Blar rules in intramural basketball


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Before Tuesday night’s game started, Blar’s confidence lingered around the rim.

Looking to continue on early success, the No. 1-ranked Co-Rec intramural basketball team sought a division-best 3-0 record to start the season. Its opponent, the Ball Beaters, was searching for a first win, ready to give the top-ranked team a run.

Blar was too quick, outpacing them 57 to 40.

The contest started sluggishly for both teams, with turnovers and strong defense ruling. For most of the first four minutes of the game, the two teams were locked in a stalemate.

“I couldn’t imagine a worse three and a half minutes,” said Blar’s Reed McManigal, who led his group in scoring with 22 points.

With seven minutes remaining, Blar’s Caleb Recker drilled a 3-pointer that kick-started his team’s offense. After a couple of fast-break buckets and points off turnovers, the Ball Beaters were forced to use two of their three time-outs to figure out defense.

“We are just out of shape, and we couldn’t get past the turnovers,” said Lance Marshall, who led the Ball Beaters with 17 points. “They brought a lot of pressure, and we had players who couldn’t handle the ball and had a bad case of butterfingers.”

Pressure by Blar proved to be a big factor, especially in the first half.

The Ball Beaters went on a six-possession skid, turning the ball over each time, because of an exceptional full-court press led by Amy Bagge, Abby Emmert, and captain Monica Mims.

“We have the most athletic girls in intramural basketball, and when that’s the case you, can press a lot,” Nick Kron said, who added 13 points for Blar.

“We all play or played a Division-I sport, so we are in pretty good shape,” Mims said. “We just out-hustled them.”

The second half didn’t get any better for the Ball Beaters defensively. McManigal scored eight-straight points for Blar.

“He’s hard to stop in the open court when he’s playing that high,” Kron said.

McManigal had 16 second-half points; the Ball Beaters collectively scored 24. He capped off his night in dramatic fashion by driving through the open lane and dunking the ball — exemplifying the athleticism of this team.

Blar’s ability to stop the dribble drive of Marshall proved to be vital; the defense kept him contained until the last few minutes of the game when he finally broke free for a couple of easy looks at the basket.

The Ball Beaters are now 0-2 and looking to minimize mistakes.

“I hope we can sneak a win or two by the end of the season,” Marshall said. “If we could have handled the ball, it would have been different.”

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