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Bookstore XXXV: No. 12 Saltine cruise past ACI

Tim Kaiser, Dan Murphy, Tim Dougherty, and Jay Fitzpatrick | Thursday, April 20, 2006

The twelfth-ranked Saltines cruised past ACI, 21-7 for a third-round victory. The Saltines jumped out to a 5-1 lead early and never relinquished it. ‘

ACI found itself down 11-2 at the half, but cut into the lead in the second half with a more aggressive defensive strategy.

The Saltines responded by passing the ball inside to their big men, who averaged a six-inch height advantage over the ACI defenders.

In the end, ACI was only able to score five second-half points.

“Unfortunately for us, we were slower, shorter, and less athletic,” ACI guard Cole Davis said. “We didn’t have enough of that something else to overcome all the adversity.”

The Saltines were glad to get a victory but were still not satisfied with their performance.

“If [Saltines guard] Carl Anderson had been more in shape, he would have been able to make that two handed layup,” Saltines forward Peter Courtney said.

Globogym Purple Cobras 21, FEMAture Evacuation 16

The Purple Cobras jumped out to an 11-5 halftime lead and then withstood a second-half run by FEMAture evacuation to win a third-round contest 21-16.

FEMA was able to narrow the margin with lights-out outside shooting, coming within three points late in the game. The Purple Cobras proved deadly when cornered though, and stepped up their defensive intensity, stopping FEMA’s late surge.

“We were able to establish ourselves inside early. We started to tire out in the second half, but we came back to finish strong,” Globogym guard Martin Lam said.

The FEMA players were disappointed after the game that their comeback fell short.

“We started out slow, and they got good rolls on their outside shots. In the second half we shot better and played man defense, but they outplayed us in the end,” FEMA’s Nick Pateros said.

Final Run 21, Game Cancelled 15

In a hotly contested match-up Wednesday night, Final Run took down Game Cancelled by a score of 21-15.

The contest, held at McGlinn courts, was close throughout. But with good defense and consistent shooting, Final Run – a team of MBA graduate students – was able to pull away late.

“We’re here to win. We aren’t coming out here to get beat,” Final Run’s Jonathan “FinJohn” Keehn said.

The foul-ridden game was physical from the start with several hard fouls by both teams. Play was temporarily stopped for blood twice in the first half. Game Cancelled center Peter Kelly scored two points early but was quieted after he was hit in the face going up for a lay-up and suffered a bloody nose.

“You tried to punch me in the face,” Kelly said, after coming down with blood in his hands.

The game was on the verge of fisticuffs before being broken up by Bookstore officials.

Kelly was also on the other end of the injuries as he took out Keehn while going up for another bucket.

“It’s Bookstore Basketball – we expected it to be this way,” said Keehn, who put up five points for his team.

Final Run members thought the hard-nosed style of play worked to their advantage, given their age advantage over the freshmen from St. Edward’s Hall.

Game Cancelled was able to jump out to an early lead by spreading the ball around and crashing the boards. The scoring was also well distributed for Game Cancelled. Patrick Sweeney and Matt Verhamme both dropped three buckets, and Zach Fogarty led the team with five.

“We did a good job earlier of moving the ball around from inside out,” Sweeney said.

Final Run forward Mike Borowske led all scorers with nine. While he worked hard for all of his points, he was able to muscle his way far enough into the paint to get good looks.

Point guard Jim Barnes also made big contributions to the Final Run offense as he controlled the ball up top for most of the game. He scored Final Run’s 21st point with his third basket in the game.

Game Cancelled was upset about being knocked out earlier than planned but was optimistic about its chances in the future.

“Just like Arnold said, ‘I’ll be back,'” Sweeney said.

Heavy Petting Zoo 21, Venom in the Veins 10

While Venom in the Veins team members brought spirit to the game, wild, erratic play helped Zoo establish an early 8-0 lead it never relinquished.

Venom players donned headbands made from plastic bags and rubber bands on their biceps – as if they freshly injected their game into their arms – but they were out-strategized by Zoo’s decision to inject the rim with points.

Zoo’s Joe Boyle was the anecdote necessary to counteract Venom, stroking seven points to the team and feeding the ball to big men Matt Stefanski and Vince Lyzinski – whose Joakim Noah-esque hair begged to be pet.

Venom players uncontrollably flung their bodies around to save balls and grab rebounds and communicated unusually loud on defense, but could not settle their game down until the second half when the intoxicating effects of outdoor basketball wore out.

Zoo also helped by relaxing on defense and chucking up long-distance bombs, as if an attempt to match the equally ill-advised tosses of Venom – lengthening the game in a way that makes the fans cheer and Bookstore commissioner groan.

“It was a fun and enjoyable game,” Stefanski said. “Bookstore is all about just having fun.”

Boyle, apparently influenced by the co-ed hanging on his arm after the game, credited their loud crowd for the victory.

“We had great fan support,” he said. “We appreciate everyone who comes out to cheer us on.”

Venom was not sobered by their elimination, refusing actually to admit defeat.

“We knew we would crush them the same way – wait, who crushed someone? – the way the Romans … no, the way the Germans crushed the French,” said Venom’s captain Owen McGovern, who scored three of Venom’s 10 points. “Not even close.”

“Maginot Line,” added Mark Meisner, referring to the French’s ineffectual wall of defense that failed to keep the Germans out in World War II. “World War III did not happen.”

McGovern remained unfazed by the news that they did not, in fact, win.

“Oh we did,” McGovern said.

Bad Boyz 21, Cooking With St. Lawrence 9

Cooking With St. Lawrence came out strong against the No. 9 Bad Boyz but faltered late in a 21-9 loss Wednesday.

While Cooking came into the game knowing it would likely be outmatched, the team fought hard, shooting key long-range jumpers to keep the game close for most of the first half.

“We figured this game to be a bit non-competitive, but we are going to do our best and have some fun,” Cooking captain Charlie Camosy said.

Camosy was crucial in keeping his team close for the first half, but he and his teammates lost their touch in the second half, allowing the Bad Boyz to pull away.

The Bad Boyz were able to use strength and speed to outmatch Cooking, getting a majority of the rebounds and a good deal of steals to keep the ball out of Cooking’s hands. Bad Boyz also used the fast break effectively, scoring many of the team’s points off of quick turnovers.

Bad Boyz captain Ricky McRoskey said he was proud of his team’s effort despite the close halftime score.

“It was sloppy at first since this was our first game out here, but it felt good once we started running and getting into the flow,” McRoskey said.

Our Team Plays the Full 40 Minutes 21, The Lolympians 17

Despite a hard-fought comeback at the end of the game by the Lolympians, Our Team Plays the Full 40 Minutes was able to eke out a 21-17 win.

After Our Team scored their 20th point, the Lolympians scored five unanswered baskets to draw the score close. The main factors in the comeback were a combination of tough defense by the Lolympians and sloppy offense by Our Team, which missed a number of shots at the end of the game.

“This one was too close for comfort,” Our Team captain Paul Laughlin said. “But after this win we feel confident we can keep winning in the next round.”

The game was dominated by the defenses of both teams, as neither team was able to register many offensive rebounds and there were a high number of forced turnovers. By forcing interceptions and steals, each team’s defense kept its opponents on their toes for much of the game.

The tough Our Team defense hurt the Lolympians, whose style of offense included spreading the ball around before a shot. By passing the ball often, the Lolympians were subject to a number of interceptions that led to Our Team baskets.

In the end, it was the physical nature of the Our Team offense that led to its victory as the team’s ability to drive the lane and get tough rebounds helped it advance to the next round.

Team No. 13 21, Napoleon’s Babes 2

Though Napoleon’s Babes’ uniforms were dynamite, the team’s game was not quite as explosive as Team No. 13 claimed a shut out in the first half to take an 11-0 lead.

But tempers on both sides of the ball were a different story in the girls’ division contest.

The lopsided score was no indication of the close nature of the game.

Early on, girls from the polo-popped skirt-sporting Babes scraped the pavement after collisions with No. 13ers, establishing quiet tensions that continued to escalate, thanks to only one foul being called throughout the entire game.

Down 12-0 and frustrated by Team No. 13’s physical play, Allison White waited under the rim for a rebound and shrugged off her defender – halfway to the free-throw line – before grabbing the board and putting it back for the team’s first point. The teams continued to bicker back and forth about who had the bigger attitude, leading one player to question whether or not there would be a “beat down after the game.”

During the game, however, the Babes couldn’t find an answer to the low post dominance of Liz Frierott and Meghan Callahan. The pair combined for 14 of the team’s 21 points, with nearly all of them coming underneath the basket. Frierott also swatted two early balls to set the in-your-face tone that characterized the game.

“It was a little feisty,” Frierott said. “I think they hated us.”

Even if the Babes didn’t, the crowd turned on No. 13, the 13th seed of the girls’ tournament after last year’s Sweet 16 finish.

“We’ve got the best fans around,” said Kate McHugh, one of the Babes’ six graduate students.

But Team No. 13 had one special supporter – Teddy Hesburgh. While the University President Emeritus and world-record holder of honorary degrees was not in attendance, a small dog by the same name graced the sidelines, emblematic of the game’s dogged physical play.

McHugh said fans witnessed more than they bargained for in the cat-fight contest.

“One girl got to second base with me without my permission,” McHugh said. “There was domestic violence out there.”