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A close shave

Jay Wade and Chris Doyen | Tuesday, April 24, 2007

In a hard-fought, emotionally charged game, the Marksmen beat the Big League Barbers 22-20 Monday as the Bookstore Basketball field continued to narrow.

At the start of the first half, the Marksmen jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead before the Barbers could gather themselves. The Marksmen played an up-tempo style of play with an aggressive man-to-man defense, while the Barbers started off with a soft 2-3 zone.

After the Marksmen’s initial surge, however, the Barbers switched up their defense to an aggressive press, trapping in the corners and dropping back to a 2-3 zone that tried to swallow the point guard at the top of the key. This defense worked well for the Barbers, who quickly climbed out of their hole to pull within one at the half.

The game was physical with both teams jawing, hustling for rebounds, and playing gritty in-your-face defense. With the game tied at 20-20, it came down to ball control and free throws. The Marksmen shot poorly at the line, going 1-6 from the charity stripe. In the end, though, it was the speed and athleticism of the Marksmen that helped them pull away.

With the ball at the top of the key, the Marksmen stole a lazy pass off of the Barbers, leading to a foul on the ensuing layup. The Marksmen missed their free throw attempt, but in Bookstore Basketball, a team only shoots one free throw and gets the ball back. On their possession after the missed free throw, the Marksmen’s George Fisher, wearing No. 3, was fouled. Fisher then sank the free throw to win the game.

“I’m number three for a reason because the third time is a charm,” said Fisher, talking about his previous misses from the line before his game winner.

“It was a hard fought game, and we made a lot of strides to where we want to be,” Marksmen coach Alvin Reynolds said. “[Marksmen players] Tommie Lee, Geogre Fisher, and Dan Djondo all played very hard and did a good job of finishing the game.”

Engineering Giants 21,

Ingabo Ziba Abakabwa Bawe 31 17

In this battle of two capable and athletic teams, it was the Engineering Giants that were able to come through in the end in this marathon of a game that lasted over an hour and a half.

The game, which began with a fast pace, quickly slowed down as both teams had difficulty scoring. Ingabo relied heavily on its athleticism to help them penetrate to the heart of the Giants’ 2-3 zone, while the Giants relied on their size advantage to attack the post. With both teams collapsing in the middle and incapable of consistently making outside shots, points were sparse. With little offense to separate the two teams, the Giants handled the ball and rebounded better to take an 11-10 lead at half.

The second half was much the same; however, as time wore on, conditioning became a big factor. Both teams’ offensives slowed down even more in the second half, but it was the Giants who were able to handle a longer game. Fatigue contributed to Ingabo committing even more turnovers in the second half, which allowed the Giants to pick up easy buckets. In the end, the size and endurance of the Giants were just too much.

“This just proves that old men, old engineers nonetheless, can still play,” Engineering Giants coach Tim Hall said.

“If we played them ten times, they would win five,” Giants player Phil Schonewill said. “It was a very hard fought game.”

Air Force One 21

Straight From Da ‘Burbs 10

Air Force One flew on all cylinders Monday, taking care of Straight From Da ‘Burbs in convincing fashion.

Before the game, ‘Burbs captain T.J. Ceravolo was not intimidated by his team’s noticeable size disadvantage.

“I wake up every morning, and I [urinate] excellence,” he said.

Despite Ceravolo’s confidence, Air Force One used its size to establish an inside presence early. St. Edward’s freshman Joe DeMott authoritatively grabbed boards and hit several inside shots. No one from Da ‘Burbs was able to challenge him in the paint.

Air Force One captain Rich Ybarra was responsible for handling the quick Ceravolo, and he did so effectively throughout the contest. On the offensive end, Ybarra ran his offense patiently and efficiently, refusing to yield to the pressure applied by Ceravolo.

When Straight From Da ‘Burbs fell behind early on, frustration sank in. They aggressively challenged every single Air Force One shot, even shots that had no chance of being blocked. They committed 18 fouls total, allowing Air Force One to reach the bonus early on in both halves.

While the outcome of the game was never in doubt, Ybarra and his teammates were far from pleased with their level of play.

“We definitely have to play better than that in the next round,” Ybarra said.

Indian Peaks 21

We Sold Our Naming Rights to Mimi 19

In an intense and well-played contest with a running time of more than 70 minutes, Indian Peaks outlasted We Sold Our Naming Rights to Mimi, coming away with a two-point victory.

Naming Rights’ big man Sean Murphy felt good during warm-ups.

“We’re excited. [Captain] Matt Cavo is going to be feeling it,” he said.

Indian Peaks, led by captain Matt Frankenfeld, attempted to set the tone early by creating fast break opportunities, but Naming Rights ran the floor in both directions, not allowing any easy baskets for Frankenfeld or his teammates.

Cavo and his teammates may have been feeling it on the defensive side of the ball, but neither team could establish an offensive edge early on. Impenetrable 2-3 zone defenses employed by both teams forced several turnovers and prevented either from establishing an inside presence. With gusts of wind wreaking havoc on every outside shot, points were at a premium early.

Eventually, Indian Peaks’ Ray Farabaugh found his rhythm. He ran his team’s offense with unmatched proficiency, and his shots were the first to start dropping.

Naming Rights kept pace by grabbing rebounds and converting crisp outlet passes into easy buckets, eventually coming to within one point of Indian Peaks at 20-19.

At that point, Frankenfeld put an exclamation point at the end of his performance. With momentum on the side of Naming rights, Frankenfeld established position underneath with a beautiful spin move from the free throw line. He was fouled on the shot and made his free throw to secure victory for Indian Peaks.