By Tyler Poda/reporter
The SE basketball league concluded March 10 with the BTA Bulls claiming their second championship in as many years.
A three-game round-robin tournament between the top three teams was used to determine this year’s champion.
Game one pinned the Scorpions against the Bulls. The game was close early as the Bulls managed to grab only a three-point lead heading into halftime. They widened the gap in the second half, opening on an 11-0 run. But the Scorpions hung around, pulling within five points with three minutes to play.
From there, the Bulls began to run out the clock. To stay in the game, the Scorpions had to foul them to stop the clock and get the ball back. However, the Bulls didn’t falter at the free throw line. Led by Clint Otwori’s 23 points, they won 58-46.
“The game was pretty good. It was tough, though,” Otwori said. “Next game should be good. We should win that one too. Just have to keep making our shots.”
In game two, the Scorpions faced off against the Thunder. Both teams were forcing turnovers early. Scrapping all the way to the end of the half, the Thunder found themselves in the lead 25-22.
But the Scorpions came roaring back, opening the second half on a 9-0 run. On the back of Leonardo Vargas’ 15 second-half points, the Scorpions pulled out a 52-49 victory.
In the final game of the day, the Bulls played the Thunder. The Bulls got off to a hot start opening on a 24-4 run. At one point in the first half, they hit eight consecutive three-point shots cruising to a 54-18 halftime lead.
With the outcome of the game no longer in doubt, the second half turned into a free-for-all. Players on both teams were jacking up wild shots, and minimal defense was played. In what proved to be a microcosm of the entire season, the Bulls completed the wire-to-wire victory by a final score of 88-42.
Each member of the Bulls received a new yellow Nike bag for winning the championship.
“It feels good. I knew we were going to win all along,” Zach Thomas said on being crowned SE champions. “The whole thing was easy from start to finish.”