on an offensive tear, banking in shots on four of the five possessions.
The Show, however, made two blocks as part of a 4-1 comeback run that evened the score again at 19-19.
Holy Cross Juniors made four crucial stops and brought the game to a close with a short jumper and a transition basket to win, 21-19.
“Defense was definitely [a deciding factor],” Bauer said. “We’re very vocal out there, and that helps.”
Bauer and juniors Darrell McIntyre and Alajowon Edwards are members of the same two-time defending bookstore championship team, which Bauer said contributed to their chemistry on the court against The Show.
“Me and Darrell and [Alajowon], we’ve been playing together for three years, so we know each other and play well together,” Bauer said.
Holy Cross Juniors will have a Final Four rematch against the top-seeded Romeo Medical Clinic, its championship opponent from last year. Bauer said he expects another back-and-forth battle.
The game will take place Friday at 6 p.m. at Court 4.
Uncle Drew Nem def. #Team43 (Forfeit)
In the last game of the night, #Team43 forfeited to Uncle Drew Nem, sending the No. 2 seed to the Final Four.
#Team43, comprised of senior Garrick Sherman, a former varsity basketball player, and four varsity soccer players, withdrew before play started Thursday. The men’s soccer team is scheduled to play the Mexican Under-20 national team in an exhibition Friday at Alumni Stadium. Uncle Drew Nem will play Touchdown 3s in the semifinals Friday.
Team 8 cut the deficit to two near the end, but a jump hook from Hickey ended the game.
With the win, Romeo Medical moves a step closer to the championship, where the squad will look to avenge last year’s narrow loss to Holy Cross Juniors.