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Tom Pettis and the Heartbreakers bring flair to intramurals

BY ETHAN SEBERT | FEBRUARY 22, 2010 7:30 AM

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The only thing more apparent than Tom Pettis and the Heartbreakers’ players’ camaraderie is the team’s confidence.

“We guarantee a 20-point victory in our next two games,” sophomore Logan Kutcher said.

The founders of the team, Kutcher and fellow sophomores Ben Bush, Nate Behlke, Michael Maize, and Tom Pettis met while living in the Slater Residence Hall their freshman year. The group started an intramural basketball team last season called Bawinkel’s Ballers, named after Iowa guard Devan Bawinkel.

Last season, Bawinkel’s Ballers was the No. 1-seed going into postseason play, but the squad lost its first playoff game. Pettis and friend Tyler Clark, took the defeat to heart when they chose a name for their intramural football and basketball teams this year.

Consequentially, Tom Pettis and the Heartbreakers was born. The rest of the Heartbreakers’ roster includes senior Cameron Harp and sophomores Danny Vogel and Drake Edwards.

The band’s self-described futuristic style of play relies heavily on 3-point shooting.

“We’re starting a trend,” Pettis said. “Live and die by the 3.”

In the second game of the season against Favre’s Favorites on Feb. 14, the Heartbreakers died by the 3, taking an lead early, but losing, 41-38, after going cold.

However, the players didn’t blame the loss solely on their poor shooting. During the team’s first game, the squad lost one of its best players and leading rebounder, sophomore Matt Brueck, to a knee injury.

The Heartbreakers couldn’t describe the squad’s defensive scheme, but Kutcher did have a reason for the team’s lack of boards.

“If Matt Gatens doesn’t have to rebound, I don’t know why I should have to rebound,” he said.

Despite the setbacks and streaky shooting, the Heartbreakers members don’t expect to change their game plan.

“What’s the point of shooting a 2 when you can shoot a 3?” Bush said. “It’s like your holding yourself back shooting 2s.”

Team members also described their style as laid-back, relaxed, and focused on fun. The players are also concerned, not necessarily with their athletic performance, but with their aesthetic performance.

“We always have the best uniforms,” Kutcher said of their $26 game apparel. “That’s something teams have just come to expect.”

Opposing teams can also expect the Heartbreakers to maintain the pregame ritual of listening to such songs as “Ballin Boys,” the Miami Hurricanes remix by No Good, and “So Futuristic,” by Yung LA.

The team is optimistic about the season, but the members are also preparing for next year, when the group’s futuristic offense will be more refined. The team is also looking to add some rebounding help with a 6-5 recruit lined up for next season.

With the new player, a nucleus of charismatic sophomore players, and unrelenting confidence, the Heartbreakers appears to be a mainstay on the intramural courts at the Field House.

“If the guy in front of you thinks he can guard you, you have to prove him wrong,” Bush said.


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