The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.



BOOKSTORE BASKETBALL XXXIV: Quality Dining falls to Mean Girls in stunner

Joe Meixell | Tuesday, April 19, 2005

There’s always an upset in the round of 64, but it’s not always this big or this exciting.

JJ Warren of Mean Girls spotted Eric Tark open under the basket and fired a crisp pass in his teammate’s direction. Tark nailed the layup to complete the dramatic, 21-19 upset of sixth-ranked Quality Dining.

“I think we knew we could win,” Mean Girls captain Mike Ortiz said. “They are a great team, though.”

Early on, Quality Dining looked to be in control. Big man Mark Levoir dominated the boards and scored almost at will on the inside.

“He’s a great player,” Ortiz said. “We just tried to double down on him.”

But in the second half, Mean Girls created several turnovers on defense and started nailing shots from the outside. Quality Dining had trouble getting out on Mean Girls’ perimeter players.

“That one kid was just on fire,” Quality Dining captain D.J. Fitzpatrick said of Ortiz, who drained several key jumpers in the second half.

With momentum shifting and an increasingly boisterous crowd on its side, Mean Girls seized control of the game down the stretch and pulled off the upset despite clutch free throw shooting from Fitzpatrick.

“They were making shots, we weren’t,” Fitzpatrick said. “That stuff just happens in Bookstore.”

Mean Girls hopes to continue its Cinderella run through the tournament tomorrow in the round of 32. Fitzpatrick feels that the team has a great shot to go deep into the tournament.

“A scrappy team can go a long way in Bookstore if things are going their way,” he said. “They can go as far as their energy can take them.”

Looking For a Sponsor at the Moment 21, Brady, Where’d You Get That Tan? 8

Jerome Collins is hoping to hear his name announced this weekend at the NFL Draft. For now, though, the tight end is focusing his attention on winning Bookstore Basketball.

Collins came one step closer to his goal Monday night as he led Looking For a Sponsor at the Moment to a 21-8 victory over Brady, Where’d You Get That Tan?.

Collins asserted himself early, controlling the glass and preventing Brady, Where’d You Get That Tan? from getting anything going offensively on the inside. Rhema McKnight’s quickness and outside shooting also proved very difficult to defend.

Brady, Where’d You Get That Tan? hustled to keep the game competitive against the much bigger third-seeded team, though. The passing of captain Steve Patton and defensive intensity of guard Mike Manzo impressed the crowd and caused some problems for Looking For a Sponsor at the Moment.

“I think I had the obvious athletic advantage over Rhema, but he just had too much heart,” Patton said.

Collins was impressed with the play of his opponents.

“I thought they were pretty good,” he said. “It wasn’t like this was an easy game. They played well tonight.”

Looking For a Sponsor at the Moment Captain Joe McClyde agreed with Collins, saying he respected Brady, Where’d You Get That Tan? for how hard the team played Monday night.

McClyde also stressed that his team needed to work on its chemistry as it advances deeper into the tournament.

“This is the second game we have had everyone together for, so it was a good chance to get used to playing with each other,” McClyde said. “If we can play hard and gel as a team, we are going to be pretty hard to stop.”

Manzo was disappointed in his team’s loss, but maintained that a smaller victory had been won over Looking For a Sponsor at the Moment.

“At least our team name was funny,” he said.

Collins agreed with Manzo wholeheartedly.

“I actually like that name a lot because I’d like to know where Brady got that tan too,” Collins said. “If they find out, they should definitely let me know.”

CoCoa Butter 21 – Nausea, Indigestion, Heartburn, Upset Stomach, Matt Biscaia 8

Ron Dokes continued his dominance of Bookstore Basketball Monday night, leading CoCoa Butter to another lopsided win. The former Duquesne center who recently finished a professional season in Turkey had seven points, six of them coming on dunks.

“This guy played professional basketball in Europe,” Nausea center Eamonn Bahnson said. “We have been to Europe, that’s about as far as the comparison goes.”

Nausea felt good about its chances early on, though.

“We were playing them close,” Matt Biscaia said. “It was 0-0 and then 1-1. I think our main problem was Matt Biscaia didn’t get enough touches.”

CoCoa Butter quickly ran away with the game, however, behind the inside dominance of Dokes and superior perimeter play of Bobby Brown and captain Lance Wescher. The crowd erupted when, midway through the first half, Dokes stole the ball from Drew Donovan and promptly threw down a tomahawk dunk on the other end of the court.

“I think one of the big factors was that they had about a foot and a hundred pounds on each of us … and the dunks,” Bahnson said.

CoCoa Butter, the 11th seeded team in the tournament, moves on to the round of 32 but has yet to face a significant challenge. While Wescher is happy with the team’s success, he is worried that the team might get surprised at some point when they level of play is heightened.

“The teams we have played so far haven’t been bad, just small,” Wescher said. “I’m afraid of running into a team down the line that is much better than the teams we have played so far.”

Dokes shares Wescher’s concern and feels the team must continue to come together as a group to go deep into the tournament.

“There’s a couple teams out here that play really well together,” Dokes said. “They are scary matchups. We could lose any night.

“As we go further in the tournament, we need to work on our team chemistry. Athleticism can only take you so far.”