Last year, the varsity men’s basketball team got snubbed for a spot at the NIT, the club basketball team didn’t exist, and intramurals were nearing total joke-status.
This year is a little different.
Basketball was back in the NCAA tournament, club basketball is a Butler-recognized sport, and intramurals are getting more competitive.
Intramural Supervisor and Coordinator of Intramural Championship Events Josh Koch said he thinks intramural competition has continually gotten more intense each year.
“Overall,” he said, “I definitely think the quality (of play) has increased over the past few years, especially this year to last year.”
Since the club team is official, Koch said, a limit was put on the number of club players allowed on a single team, which evens out the playing field quite a bit. “There are probably ten or twelve teams that could’ve played in the championship games,” he said.
Koch said there’s also been a lot more interest in intramural basketball events because of coordinators using social media, as well as adding in special halftime events and trying to reach a wider audience with the event.
“All the work we do beforehand,” Koch said, “I think that brings a lot more interest to intramurals.
“We don’t have a single frat or sorority team in the games, so it kind of limits who’s going to come, but I think all the teams [were] really good.”
This year, 61 teams participated in multiple weeks of intramural play, with 35 teams in the men’s tournament, 8 teams in the women’s and 18 in the co-rec division.
The co-rec championship was the first to take place last night. Victorious Secret lead Sleeve of Wizards 48-45 with three minutes left, but a layup and Claire Milam jumper stretched Victorious Secret’s lead to eight. Sleeve of Wizards’ Justin Simmons responded with a trey to bring the score back within five, but Victorious Secret held them off, winning 56-50.
Milam, one of last year’s co-rec championship team members, said it was a lot tougher to get to the finals this year than last year
Last but not least, Prestige Worldwide and Catapres Convicts met in the men’s championship game. Tied 16-16 with two-and-a-half left in the first half, scores remained close throughout the game until the last thirty seconds, when Catapres Convicts pulled away for a 41-34 win.
Convicts player Michael Werres said more guys coming out for intramurals made a huge difference in the level of play this year.
“There was a lot more competition,” he said. “It was a great win. They were a good team, a physical team – it was a great game.”
In addition to the co-rec, mens’, and women’s games, halftime events included a men’s and a women’s 3-point shootout as well as a chance to shoot a half-court shot for a years’ worth of free Marco’s pizza and $200 in cash. The first male and first female to hit the shot each earned the top prize, and everyone who hit the shot within the 10-minute time limit got a free pizza.
Intramural competition continues through the spring semester with softball and cornhole registrations going on this week. Interested participants can register at imleagues.com/butler or the Health and Recreation Center.
CO-REC CHAMPIONS: SLEEVE OF WIZARDS, Claire Milam (C), Colleen Gorkis, Doug Petty, Dylan Johnson, Erica Stahl, Jay Brummel, Kelly Grott, Matt Lancaster
WOMEN’S CHAMPIONS: BFD, Liz Tat (C), Casey Sines, Dragana Grbic, Kelsey Neal, Kristen Kinsey, Liz Closurdo, Margaret Head, Molly Craig
MEN’S CHAMPIONS: CATAPRES CONVICTS, Josh Koch (C), Andy Houck, Austin Weaver, Brandon Green, Christian Krenk, Jared Grubbs, Jordan Burt, Josiah Smith, Louis Kamo, Michael Werres, Miroslav Anguelov, Stevan Tomich, Troy Gulden
3-POINT SHOOTOUT CHAMPIONS: Jill Gentry, Nick Donati
HALFCOURT SHOT GRAND PRIZE WINNERS: Beth Werge, Andy Houck