Practice Squad, St. Andrew’s Products advance to Bookstore Basketball championship
No. 1 Practice Squad def. No. 4 ClosetClicks
By Lucy Lynch
Despite a competitive first half, the top-seeded Practice Squad pulled away from No. 4 ClosetClicks to win 21-9 and advance to Sunday’s championship game.
Practice Squad got off to a solid start, with senior Matt Gregory taking command on offensive rebounds. Despite defensive efforts from ClosetClicks, the team’s turnovers led to fast breaks for Practice Squad, who quickly took advantage of layups.
Senior Practice Squad captain Reed Hunnicutt was pleased with his team’s performance.
“I think what we did best was getting on transitions, we rebounded really well and did a great job moving the ball in the zone,” Hunnicutt said.
Despite the 5-1 start for Practice Squad, ClosetClicks caught up, leading to a more competitive game. Shots from senior captain Conor Triplett helped get his team within two points of Practice Squad for the remainder of the half, and by the end of the half, Practice Squad led 11-7.
Practice Squad continued its solid rebounding in the second half and began to build momentum. Practice Squad took an early lead, making the score 14-8, and then went on to score six unanswered points. In the end, Practice Squad defeated ClosetClicks 21-9.
Practice Squad will play St. Andrew’s in the championship game this Sunday. Despite taking command in the second half, Hunnicutt said he sees room for improvement for his team.
“I think we just need to a be a little more sound taking care of the ball,” Hunnicutt said. “Rebounding we are doing well, but I think we can get a couple more on the defensive side. We need to keep our energy up and not get too worried about calls, just keep playing our game.”
No. 3 St. Andrew’s Products def. No. 7 Vytautas
By Joseph Clark
No. 3 St. Andrew’s Products defeated No. 7 Vytautas in Friday’s semi-final Bookstore Basketball game, earning a spot in the championship this Sunday.
The game started fast, with Vytautas playing solid defense in the first half, but its efforts were matched by the strong teamwork of St. Andrew’s. The game was not without physical interaction, as several scraps on both sides and referee interactions caused a few game stopagges.
Nevertheless, there was a clear air of sportsmanship between both teams, with friendly taunts and handshakes between players throughout. The first half ended with Vytautas having the upper hand thanks to strong defensive play. From the start of the second half, St. Andrew’s was energized and came back strong with several dishes and an emphasis on teamwork.
The game became tense toward the final few minutes, with the score tied at 20-20. Despite strong defensive play from Vytautas, St. Andrew’s swiftly broke the tie with a basket that sent the crowd into a frenzy.
The Captain of the victorious St. Andrew’s Products, senior John Cunningham, said he was enthusiastic about how well his team worked together as a unit and spoke highly of Vytautas.
“This is awesome, man, it’s a great, great team win. Everybody stepped up, we really played together. We played tough,” Cunningham said. “And we played a great team. They played really hard and made it really tough on us, but it feels pretty good to get to the championship. We’re really excited about it right now.”
Going forward, Cunningham said his team needs to focus on defense if they are to be victorious against the reigning-champion Practice Squad this Sunday.
“Right now we’ve got to rest up, one, and two, we’ve got to worry about our defense,” Cunningham said. “The team we’re playing is really good, they won it last year … but right now we’re just really excited about playing in the championship.”