The reigning 2022 intramural basketball champions, Mayhem, did it again, winning the Ursinus intramural title by defeating the sharp shooting Soft in the Paint 44-38 in a close matchup.
Like any successful intramural season, this year’s basketball league was competitive and exciting, and the championship game was no exception. Soft in the Paint put up a hard fight against the reigning champions with intense shooting skills, sinking a total of four threes in just the first half. Mayhem struggled to keep up and found themselves down by five going into the second half. This was vastly different from last year’s championship game when they beat their opponent easily. Although behind, they refused to back down and secured seven points in the last two minutes after some pivotal play to take the lead and finish the game.
During the first half it looked to be Soft in the Paint’s game. The team of football players came out strong and shot above 50% as a team. Senior and captain Andrew Keris led the way with 11 points, and senior teammate Luke Lesher also played a key role, banking another 11 points. Mayhem’s scoring was more evenly distributed, with their points coming from five different players.
They still found themselves down come halftime when Soft in the Paint led by 24-19.
“First half they were hitting their shots and we were a little sloppy on defense,” said Mayhem’s senior captain, Alex Goldsby. “At halftime me and my fellow captain Dallas looked at each other and said, ‘We not losing.’ After that, the team matched our energy. We made the necessary corrections to win in the second half.”
Game MVP, sophomore Caden Johnson, delivered two game-changing shots late in the second half. With six minutes to go, Johnson found himself on the free throw line after getting fouled. He successfully sunk both to tie the game at 35 a piece. He didn’t stop there, getting three big defensive rebounds and eventually finishing the game with a layup and free throw opportunity with five seconds left on the clock.
“Our big men stole the show last night. Between Eric, Don, Kel, and especially Caden each one of them attacked the backboard aggressively for rebounds and were putting up great shots.” said senior captain Dallas Evans. “They are the reason we were able to grind out that win.”
The back-and–forth game ended with a cheer of excitement from Mayhem’s bench, everyone sporting big smiles after the hard-fought win.
Goldsby explained what this win meant for the two-time champions. “This one felt a little more special because of the work we put in. Thinking about the year in general, it was definitely more up and down than last year, with our team being plagued with injuries and people missing games. Also, the humbling moment of us losing our first game together. We turned the passion and the emotion from that loss into a championship. That’s what it’s all about and there is nothing more you could ask for from your team!”
With the wrap up of this year’s intramural basketball season only one question remains: Will the Mayhem dynasty continue for a third year in a row?
Katie Cressman firstname.lastname@example.org