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Ballers ball on intramural courts

BY ETHAN SEBERT | MARCH 10, 2010 7:30 AM

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It wasn’t close, but it was exciting.

The Ballers dominated the Snatchers, 66-28, in both teams’ final game of Men’s Open division pool play on Tuesday night. Bodies hit the floor on both ends of the court as the two teams tried to set a fast pace.

The high tempo caused some sloppy passing and play, and 15 fouls were called during the game.

The Snatchers won the opening tip and promptly scored the first two points of the game in what turned out to be the team’s only lead. The Ballers answered with two points, and the onslaught began.

The Ballers scored 35 points in the first half while holding the Snatchers to just 15. However, the Ballers struggled to stop freshman Andrew Gordon, who scored all but two of the Snatchers’ first-half points.

“I’m just finding lanes, and my teammates are doing a good job of setting screens,” Gordon said at the half. “But obviously, I’m not happy; we’re down by 20.”

Junior Kyle Yoder lit up the scoreboard in the first half for the Ballers despite not playing the entire period. Yoder left the game with 9:25 left in the half because of an ankle injury.

“I was trying to do a spin move and came down on the side of my foot, so it was sore for a couple of minutes,” Yoder said.

He came back with 6:49 left and immediately nailed a 3-pointer.

Yoder also made a blind steal when the Snatchers tried to inbound the ball to freshman Greg Gregory with 1:53 left in the half. Yoder drove the ball to the basket, hitting a lay-up and drawing a foul.

Yoder then sank his free throw to complete the 3-point play, giving him 12 points for the half and the game — he had to leave at halftime for a class.

The rest of the Ballers made up for that, especially junior Ryan Horn. Horn led the game in scoring with 23 points, 14 of which came in the second half.

“I just felt really motivated to do well for my team, and everyone was making good passes,” Horn said.

The Ballers maintained a fast-paced offense in the second half, scoring most of its points in transition.

“We like to run, and it usually works out,” junior Baller Danny Freese said. “Which is good because we don’t have a lot of size.”

The Ballers also made some adjustments on defense, switching from its usual man-to-man to a 2-3 zone to prevent Gordon from driving. The new defense worked well, holding Gordon to just two points in the second half.

Besides Gordon’s two, the Ballers only allowed 11 points in the second half, six from freshman Snatcher Doug Fowler.

The Ballers improved its record to 3-1, and the Snatchers fell to 0-4. The Ballers’ only loss came in its last game, on March 2, when it lost to the American Gladiators, 65-48.

The win on Tuesday night guaranteed the Ballers a spot in the playoffs and a possible rematch with the undefeated American Gladiators. The team members said they were excited about the playoffs and thought Tuesday night was a good tune-up game for the postseason.

Besides working on their zone defense, the players also learned a valuable lesson — not to eat at Burge before a game.


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