In LeFrak Gymnasium at 7:45 PM on March 23rd, Ball Fever took the court for the intermediate basketball championship. In their way stood Death, a team they had barely beaten in overtime earlier in the season. The game did not shape up to be nearly the same, however, as both teams had been missing a key player in their previous matchup. Twin #1 had recovered from a dislocated shoulder for Ball Fever and Winking Man had gotten his priorities straight for Death. Unfortunately, Death was not at 100%, as Sr110, who had tortured Ball Fever with his transition game last time around, was dealing with a knee injury that seriously slowed him down.
The Ball Fever contingent showed up in full force. All nine regulars were there, and they had great fan support too. Buzz B, Taylor, McMatty, Dole Match, ConNC, and even Willy Wah came to watch, with the last earning reinstatement with the team by doing so. Despite the huge sideline, no one volunteered to take statistics. That, combined with the fact that I waited so long to write the recap, means the actual game recap is going to be pretty spotty.
Ball Fever jumped out to an early lead. Their 2-3 zone proved problematic for Death, as it had for opponents all season. Outside of Winking, and with Sr110 injured, the team struggled immensely to get good shots. Time after time, they tried to get the ball inside only to find the interior defense of Ball Fever was suffocating (although Butler's performance tonight made Death look like the Harlem Globetrotters). Winking managed to basically single-handedly keep his team in the game, as only he was able to maneuver between the zone and get good shots in the paint.
Just as they had in the semi-final, Ball Fever played a great game, knowing their strengths and weaknesses and focusing on their keys to the game. They rebounded well, they prevented the fast break, they forced Death to shoot outside shots, and they worked on offense to get good shots, rather than settling for outside jumpers. As the clock approached one minute to go, Ball Fever's lead remained around 10, as it had for the whole game. They hit some free throws down the stretch to seal the deal, and wound up winning by between 8 and 12 points.
For Rorogomono and Twin #1, it was a great finish to their intramural basketball career, even if the others ignored that it was senior night. For the rest of the team, it was validation for all the effort that had put in this season. The championship proved the worth of all the scrimmages they played, and the one 3-minute practice they held. Rorogomono's emotional exclamation in the immediate aftermath summed it up best: "I'm gonna tell my kids in 20 years that Daddy was a champion!"
**You may say this recap wasn't so great. Consider the alternative, courtesy of Evan Egri:"Danny Lotion had good some steals. Yu played. Egri had some good contributions in an uninspiring way. JY Jelly managed to score 5 points although he was crawling--his defense was atrocious. Rorogomono had good movement with the ball. LexDak had good shooting, and some nice layups. Bernstein Bear was good on rebounds and defense."