The basketball players looked sweaty and exhausted as they pushed themselves to win the coveted championship. The reward for being the best was not a trophy, but a T-Shirt and bragging rights.
The last four intramural basketball games were held Monday night in front of surprisingly large crowds.
The first game was the lower division Uncle Drew and the Nephews (the Lambda Chi Alpha team) versus UUSoccer. The game drug at first, but as time rolled on and momentum of the players picked up, it got heated and intense.
As the game went on, the score staped close, if not tied. By half time, UUSoccer was leading by four points. People started to trickle in and make their way into the stands all during the second half of the game and it just added extra support and excitement for brothers or friends.
There was one point in the game where Lambda Chi players scored two baskets back-to-back and the crowd went wild. The second basket coming off a diving steal by Troy Smigielski, junior biology major, where he slid all the way in to the back wall as he poked the ball to a teammate which translated into a transition three from Drew Wells, senior chemistry major. The play stole the momentum from UUSoccer, and Smigielski’s team never trailed again.
In the end, the score ended was 46-36, Uncle Drew and the Nephews. Everyone got up and paid their respects to the winners and the ones not fortunate enough to win.
The upper division girls game ended in a 37-36 win from the team called, “Team” and Chi Omega 1. Chi Omega missed the final shot which would have won them the game.
In the small gym, the girls lower division game, Georgia’s Only Friends and Chi Omega 3, the atmosphere was different. The gym was smaller, so overall, the crowd was smaller as well, and the crowd was in favor of Chi Omega. Multiple girls took some nasty falls and the game ended with Chi Omega taking home the glory in a 37-36 lead.
By half time in the Fred Delay Gymnasium, the cheers and the roars of the upper division LXA 1 versus SAE 1 game could be heard from down the hallway. The gym was almost filled with supporters of the participating fraternities. The bulky men of SAE lined the sidelines of the opposite side of the gym cheering wildly. Meanwhile, the boisterous men of LXA cheered on their brothers as the score kept growing closer and closer.
SAE controlled and led seemingly the whole game as they came into the championship as the only undefeated team in upper division basketball.
Freshman Alex Northcut made his championship debut by nailing multiple deep three-point shots toward the end, trying steal victory from the jaws of defeat with his desperation shots.
“It felt so good to be playing competitively again,” Northcut said. “I used to play every day in high school and not as much in college, so it just felt really good to be making shots and getting back out on the court.”
Northcut’s deep, Curry-like range threes came too late as the game ended 42-40 with SAE taking home the prized gold of a memorable intramurals T-shirt. Senior Titus Wade has been known for his amazing skills on the court.
“They were cheering us on and being as loud as possible, so it’s only fitting to give our all on the court and compete,” Wade said. “It’s always an amazing atmosphere and I’m just glad we were able to come away with a win, especially since this was my last year.”