By Martin Paredes/south news editor
After delay, YakkSQUAD takes lead in tournament
After many reschedules due to weather, intramural basketball on South finally tipped off March 17 and 19 as the YakkSQUAD swept both games against Money Team by narrow margins.
The game on the 19th finished 43-41 in favor of the YakkSQUAD and needed a two-minute overtime period as the score was tied at 40 after regulation.
Attendance was higher resulting in an additional five minutes added to each half since more substitutions were available unlike on March 17 when both teams played with only six players.
The game looked destined to be a rout as the Money Team found itself in a 30-19 hole at the intermission, but Joel Holmes made it rain from beyond the arch, hitting four three-pointers as his team went on a 13-0 run to start the second half.
Holmes, who finished with a game-high 16 points, and Justin Rogers, who was second on the team with 11 points, accounted for over half of the Money Team’s offensive production. Unfortunately for them, a few impressive individual performances were not enough to get the win.
The YakkSQUAD’s balance was a major contributor to its success. Having more people scoring and being reliable contributors made the game easier for them as five YakkSQUAD members had at least six points in the game.
Tyrell Dockery had the biggest turnaround production-wise as he improved on his quiet two-point night Tuesday to be the only YakkSQUAD player to score in double figures with 13 points. Dockery praised his team’s versatility after the game.
“We’re just an athletic squad. We can do anything,” he said.
Dockery also acknowledged his team’s mental lapses to start the second half for the second game in a row.
“After halftime, I don’t know what’s going on, but in the end, we got ourselves together and just pulled through it all,” he said.
Holmes explained that switching from a zone defense to a man-to-man helped them claw back into the game.
“They were getting too many open shots when we were playing zone, so we decided to go man in the second half to pressure up on defense a little more,” he said. “We could close out better in the next game and maybe start doing a half-court or full-court press on them to pressure the ball a little more.”
Tuesday’s game was decided in the last seconds as Chris Ortega knocked down an uncontested elbow jumper with 5 seconds left in regulation before a Rogers half-court heave hit the backboard and the front rim before harmlessly rolling off much to the dismay of the Money players who fought back from a 14-7 halftime score to ultimately lose 26-24.
Ortega and team captain Ferdinand Aguwa led the way with eight points apiece as fast-break buckets were scored in bunches for the YakkSQUAD.
Just like on Thursday, the Money Team did not go down quietly. Rogers led all scoring with 10 points, most of which came in the second half as he took over the game for a five-to-10 minute stretch.
Rogers excited spectators with his total-disregard-for-human-life ferocious drives, which led to multiple trips to the free-throw line and multiple offensive fouls as well.
After the nail-biter game, Rogers explained his monster second half.
“In the first half, I was trying to see how competitive and how strong they were going to be,” he said. “Once we started getting down, I felt like it was up to me to try and make something happen if we wanted to be in the game. I really felt that I didn’t get some of the calls, but that’s sometimes how the game goes.”