February 27, 2009

In IM basketball playoffs, Alper and football players crowned champions

Two more intramural champions were crowned Wednesday night, when the undergraduate men’s basketball leagues played their championship games to decide this year’s cream of the crop.

All-Campus, an independent team composed of football players, defeated Off in a Corner, a team made up of Chicago baseball players, 61–50 to capture the independent league title, and Red Army took the residence hall championship home to Alper House after defeating Rickert’s Monkeyhouse, 46–44.

The night started with the independent undergraduate men’s league championship, which pitted All-Campus against Off in a Corner. All-Campus third-year Mike Emerson knocked down the first shot of the game, a three-pointer on his team’s first possession. Off in a Corner led 5–4 briefly, but All-Campus came back with a 10–0 run, making it 14–5 midway through the first half.

Third-year Rob Serpico, however, keyed a 14–2 run for Off in a Corner, contributing eight points over that stretch and helping his squad to a 20–20 tie at the half.

Third-year captain Joe Stoner pointed to All-Campus’s improved defense as the difference-maker out of the break, as his team held Off in a Corner scoreless for the first three minutes of the second period. Emerson carried the squad on an 11–0 run to start the half, stealing the ball a couple of times to set himself up for eight points over that stretch.

Trailing by 16, Off in a Corner shook off its offensive cobwebs and climbed back into the game. A Serpico three with three minutes remaining cut the lead to six, and another three a few trips later brought the lead down to two.

After an All-Campus free throw, Off in a Corner had the chance to tie with a three at the one-minute mark. An out-of-bounds call cut their possession short, though, and two technical fouls assessed against Off in a Corner helped All-Campus finish the game by hitting 9 of 10 free throws over the final minute.

Emerson-led All-Campus contributed 23 points, including six three-pointers, to the team’s 61º50 win. Serpico, meanwhile, paced Off in a Corner with 13.

The next contest paired the Monkeyhouse of Rickert against Alper House’s Red Army in the men’s residence hall title game. Their first meeting earlier this season saw Monkeyhouse scrape out a two-point victory, and both teams expected another close game.

Monkeyhouse appeared headed for a repeat, jumping out to an early 13–2 lead. With his team trailing 18–9 later in the half, first-year Emmett Carrier, who led all scorers with 19 points, went to work on the offensive side, knocking down two consecutive threes to trim the lead to six. Monkeyhouse stemmed the Red Army’s charge some, but by halftime, the lead was down to five, 27–22.

Monkeyhouse quickly extended the advantage back to nine after halftime, but Red Army countered with a three-point play and two more three-pointers, knotting the game at 31–31 with 13:30 left in the game.

From that point, the contest featured five lead changes and two ties. First-year Chris Chan, who scored 18 on the night, helped Monkeyhouse to a brief four-point lead at 44–40, but the team’s offense went cold over the last couple minutes of the contest. Carrier knocked down another three, and Red Army found itself leading by one with 21.7 seconds left.

With a chance to take the lead, Monkeyhouse had its possession cut short by an offensive foul call. After that foul call, though, a missed free throw from Red Army put the ball back into Monkeyhouse’s hands. Monkeyhouse put up a three that went wanting, forcing the team to foul, and Red Army extended its lead to two on a free throw.

With no time-outs left, Monkeyhouse rushed down the court and put up a three from the corner that rimmed out, giving Red Army the house championship, 46–44.

Red Army will meet independent-league champion, All-Campus, Monday for the undergraduate men’s championship.

This past Monday, The Worst Team Ever triumphed over Electric Feel, 59–31, in the women’s league undergraduate/graduate championship game.