“You better get a T.O. baby!


By Raf Czarnecki

If life were as simple as picking the Final Four, which I successfully did by the way, then this article would have been printed two weeks ago. Unfortunately, for all you fine folks who deserve a thrilling dosage of intramural hoops, you were dealt a lousy hand.

Stories about finding jobs are overrated and four pages of sports with my name nowhere to be found is frankly ridiculous. I’m not one to complain though, so let’s get to the thick of things and break down the intramural basketball finals of Sunday evening March 10 before an editor tries to steal my thunder.

The “B” League final matched up two teams who possessed a similar perimeter-oriented style of play. One main difference between the two clubs was that Sugar Ray’s Fun Police featured a player who could put a sentence together, while the Vanilla Thunder crew were a group of lads fearful of a tape recorder.

“We’re both slow, unattractive and not all that talented,” said Sugar Ray’s Sam Balk when describing how the teams matched up.

Although Balk wasn’t too big on the opposing team’s personnel, Vanilla Thunder came into Sunday’s final with an unblemished 7-0 record and looking to put the final touches onto their prodigious (thesauruses are clutch) season.

Each team’s leaders set the tone early in what was seemingly a battle that would go down to the wire. Sugar Ray’s Matt Skradski and Vanilla Thunder’s Jason Schlesiger were each fairly accurate from behind the arc while the role players played up to their capabilities. I lost track of the score while discussing why Gonzaga slipped to a #6 seed and how Memphis would win the NIT with a few of the locals, but I did manage to come away with a halftime score that read 33-31 in favor of the Sugar Ray gang.

In the final 20 minutes, two things became very clear: the referees weren’t paying close attention and Vanilla Thunder would not be denied their free championship t-shirts. Sugar Ray stood toe-to-toe throughout, but Vanilla Thunder’s bony elbows proved too much. Yes, you read that correctly. Sugar Ray players Mark Kaipist and Sean Johnston needed assistance from the first aid kit to stop their bleeding after being attacked under the boards. Lonnie Malone made his free throws down the stretch and Vanilla Thunder won 56-53, finishing off their perfect season as “B” league champions.

Vanilla Thunder guard Vlad Durkovic came up short while sharing post game comments, but I promised him a spot in the paper and I’m usually a man of my word.

The second part of the double-header was a little something we like to call the “A” league final. The two teams that made it to the championship game traveled different paths. Miller Time stood in the “we’re better than you” corner, winning their contests by an impressive average of 24.6 points per game while never having been beaten. On the other hand, the Pikes stood in the “we have guys with ties cheering for us” corner, with a loss on their record and having squeaked by the football players in the semi-finals.

Urgency is the theme as we reach under 600 on the word count clock. Bottom line: Miller Time’s Patt Voss is your tournament MVP, scoring 28 points in the final. Voss’ teammates Gary Morgan and Darren Miller once played for the UNO Maverick hoops squad while the Pikes’ three best players had fancy shoes. In all honesty, the Pikes gave it a valiant effort, only being blown out 77-57. Along with my colleagues at the intramural hoops scene, I’m late.


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