An intramural dynasty

Jeff Russ

With an overtime win in the men’s intramural basketball tournament, Team Speed gained a second rec. sports title

Speed member Fred Lewis grabs the jump ball from an opposing member of When it Rains it Pours at the Men’s intramural basketball championship. The game ended in a 58 -56 win for Team Speed. SAM TWAREK | DAILY KENT STATER

Credit: John Proppe

While 64 teams are competing for the NCAA championship, one Kent State intramural basketball team already had its shining moment this week.

The excitement of March came in maddening fashion at the Student Recreation and Wellness Center when Team Speed defeated When It Rains It Pours, 58-56, in overtime to win the men’s basketball intramural championship Tuesday night.

But early in the game, things were looking bleak for Team Speed after When It Rains It Pours jumped out to an 8-0 lead.

“We started off down and tried to rush and come back,” said senior Fred Lewis, who was Team Speed’s leading scorer. “Once we switched from man to zone, we started coming back.”

At one point in the game, Lewis showed shades of the Denver Nuggets’Allen Iverson on a crossover that shook one player to the ground. Lewis also hit a 3-pointer as the time expired in first half to give Team Speed a 30-28 lead.

“Going into halftime we played liked it was 0-0,” he said. “We just played our game.”

When It Rains It Pours jumped back out to the lead after halftime, hitting 3-pointer after 3-pointer.

But Team Speed, led by Lewis, Leo Solrice and Ali Khaled, came back once again.

“We played like a team,” Khaled said.

At the end of regulation, the game was tied at 48, as both teams missed late opportunities to score. The game moved into a two-minute overtime period, and students waiting for the court to open up had to wait a bit longer.

In overtime, both teams were in foul trouble, and an interesting late-game strategy may have won the game for Team Speed.

“I always see the announcer on TV discuss if the team should foul in that situation,” Lewis said. “I think we made the right call.”

Winning by three, Team Speed decided to intentionally foul When It Rains It Pours to put them on the foul line. When It Rains It Pours hit one free throw, and then after another Team Speed basket, the game was over.

“We made our free throws; they missed theirs,” Lewis said.

After the victory, Team Speed met at mid court for one more celebration, the champions photo and the trophy.

The trophy: Grey T-shirts with “Intramural Champions” across the front.

The players said they will wear them for bragging rights.

Having now won championships in both flag football and basketball, Team Speed is working on an intramural dynasty.

“Now we’re going for softball,” Lewis said.

The team wouldn’t leave without recognizing its injured captain, T.J. Riggie, who was unable to play.

“We won it for T.J.,” acting manager Dan Brechbill said.

Contact sports reporter Jeff Russ at [email protected].