COCC basketball back in action for winter term
After an exciting end to the fall term, the winter term for Central Oregon Community College’s intramural basketball league picked up right where it left off in the first two weeks, highlighted by multiple last second finishes and growing disgruntlement with the officiating.
Team Couch dominated last term, but with seven of their eight players returning for the new season, they’d split themselves up into three new teams. The games were more competitive than ever, with three of the week one games coming down to the final play and two of the week two games being decided in the final few minutes.
Among the new teams is the Oppa Stoppas, who have the MVP of last term’s playoff games, Austin Fields, on their roster. They got off to a rough start to the season; however, conceding two three pointers in the final minute of a 43-40 week one loss to FA2, and fell apart in the final minutes of a week two 62-50 blowout against the Goon Squad that was just a one point game with ten minutes remaining.
FA2, Ankle Breakers Anonymous (ABA), and the Tri-City Ballers (called the Bucket Getters last term) all returned for the new season. FA2 got off to a good start with their close week one win, but couldn’t get it done in their week two blowout loss to Liam Nissan, another new team containing three members from the defending champions.
ABA got pummeled in the opening week, losing 71-26 to the OG Ballers, and only trailed by two in the final eight minutes of their week two matchup before going cold on offense and losing to Rebound PT, 42-29.
The Tri-City Ballers, who won the championship in the 2021-22 winter term, fell short after going cold in the second half of the fall term championship. They return most of their old team, with a couple of new additions, and have been on a roll to start the season. They survived a late comeback effort by Rebound PT to win 41-39 in week one, and despite controversial officiating in game two, they snuck away with a 58-53 victory over the OG Ballers thanks to a heroic effort from captain and former MVP Jesse Sanchez.
The OG Ballers, another new team with some familiar faces, started off hot with their win against ABA, but the officiating in their week two game led to some bad blood with the referee. While trailing 24-22 in the final minutes before halftime, one of their players was slapped on the arm going up for a shot and didn’t receive a call. After feeling like they couldn’t get a call for the entire first half, the player turned to the referee and said, “that’s bullsh*t,” being assessed a technical foul and leaving mid-game.
The game carried on though, with every referee whistle being met with complaints, raised arms and utter disbelief from the OGs. Despite falling to 1-1, the OGs still look like one of the more competitive teams and should be fighting for a playoff bid at the end of the term.
Liam Nissan is another new addition to the league, but they also bring with them some familiar faces from last term. They joined the Tri-City Ballers as the only undefeated team after two weeks, following their nail biting 54-49 week one win over the Goon Squad and their 66-43 blowout victory over FA2 the following week.
Goon Squad is the last of the teams with players from the defending champions, and they sit at 1-1 after their first two games. Despite the rough week one loss, player coach Kobe Knuckle took the blame for their close defeat.
“I promise you, I will never miss that many shots in my life ever again,” said Knuckle. Knuckle was the driving force in Team Couch’s championship win during the last term, so other teams would be well advised to take his word for it. Knuckle backed it up in the second game, performing well in the Goon Squad’s win over the Oppa Stoppas.
The only new roster with no returning players is Rebound PT. The team consists of physical therapy students and a large fan following that came to their first two games. The squad came up just two points short the opening week, but bounced back against ABA in week two with a strong final push to give them a 13 point victory.
The new pool of teams is already far more deep and filled with parity than last term. Only two teams are left standing as undefeated, and there’s still many more games to play before the playoffs come into question.
|Intramural Basketball League Winter Standings|
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