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The Broadside

The Student News Site of Central Oregon Community College

The Broadside

The Student News Site of Central Oregon Community College

The Broadside

Undefeated Team Couch wins fall intramural basketball championship with thrilling finish

Team Couch dominated the entire regular season in Central Oregon Community College’s intramural basketball league, but their road to the championship was anything but easy in the final stretch. 

Before Team Couch took to the court, the Bucket Getters faced the Free Agents in a match-up of the second and third seeds. The Free Agents had finished the regular season on fire, rattling off three straight victories to finish the season following a 2-4 start. The Free Agents kept it close early, trailing only 18-14 with nine minutes left in the first half. 

The Bucket Getters struggled to shake them, clinging to a 28-25 halftime lead. It was a 180 degree turn from the Bucket Getters’ last game, where they dominated from start to finish. However, the Bucket Getters went on a run to take a 46-35 lead with 11 minutes left in the second half. 

The Bucket Getters got the offense going in the second half and never looked back on the way to a 12 point victory. (Photo by Chase Brostek)


Following that run, the Bucket Getters maintained control, slowing the pace and getting to the basket for easy points. They finished with a 61-49 victory despite the Free Agents’ best efforts to make a comeback late in the game. 

The second semifinal match-up was a rematch of one of week nine’s most exciting games, and the Mazama gymnasium bleachers started to fill in anticipation of an improving FA2 team again facing the undefeated Team Couch. 

FA2 came firing out of the gates, taking a 14-7 lead in the first ten minutes. Team Couch was struggling to get to the basket and the referees were being less lenient with their calls, not letting Team Couch get away with some of the excessive contact they’d used to  power other teams off the court during the regular season. Team Couch didn’t waver under the pressure, though, responding with a 10-0 run to put themselves up 17-14, and carrying that momentum into a 29-23 halftime lead. 

The second half got off to a grim start for FA2, with Team Couch coming out of the halftime break on a mission, putting on an 11-0 scoring run to open the second half and take a 40-23 lead. Down 17 points with their backs against the wall, FA2 leaned on the player who had come up for them in so many huge games during the regular season in guard Gabe Reed. 

Team Couch plays a physical brand of basketball that proved hard to compete with all season. Despite their best efforts, the members of FA2 couldn’t hold on late in a heartbreaking 61-59 loss. (Photo by Chase Brostek)

Reed started to attack the basket, drawing fouls and putting Team Couch on their heels, as a 17-10 run narrowed the gap to 50-40 with ten minutes left in the half. FA2 didn’t let off the gas, though, pulling the game within six points with five minutes left. Team Couch responded with a tough basket, and then FA2 went on an 8-0 run to tie the game at 54 with just two minutes remaining. 

With the clock winding down, Gabe Reed passed the ball off with under a minute to go and FA2 leading 59-58. FA2 turned the ball over, and Team Couch held possession to score the winning basket, winning a nail biting game, 61-59. Reed said after the game that passing the ball off late was a mistake, and he should have held on to run more time off the clock. 

The bleachers were packed for the championship match that followed the two exhilarating semifinal match-ups. The game was tied for a majority of the first half, with the Bucket Getters going on a 9-2 run to take a 23-16 lead with a minute left. They carried that lead into halftime, leading 26-22. The Bucket Getters were the closest anyone had gotten to beating Team Couch in the regular season, losing to them in a close 48-46 week two game. 

For the second time in the night, Team Couch was on the ropes, literally gasping for air as they had to play two full games within 30 minutes. Kobe Knuckle, a guard/forward for Team Couch, was laboring through illness to help play and coach for his team. Team Couch fought back for the lead, and after taking a 46-42 advantage with seven minutes left, they never gave it back.

The Bucket Getters tried frantically to get back in the game late, but every time they scored, Team Couch’s Kobe Knuckle responded with a huge shot. Knuckle scored ten points in the final five minutes of the game, and team Couch took home the championship to complete their dominant 11-0 season. 

Austin Fields, a backup guard for Team Couch, was named the MVP following two great performances off the bench in the playoff games despite Knuckle’s fantastic finish. After a long season of competing, Team Couch will have bragging rights … for now. Intramural basketball action will resume in January, and the Bucket Getters will attempt to take back their championship title. Team Couch will hold on tight, and an assortment of other squads will be returning–-or joining for the first time–-adding their own championship bid to the mix. 

Anyone interested in joining the league, or with questions about how to get involved, can contact Randal Seaton at [email protected]

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