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Students demonstrate sportsmanship and skill: Mech-E’s win three-on-three basketball tournament

On Oct. 18, WSU Vancouver students gathered at a nearby school for a classic battle of strength, skill and sweat: intramural basketball. They enjoyed both competition and sportsmanship in a cozy gym on a rainy night.

More impressive than the degree of skill the players showed was how well they represented themselves and their school. They behaved honorably and with great sportsmanship. Players called their own fouls, kept their negative emotions in check and made new friends with people from other teams between games — all without reducing the competitive spirit of the tournament. Sometimes scoreboards do not tell the whole story: Everyone at the three-on-three tournament was a winner.

As in past years, the intramural tournament was hosted by the campus Recreation Office. This year, it was organized by Oksana Klimenova, intramural intern with the campus Recreation Office and a senior majoring in social science.

Students formed several teams: the Mech E’s, the Young Guns and Free Agent Teams I, II and III. The tournament followed rules of double elimination, meaning teams had to lose twice before being cut from the tournament. Teams played without substitutes for either 15 minutes or until they scored 15 points.

The first set concluded with two lopsided games. The Mech E’s emerged victorious over Free Agent Team II, and the Young Guns beat Free Agent Team III.

The next game proved more of a challenge for the Young Guns who took on Free Agent Team III. This back-and-forth game came down to the wire. After a series of brilliant defensive plays by both teams, the score was tied with only seconds left to go. The Young Guns squared up for a shot at the buzzer with the game in the balance and nailed it.

After this loss, Free Agent Team III played Free Agent Team I. Both teams faced elimination, having already lost one game each. Through a combination of excellent screens on and off the ball, prolific shooting and teamwork, Free Agent Team I rushed out to an early lead of 9-3. At this point, Free Agent Team III switched around their defense with better results. By the time the clock expired, the score was tied. The team to score two more points would take the game. Free Agent Team III scored a point, then completed the comeback with a putback layup after a missed shot.

On the other court, luck was running out for the Young Guns. They lost to the Mech E’s 15-10.

The Young Guns faced Free Agent III again for a rematch after their impressive buzzer-beating victory the previous round. The winner of this game would face the Mech E’s in the finals. This time, the Young Gun’s achieved victory by a larger margin.

In the first game of the finals the Young Guns gave the Mech E’s their first loss. The two teams were now tied with one loss apiece. The winner of the next game would win the tournament. The last game came down to the final seconds, with the Mech E’s up by one with seconds to go. The Young Guns set up for a do-or-die shot at the buzzer, but were unable to finish as successfully as in previous games, leaving the Mech E’s the victory.

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