Right from the get-go, the Men’s Five on Five Basketball Tournament felt heated going into the final match Tuesday, May 29 between No Name, scoring 66 and their opponent, The Dry Creek Stunters, scoring 65 in a close fought game at the Callinan Sport and Fitness Center in Rohnert Park.
Things kicked off from the stands with raucous shouts from No Name’s injured player, Elliot Collins, but they certainly didn’t stop there. His cries brought an energy onto the court that stirred the two teams into a screaming frenzy of competition.
“It all started from the sidelines,” No Name’s Julian Titus said. “We’re not playing in college anymore, so we come here to let it all out.”
That sentiment was certainly mirrored by the other side.
“Naturally in the emotion and intensity of the game you’re going to get a little frustrated,” Jacob Steiner of the Dry Creek Stunters said. “It’s physical. Players are really emotional and things started to get out of hand a little bit. I think we let their franticness disrupt us.”
Emotions might have run high, but so did skill. The game started with a beautiful three-point shot from Dry Creek’s, Steiner, but No Name’s, Eli Alcantar, answered with a quick drive through Dry Creek’s lines for an easy layup. Those two back-to-back plays started the melee.
No Name fell behind early in the first half and fell to bickering. Alcantar called a time out to get his team to calm down and focus.
“Our whole team needs to stop throwing the ball without looking!” Alcantar bellowed in a voice that carried across the fitness center.
Alcantar’s message seemed to do the trick. After the time out, No Name pulled things together. They ended the first half down by only a single point. The next half opened with an even contest.
Things tilted in No Name’s favor when Julian Titus plunged through Dry Creek defenses with an assist from Pedro Hidalgo, shoving aside Steiner for a couple points. They built themselves a comfortable lead, but then Alcantar got into an argument with a referee over a call and got a technical foul. A few in game seconds later and he landed his fifth and then officials chucked Alcantar out of the game.
The Dry Creek Stunters tried to catch up, but it just wasn’t enough. The buzzer sounded to a final throw from half court, which bounced off the rim and dribbled away.
“Losing a close one is always tough,” Steiner said. “Some of us are going be done with basketball, so we kind of wanted to go out on a high note.”
Dry Creek Stunter, Rhett Baker, was one of the players considering retirement. He shouldered his duffle bag after the game and grinned at his teammates. “We’re just a bunch of basketball junkies. We love basketball and hate treadmills—but, we’re getting older so it’s getting tougher.”
With that the Men’s Competitive Basketball division came to a close. Basketball fans can still enjoy the Men’s Recreation Basketball division until June 10.