545thCompany gets best of shorthanded 647th CES

Army Sgt. Brian Robinson splits the defense to put up a shot in the lane.

Story and photo by Randy Dela Cruz

Sports Editor, Ho‘okele

The 545th Transportation Company (545 TC) waited for just the right moment to turn on their firepower and when it came, the team seized the opportunity and turned a close game into a drubbing. The 545 TC defeated the 647th Civil Engineer Squadron (647 CES), 68-51, on Feb.6 in an Above 30 White Division intramural basketball game at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Fitness Center.

The defending White Division champs, 647 CES, entered their latest showdown with the bare minimum of five players.

Although the team held off the 545 TC for most of the first half, things began to unravel for the 647 CES as the clock wound down to halftime.

Tied at 19-19 with 1:07 on the clock, Army Sgt. Brian Robinson, who was the leading scorer for the 545 TC with 18 points, decided that it was the right moment to make something happen.

Robinson, who had already scored nine points in the first half, put the 545 TC in front with a three-ball and a 22-19 lead.

On the next trip down the floor, Robinson saw an open lane and took the rock to the hole for a lay-up that made it 24-19 in favor of the 545 TC.

Then, with the clock running out, Robinson led a fast break before finding teammate Sgt. Tommy Collins for the dime and basket that put the 545 TC up by seven points at the break.

“I had to get loose,” Collins said about his breakout finish at the end of the first half. “Nobody was hitting nothing. That ball was light, so I had to go to the hole and start shooting.”

After pushing the ball at the 647 CES throughout the first half, Collins said that he had a feeling that something was about to give.

“They didn’t have no bench, so you got to keep getting at them,” Collins said. “We had a lot of people on the beach, so we had a lot to sub in and get them tired. That’s what that was.”

In the second half, the 545 TC picked up their first double-digit lead of the game on a trey by Staff Sgt. Thurman Kennedy that made it 36-26.

However, the 647 CES made a run at the 545 TC and brought the deficit down to five points after Tech. Sgt. Dejuan Coultor hit a basket-and-one that made it 36-31.

Instead, the run was short-lived, as Kennedy immediately answered with another trey and then proceeded to finish off a fast break with a lay-up that put the lead back up to 10 points at 41-31.

Later, Sgt. 1st Class Charles Monroe sealed up the game with back-to-back three-point shots that raised the lead up to 20 at 53-33 with only 8:11 remaining in the game.

“We was together,” Collins said about the team’s refusal to give up the lead. “We was passing the ball, swinging it, moving it and everybody was getting involved. That’s all that was, plus good defense.”

While it was only the second league game for the 545 TC, Collins said that everybody is on the same page this early in the season because they are always playing pickup ball together during their spare time.

As the season progresses, Collins said that the team would only get better and that should bode well for the 545 come playoff time.

“This will project good,” he said. “Man, we’re going on to play in the championship. We’re even missing one more person. He’s at school right now and he’s 6-8.”

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Category: Sports