Ropers defeat Da Bears in overtime


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The Ropers were down by seven after six minutes. But there’s a reason teams play all 28 minutes in intramural basketball — or in the case of the Ropers and Da Bears, all 31.

The Ropers won a slugfest in overtime, 43-41, after overcoming an early deficit Thursday night to move to a 2-0 record to begin the season. Da Bears are now 0-1.

After Da Bears’ Travis Grant swished a 3-point shot with 1:15 left in the second half to tie the game, neither team could convert on numerous opportunities in the final minute.

Da Bears’ Ben Ossyra, who had 6 points in the game, missed two free throws with two seconds left that likely would have won the game.

In overtime, Da Bears managed the first points in the three-minute extra time, with Jimmy Hotchkiss scoring his 12th point of the game on a turnaround post move.

The Ropers countered with four-straight points before a Hotchkiss follow-up shot tied the game with 35 seconds left in overtime. Then, the Ropers’ Sean Kubik made a lay-up with 15 seconds left to take a 43-41 lead.

The squad then stole the ball from Hotchkiss on the final play to seal the victory.

“I just knew that the Ropers needed to come back and have a strong victory,” Kubik said. “We want to go to Carver-Hawkeye Arena in March, and that’s where you’ll see us, baby.”

It seemed Da Bears were going to cruise when the team captured a quick 9-2 lead. But the game was tied at 17 by halftime.

The Ropers capitalized on Da Bears’ cold shooting and went on a 10-0 run in the second half, going up 34-23. Da Bears made a 14-3 run to end the second half, though.

“We started moving the ball on offense, and I think they got a little bit tired, so they let up their defense,” Ossrya said.

While Da Bears’ held an advantage in the number of active players on its roster, both teams seemed winded after the 31-minute contest.

Physical from the tip-off, the Ropers and Da Bears totaled 20 fouls. There were also plenty of non-calls with the referees letting the teams battle for rebounds and tips.

But Hotchkiss wasn’t satisfied with his cager’s physicality.

“I think we have to pick up the intensity on the rebounds a little bit, “ he said. “We were a little soft today.”

Much of the contact in the second half seemed to be directed at the Ropers’ Eric Hartter, who was fouled numerous times while scoring 12 points in the half. Hartter seemed to find his rhythm after the halftime break.

In the first half, he scored three points and missed three of his four free-throw attempts. But in the second, Hartter hit two shots from behind the arc and also went 3-of-5 from the free throw line after absorbing hits on numerous drives.

While Hartter was hampered in overtime by an injury, he attributed his toughness to an attitude he abides by.

“Refuse to lose,” he said smiling after the game.

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