Leo Hoops splits team in final game

Lauren Crumbaker
Staff Writer

The Leo Hoops League hosted its last game of the year, an intrasquad game with the team split into black and white squads.

“We clearly had two very different teams,” said Adam Plax, Leo Hoops president and founder. “It was really a game of match-ups.”

Team White dominated Team Black, 57-35, Wednesday at Frantz Athletic Court.

During the first quarter, the two teams battled back-and-fourth for the lead, but the White team took a 20-13 lead to end the quarter.

Team White managed to pull ahead in the second even more, as Team Black could not keep up. By halftime, the score was 40-19.

“The slow start is what got us,” said Ryan Gray, sophomore international business and language major and coach of Team Black. “They just came out with guns firing.”

Coming back from the half with a new determination, Team Black tried its best trying to get the score up.

During the third quarter Team Black was shaken up when Plax got hurt.

His knee buckled and calf gave out when senior Sean Ketner hip checked him, knocking him down.

Luckily, Plax was not down for long and would eventually return in the fourth.

The third quarter ended with the White team still in the lead, 52-28.

The fourth quarter was the last shot for Team Black to catch up, but Team White continued to torment Team Black, as it was just a little better both offensively and defensively.

Team White ultimately won, 57-35.

“We were getting a lot of shots off and playing great defense,” Michael Acuna, junior kinesiology major, said. “Our defense has pretty much led to all of our offense, so that’s what really turned up the score for us.”

Sophomore Jack Matsunaga led Team White with 14 points. Junior Laboyd Richard followed behind him with nine points.

Team Black was led by sophomore Bayan Furutan with 14 points. Freshman Nicolas Charles followed behind him with 11 points.

This game marked the end of an eventful first year for the Leo Hoops League.

When the club was formed, the members wanted to create two teams that could compete with other schools in the area.

When Plax came up with the idea to start this club, he thought having two teams would work out to be best.

Tryouts were in the fall and once the players were chosen, they held a draft to come up with the two teams, Team Black and Team White.

Eight players were eventually chosen for each team.

“I had a lot of fun playing with the team,” Acuna said. “We were able to play at Cal State Northridge and La Pacific.”

Since forming in the fall, the club has had its ups and downs.

The club has had to deal with tournaments from other schools being canceled, coaching changes from both teams and players quitting due to personal situations and time conflicts.

Club members said they hope to get an even better turn out of people wanting to join next year, so they can continue to play teams from other schools.

The club hopes to create better bonds with other universities, so they are able to play in more tournaments throughout the next year.

Plax has big plans for the coming year.

He intends to create an executive board with different positions, such as marketing chairman and fundraising chairman, so the club will run more efficiently and smoothly.

Tryouts for the next year will be held once school starts in the fall.

“We look forward to the fall and participating in tournaments at Stanford, Santa Clara, Cal State Northridge and other schools.” Plax said.

“We want to get people to try out and get people who love the game of basketball.”

Lauren Crumbaker can be reached at lauren.crumbaker@laverne.edu.

Lauren Crumbaker
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