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Cruncheazy wins opening round 3-on-3 game

BY MITCH SMITH | DECEMBER 02, 2009 7:20 AM

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While March Madness is a couple months away, it was tournament time at the Field House on Tuesday night during the opening round of the 3-on-3 pre-holiday intramural basketball tournament.

Cruncheazy opened the event, defeating Patrick Chewing in the opening round, two games to none — winning the first game, 15-10, and the second game, 15-8.

The tournament format consists of teams playing a best-of-three-games to 15 points to decide a winner. A field goal is worth one point and a shot behind the arc is worth two points.

Cruncheazy players used their size and hot shooting to dominate Patrick Chewing. The players on Patrick Chewing were no match for Shea McMurray, the 6-8 center for Cruncheazy.

The team of all freshmen was in shock when they saw the fifth-year senior warming up prior to the start of the game, with several of the players saying they were hoping and praying he wasn’t on the opposing team.

McMurray controlled the paint for Cruncheazy, scoring eight points and grabbing eight rebounds in game one, and adding two points and five boards in the game two.

“[McMurray] was extremely hard to defend,” said Patrick Chewing freshman Adam Netwal. “You just have to try to beat him to the spot, but he was just too hard to stop.”

Ben Burham complemented McMurray’s strong inside play with a solid performance from the perimeter for Cruncheazy. Burham’s presence was similar to Iowa basketball player Devan Bawinkel, with all of the fifth-year senior’s points coming from beyond the arc.

Burham scored four points apiece in both games.

Patrick Chewing players had a difficult time finding space to shoot. The squad’s offense consisted mainly of driving to the basket and hoping to get past the long arms of McMurray.

Freshman Chase Wallace led Patrick Chewing with four points in the team’s first game. Although the score doesn’t reflect it, Patrick Chewing stepped up with a better performance in its second effort.

Cruncheazy placed less focus on McMurray’s inside play and relied more on outside shooting.

Patrick Chewing managed to tie the game, 8-8, thanks to four points from freshman Jack Cumming and two points apiece from fellow freshmen Wallace and Netwal.

Thanks to hot shooting from senior Schuyler Hoflen, Cruncheazy scored seven unanswered points to win game two and the opening round matchup. Hoflen scored seven points.

“I’m a little disappointed in the way we played,” Patrick Chewing freshman Justin Praznowski said after the game. “But we didn’t expect to play against a 6-8 guy. As long as we don’t run into another guy that tall, we should be OK in our next game.”

As long as Iowa center Jarryd Cole or assistant coach Joel Cornette isn’t on the team, Patrick Chewing more than likely won’t face another squad with a player as tall as McMurray.

Cruncheazy advances to the second round to play D-Port, while Patrick Chewing is headed for the losers’ bracket.

“We’re going to keep playing hard each game — one game at a time,” McMurray said. “That being said, I think we’re going to the championship.”


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