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Bookstore Basketball: Main St. Pub triumphs in 15-minute contest

Eric Prister, Nathaniel Lee, and Chris Michalski | Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Main St. Pub showed why they deserved their No. 1 ranking as they ran their way to a 21-4 victory over We Get Beat Worse Than Rihanna in a game that lasted less than fifteen minutes to complete.

Running up and down the court, Main St. Pub had no trouble scoring at will, putting the ball in the basket on almost every possession. They used the fast break to their advantage, using their superior speed on their way to victory.

“They’re pretty good,” said Rihanna sophomore captain Grant Erickson. “They’re fast, they know what they’re doing. They’re good.”

Main St. Pub is made up of the returning players from the top two teams in last year’s tournament, including 2008 Mr. Bookstore Carl Anderson.

When asked about the possibility of being forced to go against their game plan and slowing down to a half-court offense, Main St. Pub senior captain Alex Klupchak was not worried.

“We should be able to move pretty well in the half-court offense too,” Klupchak said. “We know it’s going to be a real tough tournament this year. We’re looking forward to it.”

We Get Beat Worse Than Rihanna was not disheartened after the game, having expected the loss from the outset.

“Remember that movie called ‘Miracle’?” Rihanna junior Mike Perry said before the game. “Yeah, that’s not going to happen tonight.”

That is not to say that Rihanna came into the matchup without a game plan.

“The wind conditions really hurt us,” Erickson sad. “Our game plan was to make 21 straight half-court shots, and with the weather like this, we just couldn’t do it. If you can’t make 21 half-court shots in a row, I don’t know how you’re going to beat the No. 1 ranked team.”

Writ of Man to Mandamus 21, Canniballers 12

Despite what their name implies, Writ of Man to Mandamus used a dominating zone defense to overcome the Canniballers 21-12 in a game that was very much affected by the outdoor conditions.

The heavy winds and the frigid temperature caused the game to favor the defensive side of the ball, and Man to Mandamus took full advantage, led by their top shot-blocker, law student A.J. Weissler. Along with his seven points, Weissler also added double-digit blocks to pace Man to Mandamus.

“I had a really mean grandmother, and on Thanksgiving, the only way I was allowed to eat was if I had twelve blocks in the family basketball game,” Weissler said. “And she brought it much harder than they did.”

The game was close throughout the first half, which ended with Man to Mandamus leading 11-8. They were clearly out-rebounding the Canniballers, but the wind caused them to miss many of their second-chance opportunities.

“Honestly, we haven’t been much of a jump shooting team, but we actually shot more today, because they played a 2-3 zone,” team captain Joe Graham said. “So we had to actually hit some shots, and then got a lot of second chance points on rebounds.”

Man to Mandamus came out hot in after the break, though, and went on a 9-2 run to start the second half. Law student Rich McAvoy led the charge for Man to Mandamus, scoring half of his team’s points in the second half. When asked what changes his team made at half that were so effective, Graham said that the true shift came near the end of the first half.

“We started wearing them down at the end of the first half and continued it in the second half,” Graham said. “We played a little more clamp down defense. We made a couple changes on defense, where people were positioned. It helped us with rebounding and we stopped giving second-chance points.”

The Canniballers were led by graduate student Tim Kellher, who scored seven of his team’s 12 points on the day. In the end, though, Man to Mandamus’ defense was just too much for the Canniballers.

After the game, Weissler made sure that he thanked everyone who contributed to the victory.

“It was my teammates, God, and everybody out there supporting us back home [who helped with the victory].”

Asian Allure 21, America’s Best Basketball Team 18

As the sun and temperatures dropped quickly, Asian Allure topped America’s Best Basketball Team on the bookstore courts.

While most teams moved their games indoors due to the chilly weather, two squads were manly enough to brave the cold for the sake of the game. And, ironically, both were entirely female.

“Our captain and mascot, Chrystal, really pulled us through,” said Asian Allure forward, MBA student Nicole ‘Sassy New Yorker’ Davis. “That had to be the longest game ever and we really needed her. We are all fifth-year students, we shouldn’t even be here.”

In a marathon 1 hour and 57 minutes of play, both teams fought with fury, bitterness and intensity that rivaled the wintry winds in which they battled. The game was even for most of the first half, as the teams traded baskets bringing the score to 10-10.

Suddenly, the mentality of the contest shifted, and it would be another 20 minutes before Asian Allure scored again to bring an overdue halftime break.

“I don’t play basketball. I have never played before,” said Asian Allure captain and MBA student Chrystal Ohoh. “I think I have played knock-out once maybe.”

In the second half, the action heated up again, with Asian Allure building a small lead as the match continued to grind on.

Their offensive advantage brought them to a 20-16 lead, but America’s Best Basketball Team refused to throw in the towel. They forced turnovers and jump balls, while both teams dealt and withstood a series of brutal fouls and injuries.

The game continued to get rougher, as Asian Allure continued to stall offensively, and America’s Best brought the game to within two, 20-18.

After a referee intervention, play continued smoothly until Asian Allure sank the final basket, and to everyone’s relief, ended the game after nearly two hours of play.

Crazy Doggz 21, Buttery 16

In a cold, windy battle, the Crazy Doggz prevailed over Buttery.

The No. 27 Crazy Doggz played like the favorites for much of the first half, but was set back by an ankle injury to captain David Pope-Davis. After a long timeout to tape up the wounded ankle, Pope-Davis returned to the court, but with much less effectiveness.

With only four healthy players, the Crazy Doggz employed a strategy where Pope-Davis would essentially cherry-pick on offense and leave his teammates to defend four on five.

Luckily, the wind acted as the fifth man, making outside shots effective only when they led to an offensive board.

“They tried to exploit the injury, but the rest of the team came up big for me,” said Pope-Davis, “The big guys really came through with some big rebounds when they were playing a man down.”

Buttery did manage to find some more offense after Pope-Davis went down, but in the end, too many turnovers and too few close-range shots resulted in their elimination from the tournament. The Crazy Doggz will move on to play April 14 in the round of 64.

Chris Brown’s Greatest Hits 21, Matza Balls 4

Most of the players on Chris Brown’s Greatest Hits only had one concern on their minds: getting out of the cold.

After seeing the Matza Balls players take and miss a number of running hook-shots and jump-shots that hit the backside of the backboard, Greatest Hits knew a trip to the round of 64 was inevitable.

Fearing the inside presence of senior Ryan Ayers, Matza Balls turned to three-pointers and even a half-court shot to put points on the board. Neither strategy was very successful, as they managed only four points on the night. When asked what led to their team’s defeat, freshman Will Perocchi simply said, “Ryan Ayers.”

Perocchi then contemplated for a little bit longer and came up with a more accurate response. “It was probably because they were exponentially better than us at every position,” he said.

Teammate Trent McMullen had a more positive outlook on the loss. “We definitely ran into a steamroller today. If the conditions were a little different we could have had a different outcome.”

Other players on the losing side cited the 12-degree weather and poor officiating as causes for the defeat.