On March 13, the Beta Gamma Delta Patriots proved why they are the best intramural basketball team this season when they defeated the Epsilon Zeta Chi Tornadoes by just six points, 72-66. Beta came in as the favorite with a perfect 12-0 record, but the 11-1 Tornadoes proved that they could go head-to-head with Beta.
Just three seconds into the game, Beta junior Eric Moisant scored a layup and was fouled; Moisant hit the foul shot, setting himself up for a huge offensive first half. Over the next 5 ½ minutes, Moisant went four-for-four from behind the arch and recorded 17 of Beta’s first 21 points.
Although he cooled down and missed his next three 3-point attempts, Moisant hit another 3-pointer before halftime to go five-for-eight from 3-point land.
Moisant had just five points in the second half, including a three, and ended with 25 points to lead all scorers.
Beta sophomore Tim Bender also had a big offensive game. Bender recorded nine in the first half and 12 in the second half, including 10 in the last 5 ½ minutes of the game. With 21 on the night, Bender was the second leading scorer in the game.
The two players who have played the biggest role in Z’s success also came out ready to score. Seniors Phil Shiver and Noah Dargy helped the Tornadoes on both the offensive and defensive side, scoring key baskets to gain momentum.
Dargy had the first Tornado points in each half and tallied 18 total, including 10 in the first half. Dargy had 14 points coming from his effective drives through the lane, in addition to four free throws. Dargy’s last bucket came with just over two minutes before the end of the game to bring Z within five, but he was called for his fifth foul just moments later, costing Z a key scorer in the game’s final minutes.
Shiver had 19 on the night, making him Z’s leading scorer. Shiver got to work early, scoring less than three minutes into the game on a free throw. Shiver scored from all over the floor with seven points coming from the free throw line, six from behind the arch and six at the basket. Beta struggled to contain Shiver, who was consistently drawing fouls from the Beta defense. Shiver was forced to play a big defensive role, guarding Beta junior Isaac Sheehan in the post.
Sheehan used his size advantage over Shiver to record 14 points, with 12 coming in the second half. Sheehan had two 3-point plays on the night, in addition to pulling in numerous rebounds along with fellow teammate Ethan Pegram. Pegram, a senior, had only four points on the night but had several rebounds and provided a big defensive presence for the Patriots, using his size to limit Z’s entry into the lane.
At halftime, the score was 43-36 in Beta’s favor. The largest lead of the first half was seven for Beta, although Z took a four-point lead on a couple occasions. The second half was back and forth. The Tornadoes quickly closed to gap to one at 43-42 before the Patriots responded by taking a 52-44 lead.
The Patriots looked as if they would run away with the game, going up by nine, 57-48, and then again 60-51 with nine minutes to play. Each time Beta would start to pull away, however, Z responded to stay within striking distance. A big part of Z’s offensive effort came from junior Mark Osorio, who had 13 points in the game, with 11 coming in the second half.
With just over four minutes left to play, Beta’s Bender was fouled and hit a resulting free throw to put Beta up by 10, 67-57. Shiver, Dargy and Osorio all responded, each scoring points in the next three minutes to close the gap to three, 69-66, taking all the momentum from Beta.
It was enough, however, as Z could not find the basket again and was forced to foul Beta. Although Beta missed several free throws in the final minutes, Bender locked up the game with three key free throws, propelling Beta on to win 72-66 and claim their first championship in three years.