Blue Ballers show no mercy to Richmond Shenanigans

Nicole Ely/The News The Blue Ballers run the court Tuesday night where it ended in a mercy rule over Richmond Shenanigans, 50-20.
Nicole Ely/The News The Blue Ballers run the court Tuesday night where it ended in a mercy rule over Richmond Shenanigans, 50-20.

Nicole Ely/The News
The Blue Ballers run the court Tuesday night where it ended in a mercy rule over Richmond Shenanigans, 50-20.

One team used smart shot selection and efficient passing to execute its goal of winning while their opponents’ approach was to have fun.

The game, in the South Gym in the Carr Health Building Tuesday night, ended just 3 minutes and 45 seconds into the second half because of the mercy rule. The Blue Ballers beat Richmond Shenanigans 50-20. This was the first loss for the Richmond Shenanigans of the season, last week they scored 73 points. The Blue Ballers have won every game by at least 28 points.

Leading scorer for the Blue Ballers, Sam Armstrong, poured in 19 points and at one moment made four three-pointers in a row.

Armstrong is one of two graduate students on the team. In his last year as an undergraduate he walked onto the Liberty University basketball team.

“It’s the stroke, man,” Armstrong said. “I feel it, I don’t know how to explain it. I’ve been a shooter my whole life.”

Fellow graduate student David Hite didn’t score a point for the Blue Ballers but had a big block in the first half that ignited a 17-2 run.

“It always feels good to deny somebody,” Hite said.

As the game got underway the Blue Ballers fell behind 9-6 after junior Taran Coleman connected on two 3-point shots and teammate Jacob Williams hit another 3-pointer for the Richmond Shenanigans.

“I think about 80 or 90 percent of our shots are 3’s but about 5 or 6 percent of those are probably half court shots,” Coleman said. “So that’s pretty much our offense.”

On the first possession for the Richmond Shenanigans, they swung the ball around the perimeter for about a minute yelling out names and laughing. Junior Nathan Leibering of the Shenanigans was one of the more vocal players on the court calling out random names as if they were set plays.

“Couple of them are girlfriends, some of them are guy friends,” Leibering said. “We try to keep the defense honest.”

Richmond Shenanigans made entertainment a priority as the players and fans follow each shot made or missed with cheers and jeers.

Armstrong wasn’t pleased with the shenanigans of Richmond Shenanigans.

“I like to compete so it was kind of annoying,” Armstrong said.

Coleman made 75 percent of his shots, but each time he shot, his teammates yelled “Ball hog.”

“The team likes for me to shoot and shoot often, so you know that’s pretty much where the points come from,” Coleman said. “Teammate Hal Abel likes for me to shoot the ball; it compensates for his lack of being able to shoot.”

The Blue Ballers are hoping to earn a first-round bye in the upcoming playoffs as they attempt to repeat their success from last season as a semi-finalist team.

Other intramural scores from Tuesday include Steak Sauce forcing the mercy rule on Team Lob City and winning 50-18 and the BCM Ballers beating Hart B 46-27.

Story by Blake Bernier, Staff writer