8 IS pulls through with come-from-behind victory

Tech. Sgt. Robert Ford is about to shoot a floater for two of his game-high 16 points.

Story and photo by Randy Dela Cruz

Sports Editor, Ho‘okele

Last week, the 8th Intelligence Squadron (8 IS) pulled victory from the jaws of defeat. Master Sgt. Joe Morris hit a jumper from midcourt to the tie game before the team went on to win in overtime.

On Jan. 30, the 8 IS may have solidified their reputation as comeback kids in the White Division Over 30 League. The team rose from 10 points behind in the second half to topple the 647th Civil Engineer Squadron (647 CES), 47-42, in an intramural basketball showdown at Hickam Fitness Center, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

The 647 CES are the defending Over 30 champions and were riding an undefeated streak that dated back from the start of last season.

“We’ve been talking about playing in the Over 30 since the beginning of the year,” said Tech. Sgt. William Yeaman, whose trey with 2:24 remaining on the clock gave the 8 IS a 44-42 lead. “We all play together on our off time, so we said let’s play in the Over 30 and let’s have fun. That’s what we did.”

Despite squaring off against the defending champions, the 8 IS showed no signs of intimidation even after the team got off to a slow start and immediately fell behind by a score of 7-0.

Slowly but surely, the 8 IS fought back and with 3:58 remaining in the first half, completely erased the deficit on a basket by Yeaman that tied the score at 17-17.

Back-to-back baskets by Staff Sgt. Roy Jackson put the 647 CES back out in front by four at 21-17, but another basket by Yeaman cut the lead down to two.

After the 647 CES added to their lead with another basket just before halftime, Yeaman added one final clutch play with a basket-and-one to pull his team to within a point at 23-22 at intermission.

The seven first-half points by Yeaman, as were the eight points added by teammate Tech. Sgt. Robert Ford, were instrumental in keeping the 8 IS within striking distance of the 647 CES.

While star forward Staff Sgt. Elvis Shaw was struggling to find his range, the 647 CES opened up the second half with strong performances from guards Master Sgt. Brent Jordan and Tech. Sgt. Jonathan Dodson.

Dodson immediately breathed life into the stagnant CES offense by gunning down five points on a trey and jump shot to start off the second half.

Then at the 14:59 mark, Jordan scored on a drive to the basket that opened up a 10-point lead at 34-24 — forcing a timeout by the 8 IS.

Yeaman said what happened during the short break changed the direction of the game and strengthened the team’s resolve to come back.

“When we called a timeout, Carroll (Staff Sgt. Patrick) starting getting on us saying ‘Hey, we’re better than this,'” Yeaman said. “He said that if we just play our game, we’ll do it and sure enough, we did.”

After the pep talk by Carroll, the momentum of the game really started to shift when Ford sank back-to-back treys to make it a one-point game at 35-34.

On the next trip down the floor, Staff Sgt. Michael Garel came through with a trey of his own to put the 8 IS in front at 37-35.

Although the shot by Garel was huge, the trey hit by Yeaman at the 2:24 mark turned out to be the dagger that put the CES away for good.

“It felt good,” Yeaman said about his clutch shot late in the game. “I felt confident that my teammates would get the rebound (in case of a miss). I play with these guys forever and they hustle.”

The 2-0 record to start off the season could turn out to be a huge advantage for the 8 IS, as there are only four teams in the Over 30 Division this season.

Yeaman said that if the team just keeps focused and has fun, he and his teammates could be on the verge of something special.

“We just try not over-think it and just play our game,” he said. “We just talk about how much fun it is.”

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Category: Sports