MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va. (Jan 11.) --
Air Force Office of Special Investigation’s intramural basketball team soared over Combat Service Support’s team during a game at the Barber Physical Activity Center on Friday.
AFOSI gained a quick lead early in the game and, although their opponents turned up the heat in the second half, they pushed through to defeat CSS, 39 to 34.
Reuben Louis, an AFOSI player, gained the first possession at the start of the game and AFOSI was quick to put points on the board with a layup by Adrian Hernandez. Their quick passing game seemed to be the secret to success as the score quickly rose to AFOSI 10, CSS 0.
Due to back-to-back fouls against their players, CSS was given two easy opportunities to put points on the board and with three made foul shots they were finally in the game.
It seemed as if the fouls lit a flame under CSS players as they became more aggressive toward the ball. Justin Hughes, No. 47 for CSS, sank a long three-point shot - the first non-foul score for his team - bringing the score to AFOSI 10, CSS 6.
Another foul against Michael Schlegel, No. 56 for CSS, gave the team more free points and, with five minutes left on the clock, the scoreboard showed AFOSI holding onto their lead, 12-7.
AFOSI answered the successful free throws with a fade-away three-pointer from Reuben Louis, but their defense could not deny a layup and a three-pointer by Armando Valentine, No. 26 for CSS.
With less than two minutes remaining on the clock, the tempo of the game suddenly went into overdrive as both teams struggled to reach for victory. Back and forth across the court the two team scrambled, pushing man-to-man coverage.
With layup after layup, the score climbed and at the end of the first half the score was AFOSI 19, CSS 17.
The second half started just as the first half ended, with both teams making fast breaks to the hoop for layups.
The up-tempo play amped players up, but also caused even more fouls than the first half. Multiple fouls against CSS’ players kept them close on the scoreboard and with 10 minutes left in the game AFOSI still held their lead, 29-26.
CSS managed to tie the score at 33-33 and they briefly snuck ahead with another fouled player’s free throw, but a CSS victory was just not in the cards that night.
In the final seconds of the game, the pace pushed the crowd to the edges of their seats as the ball switched hands every few seconds.
With 30 seconds on the clock, a five-point lead and the ball in their possession, AFOSI simply ran out the clock with passing.
Down to the wire, CSS simply could not put up enough points to take the game and AFOSI walked away the victors 39-34.
“This win was all about teamwork,” said Andres Aquino, AFOSI’s coach. “We got off to a quick start, and they outran us in the middle of the game, but we pulled it through in the last five minutes.”
AFOSI’s next opponent is the Naval Health Clinic’s team on Jan 15.
“It’s no guarantee, but were going to come together and try to pull out a victory,” said Reuben Louis, an AFOSI player. “Our teamwork won this game and will carry us through. Go Air Force!”