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Bookstore Basketball: Defending champs move up in tournament

Chris Allen and Megan Finneran | Friday, April 23, 2010

The four sophomores and one freshman who make up Hallelujah Hollaback moved one step closer to a repeat of last year’s Bookstore championship — albeit without three players from last year’s team — after grinding out a hard-earned victory over Delivery Boys.

Hollaback, made up of sophomores Andrew Gleason, Griffin Naylor, Tim Van Harmelen and Pat Kelly and freshman Nate Carr, started to make a run after falling behind 5-4. The teams had a hard time coming by baskets early in the game, as the defensive effort from both teams made every basket a contested effort.

“We had to really fight for baskets early,” Van Harmelen said. “Their point guard, Alex Klupchak, won it all two years ago. He’s a great player and they are a great team. We really had to work hard for every basket for the whole game.”

The Delivery Boys, made up of juniors David Rudy, Andrew Nelligan and Dennis Sobolewski and seniors Klupchak and Kevin Kelly, drew many fouls early on in the game and were able to get into the foul bonus early on. Free throws helped them make up an 11-6 halftime deficit and close the deficit to 14-11.  The foul situation greatly influenced the way both teams played when Delivery Boys had the ball.

“We had to shift because of all the early fouls that were called,” Van Harmelen said. “Luckily they missed a couple of free throws so it didn’t matter that much.”

Toward the end of the game, Hollaback was able to ride the shooting of Gleason and Van Harmelen to the victory, which was sealed by two late contested layups from Naylor.

The game lasted nearly an hour as both teams slowed down in the intense heat, but ultimately the shooting of Hallelujah Hollaback prevailed.

“I like this weather, and so does this team,” Van Harmelen said. “This team is a bunch of shooters, so we days like this with no wind and we got most of our points on jump shots.”

Alexander’s Grill 21, Hannah’s Storm 17

Youth was served as the top-seeded Alexander’s Grill took care of Hannah’s Storm, a team made up of faculty members, on the strength of outside shooting and rebounding.

Grill led for the entire contest but was unable to pull away at any point. Nearly the entire Notre Dame men’s basketball team was on hand to cheer on former teammate senior Tim Andree and his fellow players, seniors Joe DeMott and Nick Fessler and juniors Dan Crisman and Sean Reed.

The style of play and pace of the game was dictated by Hannah’s Storm, made up of coaches and faculty members Matt Tallman, Martin Ingelsby, Kevin Anderson, Gerry Byrne and Robert Sedlack. What Storm lacked in youth and speed, it made up for in a bruising half-court style. Ingelsby, who was a standout point guard for the Irish from 1997-2001 and is an assistant coach under Mike Brey, controlled the half court offense from the point and made a number of highlight reel layups. Alexander’s Grill struggled to adjust to the slow pace, but ultimately outside shooting carried them.

“They slowed it down a lot, which is something they definitely wanted,” Crisman said. “Those guys may be older but they really know what they’re doing. Coach Inglesby played here and he’s really great. This game was a tough challenge.”

Early on in the contest, Grill was carried by the outside shooting of Fessler, who made a number of long jump shots, especially on second-chance opportunities off Andree rebounds. The size and strength of Anderson and Byrne, who are both lacrosse coaches, made it tough for Andree to dominate in the post, though he was able to step away and hit a number of midrange jumpers.

“Those guys were bruisers down low, so we couldn’t really get it going in the post,” Crisman said. “Basically we rode Nick because he was on with his jump shot.”

Late in the game, deep jumpers from Anderson pulled Storm to within two baskets at 17-15. DeMott and Crisman took control with back-to-back floaters in the lane to widen the gap, and a whirling layup from Reed ended the game. Crisman said the members of Grill learned a lot from their matchup against the veteran team Hannah’s Storm.

“The thing about this game is we actually shot really well whereas we didn’t shoot well yesterday,” Crisman said. “For us, it’s good just to get another game playing together and improve our teamwork as we move into the later rounds of the tournament.”

He Went to Jared 21, Bob Loblaw’s Law Blog Lobs Long Bombs 10

It only took a few minutes for He Went to Jared to take over the game and pull ahead with a strong lead and an eventual win. The team’s height advantage and compatibility aided to its success against Bob Loblaw’s Law Blog Lobs Long Bombs From 3, as did multiple breakaways and converted layups.

The game began with possession switching back and forth between the two teams until He Went to Jared picked up the pace, ending the first half with six unanswered points. The combination of good defense and communication kept Bob Loblaw’s out of shooting range and enabled them to grab many of the rebounds, which made for quick movement down the court.

The second half began with a fiery start from Bob Loblaw’s, when they scored on their first possession, breaking through the defense and getting a shot under the basket for one of the first times all game. A bad pass by He Went to Jared led to a steal and breakaway by Bob Loblaw’s, giving them the momentum.

But before they could get too much of a gain, the men of He Went to Jared rallied together and increased their pressure and rebounding. After a missed dunk by law student Chuck Flynn, the fate of the game seemed unknown.

After a few possessions, He Went to Jared finally scored, but Bob Loblaw’s senior Tim Lang immediately answered the basket. Two baskets by Flynn followed, first a tip from a rebound and then a lay up off a fast break, which were again answered by Lang. But after that, He Went to Jared picked up the pace further and crossed the court quickly with crisp passes and constant movement. A blocked shot against Bob Loblaw’s shot marked the clearest switch of momentum, securing it in favor of He Went to Jared.

The team ended with three baskets in a row, hitting outside shots and sealing the game in only 30 minutes.

“We didn’t hit the offensive boards hard enough and were lousy defending their transition game. They played real well even though we were just a little overmatched today,” Loblaw’s senior Tim Lang said.

He Went to Jared plays Friday at 7 pm.

BOOK IT and LOCK IT 21, Steel City Ballers 14

The professional-style jerseys for the Steel City Ballers may have looked intimidating, but they did not stop Book It and Lock It from pulling out a victory.

Book It and Lock It started with a point on its first possession, and continued to sink shots with seven points before the Steel City Ballers finally came through with a basket. Even with Notre Dame basketball player senior Jonathan Peoples, the Ballers struggled to knock down shots or come away with offensive rebounds. They gave numerous turnovers to Book It, which often converted to a breakaway and point.

“We needed to get off to a better start. They were a fundamentally sound team and they played well,” Ballers senior Sean Dillon said.

Once the Ballers got their first basket, their game began to fall into place, hitting a series of shots from far out. However, Book It refused to back down, moving quickly and sinking deep jumpers to avoid the physical Ballers defense. The first half ended with a turnover and easy shot from under the basket by Book It.

Book It came out in the second half with just as much fire as they left the first with, scoring on their first possession after a missed shot by the Ballers. The energy brought by Book It was conveyed during a full court press play to gain possession, and after that moment, the Ballers struggled to return.

“Pressure, pressure, pressure,” Ballers sophomore EJ Jones said in the second half.
This became the name of the game for the Ballers, and pressure they did. While its physical presence was well know, Book It never hesitated, simply making shots from farther out instead of venturing into the heavily guarded paint.

As the second half continued with heavy fouls, free throws became a key factor for Book IT, which made a sequence of them to rack up easy points and end the game.

“We played great defense and rebounded the ball well,” Book It senior Mike Bramante said. “That’s how you have to win in Bookstore. We have a big challenge next game; we just have to keep doing more of the same.”

Book It and Lock It will continue its journey Friday at 6 p.m.