With youthful endurance as its sixth man, Team George rolled over Jim and the Scrubs with an 82-57 victory Tuesday night to capture the 2000 Summer Intramural Basketball Championship. The game was relocated from the Dell basketball courts to the North Grounds Recreation and Fitness Center because of inclement weather.
"We're the greatest team in the history of intramural basketball," a chorus of Team George starters said after the final buzzer.
Team George (6-1) started the championship match with a scorching shooting hand that spotted it a commanding first-half lead. Robbie Marvin, who was moonlighting as a basketball player in his time off from the Virginia baseball team, burned the net with two treys and several slashing lay-ups. Accurate outside shooting from guard Tommy Landseadel and forward Arik Preis pushed Team George further ahead.
A little less than seven minutes into the game, Team George had pulled ahead, 17-7. By halftime, Team George had stretched its lead to 18 points.
Meanwhile, center Vas Boppana kept Jim and the Scrubs (4-2) from falling out of reach. With quick footwork and fast hands, Boppana is among the most imposing big men in the intramural league.
In the second half, Jim and the Scrubs started with a 9-2 run, but Team George regained its shooting touch and slowly widened the gap. With the game pretty much decided, Team George's athletes showboated with uncontested reverse 360 lay-ups and shots five feet beyond the three-point arc. Jim and the Scrubs displayed a symbolic defensive presence, proving they were not willing to give up, regardless of exhaustion.
The two teams had only 20 minutes to rest between the end of the semifinals and the tip-off of the championship. The short layoff didn't seem to affect Team George - a group of rising fourth-years - as much as Jim and the Scrubs, a team of physicians and psychologists from the University Hospital.
"The competition was good, and there was a lot of good sportsmanship," said James Irby, Jim and the Scrubs' namesake and emotional leader.
After several years of losing in the semifinals or finals, this was the first Intramural Basketball Championship for Team George.
(Mike Webb served as an intramural basketball referee.)