Ho'okele Staff | Feb 10, 2017
Story and photo by Randy Dela Cruz
Sports Editor, Ho‘okele
This one took a little longer for the 647th Civil Engineer Squadron (647 CES) Bulls to get going, but in the end, the result was the same: another runaway win in the 30 Above Division.
Perhaps Playing against another undefeated team stalled the Bulls attack a bit, but once the team pulled away, it was for good. The 647 CES rambled on to their third straight victory with a 62-37 win over Defense POW/ MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) on Feb. 7 at Hickam Fitness Center.
“It’s a team effort,” said Staff Sgt. Roy Jackson, who played a huge role in turning a close game into a rout. “I believe that rebounding and defense wins all games. You can do what you want on offense, but as long as you’re doing what you’re supposed to do on defense, that wins championships.”
Right after tipoff, the Bulls assumed their typical run-and-gun style of play. Ring leader Staff Sgt. Labronze Paden picked up right where he left off in the team’s last win by running the transition game to perfection.
Paden, who popped in 18 in the team’s second win of the season, got the Bulls motor running against DPAA by scoring his team’s first 10 points of the game in only five minutes of play.
However, much to their credit and the shooting of guard Capt. John Duncan, DPAA kept pace and found themselves trailing by only a single point at 12-11 after a basket inside the paint at the 11:35 mark by power forward Staff Sgt. Patrick Damasa.
Duncan was especially effective for DPAA, as he scored the first 7 points of the team’s 11 to keep his team within striking distance.
However, as with most of the Bulls opponents this season, DPAA was hard pressed to keep up with the run-and-gun tempo of the 647 CES.
With only a minute on the clock before halftime, Staff Sgt. Elvis Shaw, who was quiet for entire first half, finally broke the ice by connecting on a trey that elevated the Bulls to a huge 14-point lead at 29-15.
“It’s a blessing,” said Jackson about the team’s abundance of scorers, who can take over a game at any time. “It can be anybody on the team. It can be anybody’s night and we just ride that night.”
Coming out of intermission, the Bulls continued to roll and when Shaw scored off of an assist by Staff Sgt. Brian Sanders, the team held a 33-21 lead with only 14:22 remaining in the game.
Instead of heaping more points on the lead, the Bulls found themselves in a fight. DPAA, behind back-to-back baskets by center Sgt. 1st Class Shaka Osborne, pulled to within four points at 34-30.
But as if turning on a switch, the Bulls went right back to business. The team started to go inside the paint to reinvigo-rate their offense.
Jackson was the main cog in the team’s turnaround. The Bulls big man got back-to-back baskets on two putbacks and two free throws to score six straight points and help rebuild his team’s lead back to double digits at 43-31.
“We’re out here competing every night,” Jackson said. “Our goal is to score as many points as possible. I believe that the margin of victory matters at the end of the season, so while we don’t want to run the score, we want to score as many points as we can to secure that number one spot.”