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Bookstore Basketball XXXV: Dwindling draw

Dan Murphy and Joe Quinn | Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Making no excuses, Rule No. 76 held on to an early lead to defeat Irish Hockey 21-18 at McGlinn courts Monday.

Offensively, Jay Dozel led Rule No. 76 – which had three scorers with more than five points – with seven. Dozel went down hard in the first half, injuring his arm, but was able to overcome the pain to score four more points in the second half.

“They were some pretty big boys out there and they were bumping us around pretty good,” teammate Tyler Martin said.

Martin slashed his way to five points, most of them acrobatic lay-ups through multiple defenders.

Irish Hockey tried to use its size advantage as much as possible, muscling its way to close lay-ups. Freshman Christian Hanson, a center for the Irish during the winter, led all scorers in the game with eight buckets.

“I was just trying to look good out there,” Hanson said. “We had a couple of chances to get back in the game but we just didn’t make the baskets when we needed to.”

After falling behind early, Irish Hockey mounted a comeback to pull within one point on three different occasions, but Rule No. 76 managed to hold them off each time.

Wes O’Neill and Tony Gill also added to the offense for Irish Hockey, scoring three and seven points, respectively.

The main problem for the team was getting into early foul trouble. 76’s Danny Nesbon took the brunt of the fouls and was one-for-two on foul shot attempts. He also scored four other points down low.

“I think we did pretty well out there – we’re excited for the next round,” Martin said.

Huggie’s Place 21, Duffy’s Girl 12

Ty Martin dropped 10 points last night as Huggie’s Place advanced to the round of 32 with a 21-12 win over Duffy’s Girl.

Huggie’s Place got off to a slow start as it struggled to find good shots against the quick 2-3 zone that Duffy’s Girl had mastered. But with Martin leading the way the team came up with a 6-0 run to finish off the first half with an 11-8 lead.

“We started off a little slow, but once we calmed down and started breaking down their zone we were fine,” Martin said.

Martin was helped by his brother, Beau – who had three points – and Ernest Berni, who played point guard and had five baskets of his own.

Andrew Crow, an outside shooter, rounded out the scoring for Huggie’s with three.

Duffy’s Girl cooled off after its quick start and struggled to keep the game close, plagued with turnovers throughout the second half.

The team’s biggest offensive contributors were Michael Duffy and Pete Vandeventer, with four points each. Duffy was able to use his size early on and consistently won position under the hoop for easy layups. Vandeventer, the team’s outside threat, used his speed to find openings in the defense for his four baskets.

Duffy’s Girl members left before they were able to be reached for comment.

Sparkle Motion 21, Guards R Us 14

Darius Walker made his first – and last – appearance in the 2006 Bookstore Basketball Tournament Monday, as his Guards R Us fell to Sparkle Motion, 21-14.

Sparkle Motion members knew they were in for a tough game when they saw Walker walk out on the court.

“We knew they were going to be athletic, so we just had to play fundamental basketball out there,” Sparkle Motion’s Chris Merino said. Merino’s prediction came true as Sparkle used a team-oriented game to open up a quick 8-3 lead early in the first half. Sparkle was able to move the ball very well on offense, while restricting the offense of Guards R Us. All five of the Guards players struggled from the field, missing early and often both from inside and out.

After another quick run by Sparkle fueled by fast-break layups, Guards was able to heat up from the field. Riding the hot hand of their two guards, Guards was able to close the Sparkle lead to 10-8 before Sparkle made a free throw to send the game to halftime 11-8.

In the second half, Walker was able to find his shot, hitting two quick long-range shots.

The story of the second half, however, was the tough play and hard fouls by both teams. With each team trying to establish dominance inside, neither avoided contact, and a number of players found themselves on the ground. In such a physical game, both teams voiced their fair share of complaints to the refs. Walker was particularly frustrated following the game.

Fittingly, after such a hard-fought game, the game was decided on a free throw.

Leading 20-14, Merino was fouled hard on a breakaway lay-up. His foul shot hit nothing but net, giving Sparkle Motion the victory.

Saltines 21, Must Be 30! 14

When the No. 12-seeded Saltines took on Must Be 30! Monday, it was a battle between youthfulness and experience. Unfortunately for Must Be 30!, youthfulness prevailed as the Saltines forced Must Be 30! into early retirement, 21-14.

Down 5-7 midway through the first half, the Saltines were struggling to find their rhythm. “We came out a little slow. I think we were tired from yesterday’s game and it showed early on,” Saltines forward Dan Ott said.

From there, however, the Saltines went on a 6-1 run to close out the half. Using their superior height and athleticism, the Saltines were able to speed up the game and open it up with a series of fast breaks to open up the three-point advantage.

At the start of the second half, both teams traded baskets. From there, however, Saltines again went on a 10-3 run to open up a 20-13 advantage. That 20th point came on one of the more exciting plays of the game as freshman Carl Andersen was on the receiving end of an alley-oop. While not the prettiest looking shot of the game, it was good enough for Andersen.

“I just came off a screen and the ball was there,” Andersen said. “I messed up the ‘oop’ part of it, but it turned out alright.”

After a quick layup by Must Be 30!, the Saltines answered with a simple lay-up to seal the 21-14 victory.

While Must Be 30! lost the game, Paul Minifee was proud of his team.

“We are all very happy with our performance,” he said. “We’re not necessarily in the prime of our careers, so to have the tournament we had, that’s something to be very proud of.”