Gladiators show strength in win


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In a matchup of two teams filled with upperclassmen, the American Gladiators and Boom Boom Roasted sought their first wins of the intramural basketball season.

Although both squads started off sloppily and inconsistent with failed 3-point attempts and several turnovers early, the American Gladiators eventually pulled away for a 50-39 win Tuesday night in the Field House.

In the second half, the persistent leadership of American Gladiators captain Kelly Waddell and the combination of good shooting and lock-down defense stood out. The team’s opponent also took notice as the score ballooned in favor of American Gladiators.

Junior Dan Rohling, who had nine points for Boom Boom Roasted, acknowledged certain intangibles on the court.

“To be honest, we didn’t really know what to expect,” said Rohling, whose points came all from 3-point land. “They were a good team. You can tell they have played together before.”

Numerous fouls and a lack of hustle signaled a potentially lengthy night for Boom Boom Roasted.

A foul put the score at 24-14 at the half, and the American Gladiators never led by fewer than 10 points in the second frame. At one stage, the team mounted a 16-point lead with nearly nine minutes remaining.

A time-out with 2:27 remaining in the game gave both squads a breather. Rohling said his team members got a little winded as the game went on, and they were a tad rusty coming out.

Waddell was blunt when describing his team’s play in the win, saying “straight hustle” is the name of the game for American Gladiators.

“We have people with a lot of experience,” the junior said. “We want to be really competitive come game time.”

American Gladiators certainly competed Tuesday night. Forward Chase Baumgartner had 10 points, and guard Peter Haack added eight. Swingman Josh Schindel knocked down five points and dish out five assists.

The players were also tested by a versatile and athletic team in Boom Boom Roasted, which featured Iowa football player Don Nordmann.

Nordmann, a junior wide receiver, led Boom Boom Roasted with 12 points. His team failed to spread the floor throughout the game, however, having just five of its nine players post points on the score sheet.

American Gladiators junior Mike Bys, who led all players with two blocks, said he looks forward to the next time the team steps out on the court. This is his first year playing intramural basketball.

“This was a lot of fun,” said Bys, who had several rebounds and chipped in seven points.

Waddell emphasized after the game that if UI students want to see good basketball during the weeknights, they now know where to look.

“Just stop by the Field House at 6:30 on Tuesdays, and we’ll show you what the American Gladiators are all about,” he said.

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