By Raf Czarnecki
Five minutes into last Sunday night’s “B” league intramural basketball contest between the Blazers and Sugar Ray’s Fun Police, I sensed that “blow-out city” was moments away.
It looked optimistic at first. With both teams sporting 1-1 records on the young season and sharp shooting by each squad during the pre-game shoot-around, I felt that a close matchup was due. Unfortunately, a recent trend that has plagued me for the last month showed its ugly face again: bad predictions by Raf Czarnecki (memo to the crazed fans who keep sending tapes, the last name is pronounced Char-net-ski).
Sugar Ray’s Fun Police featured a diverse group of gentlemen who didn’t look spectacular, but seemed to have a knack for getting the ball in the basket.
“We’re a nice blend of old and fat guys,” Sugar Ray guard Sam Bulk said.
On the other hand, the Blazers were a group of tall, young players who did not present much of an inside game. When asked what to expect from his team, Blazers 6-foot-6-inch center Mark Mazuch sluggishly said, “We’re gonna shoot some threes.”
The game started just as Mazuch predicted, with his team attempting a three-pointer. The made basket was 1 of 8 three-pointers that went down for the Blazers. Only problem for Blazer fans (estimated statistics are underrated), 8 made out of 50 attempts from behind the arc is not too impressive, nor does it get the job done. The Blazers’ dreadful shooting resulted in a 42-28 half-time deficit.
On a lighter note, Sugar Ray’s Fun Police was dominating the game while playing without the man who the team was named after. Matt Skradski, apparently a look-alike of pop band Sugar Ray’s lead singer Mark McGrath, was not present because captain Chris Franck apparently did not really want him there.
“He [Skradski] usually shoots about 35 times per game and he can’t play defense, so it’s better that he’s not here,” Franck said. “Maybe next week we’ll give him our team’s real schedule.”
Franck, who the night before asked his girlfriend to marry him at center ice during the UNO-Western Michigan hockey game, must have known what was right for his team because the pounding assault of the Blazers continued in the second half. By the way, Franck’s proposal was accepted and bachelor party plans are in the making.
Nifty ball movement by Sugar Ray guards Sam Bulk and Mark Kaipist led to open looks inside by big man Sean Johnston. Johnston ended up with an estimated game-high 23 points. Bulk added roughly 20 points and 8 “dimes” (dimes = assists for those of you who are unaware of the Stuart Scott school of sports journalism). Overall, Sugar Ray’s balanced attack proved way too much for the lethargic play of the Blazers, who got ripped by a final score of 85-49.
It was so bad for the Blazers that leading scorer Thad Greiner, who showed up fashionably late midway through the first half, fouled out of the game midway through the second half. It was only speculation that Greiner had to leave early to catch WWF’s No Way Out pay-per-view, but his lackluster performance summed up a less-than-spectacular showing by the Blazers. Next week, the fraternity league will be joyously graced by my presence. I’m late.