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UISSC wins intramural 3-on-3 tournament

BY MITCH SMITH | DECEMBER 10, 2009 7:30 AM

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Although temperatures in Iowa City dropped to well below freezing outside, it was heating up inside the Field House on Wednesday evening during the intramural pre-holiday 3-on-3 championship game.

The undefeated Blue Chips faced intramural mainstays UISSC in a back-and-forth title bout.

Despite losing the first game, UISSC soared back and ultimately defeated Blue Chips in the fourth game, 21-13, to take the intramural title.

Because Blue Chips came into the game undefeated, UISSC had to defeat Blue Chips twice in order to take the crown — first by taking two out of three and then by winning the final game.

It looked as though Blue Chips would seize the championship early on after taking the first game, 15-10.

Blue Chips senior Brian Larson was unstoppable from outside the arc, scoring 11 of the squad’s 15 points in game one. Larson hit a total of seven from beyond the perimeter in the team’s four games.

“It certainly put some fear in us when he didn’t miss in game one,” UISSC player Nick Kron said.

UISSC didn’t quit and made numerous defensive adjustments in the three other games to keep Larson from getting open, forcing Blue Chips seniors Mike Thomas and Mike Kolze to score most of the points.

UISSC held Larson to one and four points, respectively, in the second and third games.

Graduate student Caleb Recker led UISSC in scoring in both the second and third contests, notching seven points in game one and six in game two. Third-year law student Reed McManigal controlled the boards for UISSC, and Kron added lights-out shooting from long range.

Having four players was a big advantage for UISSC.

While Blue Chips was forced to play the same three players throughout entire championship, UISSC substituted in and out, giving players much-needed rest. Even after Thomas injured his ankle in game two, he continued to play because of Blue Chips’ lack of depth.

“They played tough, especially because they only had three guys,” graduate student and UISSC player Clark Anderson said. “Having the fourth guy was big for us. We were able to switch up and sub in fresh guys to stop their best shooter [Larson].”

UISSC won game two, 15-10, and took game three, 15-12, to win the first match.

Rather than play another best-of-three series, the two teams decided to play one game to 21 points to determine the champion.

Blue Chips players were noticeably tired heading into the final match. Thomas led Blue Chips with six points, and Larson and Kolze added four and three points each.

Despite the balanced scoring, the squad was too fatigued to overcome UISSC.

Recker scored eight points in the final game, and Kron added seven as UISSC took the title.

“This was a good way to close out first semester of intramurals,” Kron said. “We’re looking forward to post-break intramurals.”


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