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Bookstore Basketball: Cross country runners defeat fencing stars in varsity battle

Chris Masoud, Douglas Farmer, and Alex Barker | Friday, April 3, 2009

With varsity pride on the line, the cross country runners of MJ 4 emerged victorious over the fencers of Fencer Mania in a display of uncoordinated athletic ability. The ballers of MJ 4 used every advantage they could as long distance runners to post a 21-14 win.

“It was all hustle,” MJ 4 captain and senior Kevin Veselik said. “It’s called a run-based offense, where we just keep pushing. We even made our fastest player get a haircut so he would be more aerodynamic.”

Whatever the offense is called, it is safe to say that cross country players are more likely to win basketball games played to 21 than fencers. But the game’s outcome was far from obvious in the early minutes, with Fencer Mania putting together a string of buckets.

Senior Mark Kubik drilled a flurry of jumpers from behind the arc with his “Larry Legend” shooting style, accounting for half of Fencer Mania’s points. His brother, sophomore Steve Kubik, threaded the needle as he dished out passes left and right.

“We were just hooping, that’s what it came down to,” Mark Kubik said. “We got a couple of unlucky breaks, and by then it was a long game.”

In the end, MJ 4’s aggressive, fast-paced style proved too much for the fencers, and the runners pulled away late in the first half.

The Huxtables 21,

Team Vinny 11

The Huxtables would have made Bill Cosby proud as they outplayed and overpowered Team Vinny in a bookstore blowout.

A combination of impressive ball-handling skills and stingy team defense carried the Huxtables as they hustled their way past an overaggressive opponent.

“They came out with a 2-3 zone, and any time you can move the ball effectively against the zone you’re going to get a dub,” Huxtables captain and junior Michael Lucien said. “Big Greg Cunn anchored us in the post, and Brian Bakey took over in the fourth quarter. Just a beautiful outing.”

Team Vinny allowed a 6-0 Huxtable run to start the matchup, but once senior Charlie Beckett drained the team’s first bucket, the perimeter shooting started to warm up. Unable to drive to the basket, Team Vinny resorted to a shoot-first strategy highlighted by senior Andrew Nesi for most of the game.

“They’re a little taller, a little more in shape, and a little more talented, so I think we were outmatched,” Team Vinny captain and senior Peter Schreck said. “But I think we played hard.”

Despite Team Vinny’s strong effort, the athleticism and pure skill of the Huxtables took over in the second half to secure the victory. Led by the aggressive ball-handling of junior John Baumgardner and the fancy left-handed drives of sophomore Brian Bakey, the Huxtables showed why they are one of the teams to watch as the tournament progresses.

“We’ll stick to the library,” Becket said.

It’s Endorsed by Fred McGriff 21, GOT Cavanaugh? 11

Making just enough buckets to pull out the win, Obviously We Have Not Watched Tom Ewanski’s Defensive Drills – It’s Endorsed by Fred McGriff defeated GOT Cavanaugh? Thursday afternoon.

Neither team shot very well throughout the game, and Cavanaugh shot especially badly in the second half. The five girls, all in pink shirts, made only four baskets once the teams switched sides of the court. The inefficient shooting was by no means caused by strong defense from Endorsed.

The five Zahm players relied heavily on their height advantage to rein in rebounds on both the offensive and defensive boards. Merrick Doll led Endorsed with nine points, most of which came from rebounds that Doll simply slipped in above Cavanaugh’s reaches.

The team in pink routinely stole the ball from Endorsed, but failed to convert on the offensive end.

“They were definitely playing hard and scrappy,” said Doll of the Cavanaugh effort.

“I think we had more steals than anyone in history,” Cavanaugh sophomore captain Meg Fitzgerald said. “And we had an epic comeback. It was long and sweaty, but didn’t leave us quite satisfied.”

Having won their first game, Endorsed was quite optimistic.

“We have a chance at it,” Doll said. “If Rudy can play for Notre Dame, we can win the championship.”

The Trustees of the Board 21, Like a Mullet 5

The Trustees of the Board opened a dominating performance by blocking Like A Mullet’s first shot. The Trustees did not ease up through the rest of the game and the team won the game Thursday.

Throughout the game, The Trustees played great defense, only giving up one basket in the first half. They opened the game with ten points before Mullet could muster one.

In the defining first half, The Trustees shot 11 of 19. They finished the game shooting 21 of 38 overall.

Meanwhile, Mullet shot one of 15 in the first half, and five of 32 overall. This large discrepancy truly illustrated The Trustees’ combination of tough defense and efficient offense.

Matt Wold led The Trustees with nine points, including the game-ending shot from a range that could not have been far from an NBA three pointer.

“I’m a man of few words,” Wold said. “I got that shot all day.”

The Chill Squad 21, Trabajabamos 8

In second round action, the Chill Squad took down Trabajabamos Thursday night to advance to the next round in the Dan Devine sectional.

“The Chill Squad was just too hot for our liking,” Trabajabamos junior Claire DiPiero said.

The size and athleticism of the Squad was just too much for the team hailing from Saint Mary’s. The Squad jumped out to an 11-2 halftime lead behind a pestering defense that forced a number of turnovers.

“We did our best, but they were just so chill,” DiPiero added. “We brought the heat, but they chilled us out tonight.”

Despite a number of self-inflicted turnovers from the Squad in the second-half, they managed to keep their composure and extended their lead to 17-3.

Trabajabamos mounted a fierce comeback, bringing the score to 18-7 behind stellar outside shooting that had the Squad on their heels for a short time.

But it just was not to be. The Squad finished off Trabajabamos after sophomore Blake Allen sank a jumper to end the game.

“All the chilling has finally paid off,” sophomore David Millay of the Squad said.

“We were huffing and puffing, but we boxed out well in the end,” added sophomore Liam Rhatigan.

As for the next round, there was a bit of confusion among the Squad after the game.

“So what, are we in the Final Four now?” Allen asked.