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Bookstore Basketball XXXIV: Competition gets soaked

Tim Dougherty and Chris Khorey | Wednesday, April 20, 2005

The clock hit midnight on Everybody Poops’ Cinderella story.

The unranked Poopers beat No. 31 Underrated, 28-26, Monday in an overtime thriller in the round of 64. They couldn’t repeat the magic the next night in the round of 32, however, and fell 21-15 to second-ranked We Get Wet.

Everybody Poops fans came out to the bookstore courts in droves for the Tuesday night contest, whipped into a frenzy by their team’s run.

Fan Jake Amment credited the Poopers success to an old fashioned team-oriented style of basketball.

“They play old-school, real basketball and not thug ball,” Amment said.

Everybody Poops small forward Joe Pomerenke said the team felt it should have been included among the top 32 teams.

“We were ranked last year, and then we picked up a new big guy,” he said.

It was this confidence which inspired the team’s run to the round of 32.

“We just knew we were a good team,” Pomerenke said.

The game started out slow as the Poopers hunkered down on defense and stopped the high-flying We Get Wet attack.

An Everybody Poops jump shot brought the score to 3-3, but the next few minutes were all Wet. The second ranked team went on an 8-2 run to take an 11-5 halftime lead.

“We kinda went dry there for a bit,” Wet captain and small forward Joe Amato said of his team’s slow start. “Then we got together as a team and got some fouls on them. Foul shots at the end were important.”

Despite the run, Everybody Poops would not go away. They scored the first three points of the second half to get in the game.

“[At halftime] we ducked our heads down and said ‘play our game,'” Pomerenke said.

The game was back and forth from that point on. Everybody Poops made a small run to pull within four at 17-13, but We Get Wet scored two straight points. Then after four fruitless game-point possessions, We Get Wet made a free throw to pull out the win.

Looking For A Sponsor at the Moment 21, We Delivery 18

The crowd slowly gathered as the word spread around the bookstore courts.

“The number three team is losing.”

By the time No. 3 Looking For A Sponsor at the Moment came back to beat heavy underdog We Delivery, the spectators were three-deep and loud. Still, it takes more than a few fans and good first half to knock off a top five team, and the Sponsorless showed they deserved their lofty ranking in crunchtime.

“They were just too athletic for us,” Delivery small forward John Paul Lichon said.

We Delivery used a two-three zone and a patient attack to frustrate the Sponsorless in the first half.

“I think one of their weakest parts is they like to go off the dribble and they don’t shoot well,” Lichon said of his team’s decision to play a zone.

Sponsorless captain and power forward Joe McClyde disagreed that the zone threw off his team, instead placing the blame on poor shooting.

“We weren’t hitting our shots,” he said. “We were kind of timid in the first half.”

We Delivery took an 11-7 lead into the break, despite giving up height at every position on the floor. They kept the lead until the game reached 15-12, when the Sponsorless made their run, led by Collins, who scored four second-half points.

Looking for a Sponsor took the lead at 16-15 as Collins scored in the lane after a dish from point guard Rhema McKnight.

McClyde attributed the comeback to the physical fitness of his teammates compared to We Delivery.

“We were in better shape,” he said. “They played hard, but we were in better shape and we outlasted them.”

Facing their first deficit of the night, We Delivery played the Sponsorless even until the game reached 20-18. Then Collins drove into the lane and collided with Lichon. The referee called a block and awarded Collins a free throw, which he swished.

Lichon reacted to the call after game.

“I thought I got in front of him,” he said. “But the ref said it was a block, so I guess I can’t complain.

“Now I just wish I hadn’t gotten run over by Jerome Collins.”

McClyde said the comeback will help the team over come adversity in future rounds of the tournament.

Jack’s Shorts 21,

Finish Line 15

Jack’s Shorts was originally named in honor of team member Jack Clark’s trademark neon green shorts, but Tuesday the name described its game – a victory over Finish Line that lasted a mere 25 minutes.

Finish Line came clad in Air Jordan jerseys and shorts with their sponsor’s named etched on the backs, but that did not phase No. 4 seed Jack’s Shorts, who just needed some grey T-shirts, less than half an hour out of their schedules and, of course, Jack’s shorts.

Well, that and an impeccable shooting performance.

Led by Thomas Wither-spoon’s 8-for-10 field goal shooting performance – mostly from the outside – Jack’s Shorts took an early 11-5 lead at the half. The team missed only two shots along the way.

“We came out shooting hot,” Clark said, proudly sporting a certain pair of neon green Nike Shorts. “We tried to put the game away early. It was absurd.”

The display prompted the same description from Finish Line.

“They started out shooting so hot,” Finish Line’s Dave Sethi said. “That’s pretty much it.”

“Hot” applied to the entire team Tuesday, including Dan Surret and Dan Parziole, who controlled Finish Line’s big men on defense and on the backboard, Clark, who netted 7 points on the night, and his shorts, which have been the namesake of a team looking to return to its second consecutive final four.

The shorts have inspired lime green T-shorts declaring “Jack’s Shorts Shirts” that five fans sported on the sidelines.

Pudgy’s Chicken 21, Craig Fencing 16

Pudgy’s Chicken is a team of five 26-to-30 year old guys who bring a different flavor as they just now are getting their first tastes of Bookstore Basketball. After an impressive win over Craig Fencing, the No. 7 seed Pudgy’s Chicken made reservations for the party of 16.

Their recipe is what Doug Bartles, one of five one-year MBA students, calls playing the “Old Man Game.”

“We’re slower,” teammate Brian Weldon said. “We can’t jump as high, we’re fatter, and most of us have receding hairlines. But we play team basketball.”

Pudgy’s Chicken succeeded Tuesday with their inside strength and ability to challenge shots and misses. Big men Bartels, Brian Cullen and Scott Issel used their size to control the boards, despite the laudable efforts of Craig Fencing’s John Lindenmeyer and Mike O’Donnell.

Issel also scored a game-high nine points, capitalizing on fast break opportunities off turnovers created by Bartles, Weldon, Dan Kuney and himself. Issel scored the game’s winning point on a free throw – another defining feature of the “Old Man Game.”