Your Guide to the 2022 IMBA Season


Cora Bainbridge

Mar. 3, 2022—Senior’s Can’t Shoot compete in their last game against Bishop Sycamore before the championship.

Cora Bainbridge, Sports Manager

Two months, 17 teams, one champion. Intramural basketball, also known as IMBA, is an underground culture at State High. IMBA was a yearly competition up until 2019, and after a two-year hiatus, IMBA came back stronger than ever. Students either view these teams in one of two ways: as jokes, or professional teams competing at Madison Square Garden. The first game was played on Jan. 24 but that was not the beginning of IMBA. From late November 2021 until the beginning of January, prospective athletes were playing scrimmages in the gyms of the local YMCA. These prospects were hoping to be scouted by team captains before team rosters were even made. Once team captains were decided, rosters were put together, and the 17 teams were born. On Jan. 24, 2022, the first six teams entered the Easterly Parkway gym and played the first games of the IMBA season.

The Ducks vs. T&B Medical: the first game of the season. Led by junior Mia Reese, The Ducks are one of the shortest teams in the league, but that does not stop them from wanting to dominate on the court. 

“We want to use your disadvantages as advantages,” Reese talked about when getting ready for the season to begin. 

The Ducks are also one of two co-ed teams, meaning that the all-male teams have to play the game by the same rules as girls basketball when playing against them. Meaning, the ball is smaller, and defending is limited to only being able to block with arms in the air. These rules have not given The Ducks competition any issues, because when T&B Medical were told these rules, they did not change their game plan. 

“We’re a true fundamental basketball team who plays strong defense,” senior Owen Barr, T&B Medical Captain, said when going into his first game against The Ducks. 

Barr went into this game with the legacy of his older brother’s reputation, an IMBA alumni, on his shoulders, and his family’s company’s name on his back. Barr’s team had one goal starting off the season, and it has not changed: win the championship. 

To get to the playoffs and the championship, the teams must compete in regular-season games. The more games a team wins, the better-ranked they will be in the playoffs, making their ride to the championship easier. 

Being the opening game, The Ducks and T&B Medical both needed to win to show the rest of the teams in the league that they meant business. T&B Medical entered the game as football players and best friends, with little experience of playing basketball outside of scrimmages and preseason practice, but they still dominated over The Ducks’ lack of shooting ability and defense strategies. T&B took the first win of the IMBA season, with a final score of 53-17. This game would begin The Duck’s seven-game losing streak and T&B’s rollercoaster of successes in the league. 

The second game of the night was Quizballerz vs. Rimgrazers, two wild card teams, beginning their path in the regular season. The Quizballerz, also known as “Big Quiz,” is led by senior Zach Cheslock, who became one of the top scorers in the league and was nicknamed “Sharpshooter” by fans throughout the school. Their team, no matter how successful their season was, was able to create a community surrounding themselves from the very beginning of the season. 

“Our biggest rival is ourselves; we have overcome a lot of obstacles to get to where we are now, and we are our biggest competitors,” said senior Tony Tzolov, player for Quizballerz, as he reflected on the team’s mindset going into the season. 

This mindset was able to help them through tough losses in the seasons. One of their toughest losses being their first against Rimgrazers. Led by junior, Tommy Egerer, no one in the league really knew who the Rimgrazers were or how they could play together. The benefit of this secrecy was that when they dominated over the Quizballerz, 44-18, their reputation as a team that would not be messed with was established. 

The last game of the night was Senior’s Can’t Shoot(SCS) vs. Bishop Sycamore. SCS is led by senior Ethan Schimony, and he has helped his team keep an undefeated record so far throughout the season. 

“We are the life of IMBA as a whole,” Schimony said when first asked about his feelings of his team starting off their season.

This game was one of the rowdiest games of the season. Strong headed athletes, who usually play together on State High’s baseball, soccer, and football teams, were playing against each other on the court. What could go wrong? Fouls after fouls. One of the main rules in IMBA is no swearing in any formality, and that is all these boys did. In the last five minutes of the game Senior’s Can’t Shoot racked up most of their points through free throws from technical fouls of Bishop Sycamore’s profane language. These foul shots granted SCS their first win of the season, 37-23, against Bishop Sycamore. After this game, Bishop Sycamore would become one of the stronger teams of the league, and the team with leading scorer in the league, senior Branden Price, who accumulated 125 points in the first three weeks of the season. 

After this game SCS gained the nickname “The Bad Boys in Gray” by the media. Social media, specifically Instagram, has become the major outlet for these teams to express their feelings about their season so far. Mixed with trash talk before the season began, endorsements from the Penn State Lionettes, and using other teams’ significant others to support the opposing team ; a team’s reputation is heavily dependent upon their social media presence. Some of the most notable teams to use social media to their advantage was team Tendie Tuesday, who created a fake social media post saying that they won a game 50-23, when in actuality they lost that game 23-50. Led by senior Chris Petrick, this captain and team only want to have fun, wanting to show people that intramural basketball does not have to be as competitive as the other teams make it out to be. 

“A lot of teams take the games either very seriously or they have a desire to win,” Petrick said when speaking about the atmosphere of the league. “Which is really great for the league. However as a team we just wanna go there and have fun playing with our friends.”

This friendly outlook is seen throughout the league, but those “friendly” teams have an underlying toxicity of rivalry. The biggest rivalry comes from the two major sophomore teams: Diabetic Dominators and Baba Ganoush. Diabetic Dominators is led by sophomore Nathan Alexander, and the team went into the regular season with one goal: beat Baba Ganoush.

“They are our friends and in the same grade as us,” Alexander said when pondering if they had any rivals in the league. “They are the main team we want to play.”

Some rivalries were not made before the season, some were born throughout. 99 Problems and Bag Chasers are both defense-heavy teams, using defense as their main way of winning their games. When they played each other neither team viewed each other as rivals but after that game, where Bag Chasers won by three points in the last minute, 99 Problems began to view them as rivals. 

“Bag Chasers,” said senior Nemo Jackson, captain of 99 Problems, when asked if his teams had any rivals after the first week of the season.

These rivalries have grown throughout the season, and powered these teams into the next part of intramural basketball: the playoffs. Playoffs were set up as a single-elimination tournament, with one loss eliminating that team from the chance at playing in the championship. The teams are split up into two different divisions, maroon and gray, with teams playing in their corresponding division until playoffs. However, before playoffs officially began, a wild card game had to be played. There are 17 teams in the league, but only 16 spots in the playoffs. Two teams from the maroon division, the teams with the lowest numbers of wins, had to compete in one final game before playoffs to determine which team will make it to the playoffs. This wild card game was played by Alley-oops and 808’s and Fastbreaks. 808’s would advance to the playoffs, beating Alley-oops 42-9. 

As the playoffs began, many teams fell, leaving two champions for each division: Diabetic Dominators and Senior’s Can’t Shoot. Sophomores vs. Seniors. A battle for the IMBA history books.