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Bookstore Basketball: Team Vinny wins easily

Jay Fitzpatrick | Monday, April 10, 2006

Despite a tough performance by captain Paul Brutoco, Ridiculousness-ness could not overcome Team Vinny’s height and strength advantages, falling hard 21-8 Sunday.

Team Vinny came into the game looking to spread the offense and play good team basketball. They accomplished that goal as all five players contributed to the win on offense.

“We’ve been practicing a lot this week, and it definitely paid off,” Vinny captain Andrew Nesi said.

Ridiculousness-ness wanted to have a strong showing in its first game of the tournament, hoping the team’s fresher legs would carry it to victory. Brutoco was able to get his team ready for this game, especially on defense as Ridiculousness-ness forced turnovers and rebounded well against the taller Team Vinny.

“We came out in the first half and had no fear,” Brutco said. “We definitely lost some momentum in the second half, but we all contributed some today.”

Neither team put up a consistent offensive performance Sunday as each relied on second or third chance opportunities before they could score. While Team Vinny split the load on offense, Brutoco shouldered much of the responsibility for his team. His determined drives to the hoop and great ball-handling skills kept his team close before Vinny was able to pull ahead for the win in the second half.

Although this year’s tournament was one-and-done for Ridiculousness-ness, Team Vinny advances to play We Shoot like Dick Cheney (you better wear orange) in the next round.

Team 75 21, Out Side Irish Rugby Club 10

Team 75 captain and point guard Matt Haggerty led his team to victory Sunday against the Out Side Irish Rugby Club, directing the offense while making sure the team was ready to defend when they lost the ball.

Both teams came out with defensive mindsets, hoping to contain their opponent. Unfortunately for the Rugby Club, its size limited its defensive effectiveness as Team 75 was able to win most rebounds during the game, giving it many put-back opportunities.

The Rugby Club was able to get some turnovers Sunday, but it could not do too much against the stingy Team 75 defense.

“I think we played really tight defense out there today,” Haggerty said. “We got tons of rebounds, and they gave us a really good chance to win.”

The Rugby Club did not go down without a fight, nailing long-range jump shots and running a successful fast break on multiple occasions to keep the score close for much of the first half.

“We did a lot better than I expected,” Rugby Club captain Alex Barnes said. “We played really good defense and scored a lot more points than anyone would have thought.”

The Tournament is named after us, so we have to have a Team 21, Tree Hill Ravens 8

Home court advantage is important, especially when you host the biggest outdoor five-on-five full court tournament in the world.

Despite living farther away from the Bookstore than residents of every dorm besides Carroll, The Tournament is named after us, so we have to have a Team (Hammes) – consisting of five Bookstore employees from the South Bend area – cemented its legitimate claim to the paved domain of the Bookstore courts with a sound defeat of the Ravens.

Hammes’ ostentatious display of offensive dominance opened up a 13-1 lead over Tree Hill. Though the “L. Scott” and “N. Scott” on the Ravens’ jerseys implied they had played together for three seasons on the WB hit show “One Tree Hill,” they suffered from communication gaffs and committed costly turnovers, as Hammes picked their pockets and cashed the steals in for points in transition.

Hammes, led by Matthew Kroll’s 11 points, towered over Tree Hill for uncontested baskets, establishing a monopoly on first-half points.

Head Raven cheerleader/player Corey Calabrese urged her team to continue to “be aggressive, be be aggressive,” while leading by example with her pavement-pounding hustle.

As a result of their tenacity, the Ravens received a scare when Lesley Greene tumbled to the blacktop, knocked her head against the hard surface and was forced to sit out the rest of the game.

Hammes graciously sent off one of its own players in a show of altruism comparable to the Bookstore’s Student Appreciation Sale – befitting in a friendly game that heard almost as many apologies as renditions of Gavin DeGraw’s “I Don’t Want To Be,” which blared out of iPod speakers stuck on repeat for the entire game.

Regardless, the Poe-etically named Ravens, inspired by their “lost Lenore,” elevated their game and clawed their way to a 7-6 run to make it 20-8 on the wings of Mark “Romeo Casanova” Venner’s five points. But Kroll clipped their comeback by sinking Hammes’ decisive 21st point.

Scored the Ravens, nevermore.

“We made a valiant effort in the comeback,” Casanova said.

Hammes profited from superior athleticism, even though it was every player’s first Bookstore experience.

“I like the carnival aspect of it – dressing up in funny costumes in the early rounds,” Kroll said. “But as the tournament goes on, we’re looking forward to good competition.”

Kroll said they hope to match the run made by a Bookstore employee team several years ago and protect their home court by making it to the round of 64.

Until then, Hammes, ever gaming, still is claiming, still is claiming the pallid court of concrete just outside the Bookstore doors.

B3 Ballers 21, Baller-inas 17

The Pom Squad has spirit yes they do, they got spirit and tutus, too. But both flair and style could not impede the B3 Ballers’ raw ability to make an orange, leather ball go through an iron circle, and five Pom Squad stars under the name the Baller-inas could not stop the all-male Ballers as the “march of the boys” continued with a 21-17 victory Saturday.

The Ballers, led by Art Shelly’s three early buckets, stormed out to an 8-0 lead against the Baller-inas. But the Baller-inas eventually adapted their hardwood moves to the outdoor surface, as their first basket by point guard Siobhan Lezynski sparked a 4-0 run, leading one baffled Ballerina to chide, “You guys only have eight!”

After taking a seemingly comfortable 13-6 lead, the Ballers instituted the “no dribble offense” to try to slow the tempo, but junior Lindsey Ball used a slightly modified pirouette to boogie the ball handler into disarray.

With her team down 17-10, senior Kelli Delay led a – true to her name – late Baller-ina run, scoring a team-high six points and prompting Ball to declare her “MVP, or whatever they call it in basketball!”

Blair Minarik eventually turned near-makes into successful field goals, and Kristen Forney’s jumper from the block brought the count to 20-17.

But the Ballers finally made a shot from behind their self-imposed boundary – the three-point line – to end a game lengthened by the Ballers’ insistence on alley-oops and chivalric refusal to rebound.

One spectator – speaking on the condition of anonymity – suggested the Ballers lengthened the game because it was the only time they’d ever been around that many pretty girls at once.

Despite Balls’ visionary defensive strategy, the Baller-ina’s zone defense’s inability to stop the Ballers’ attack proved fatal.

“We tried to find the zone, but we couldn’t find it,” Baller-ina captain Adrienne Larson said.

But after the loss, the Baller-inas held their heads high, proud of their effort.

“People said I was a ball hog, but I wasn’t,” Lezynski said. “I assisted a lot. I made my family proud.”