Buzzer beater in regulation leads to OT win for 8th IS

Master Sgt. Todd Deralis goes up for a putback inside the paint.

Story and photo by Randy Dela Cruz

Sports Editor, Ho‘okele

Trailing for the entire first half and for most of the second, the 8th Intelligence Squadron (8 IS) tied the score at the buzzer to end regulation before defeating Pit of Misery, 56-53, in overtime. They did it in a White Division Over 30 League intramural basketball game on Jan. 23 at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Fitness Center.

In the first game of the season, it appeared that time had run out on the 8 IS comeback attempt. The team had only a couple seconds to tie the score after Pit of Misery clung to a 44-41 lead.

Master Sgt. Joe Morris caught the ball just before the half-court line and without any hesitation threw a high arcing shot toward the Pit of Misery basket.

As the horn sounded, the ball clanged off the backboard and ricocheted through the net to tie the score at 44-44.

“I figured we were down, so I might as well go ahead toss it up and see what happens,” Morris said. “I felt like it was going in.”

In overtime, Morris added three more points on a basket and free throw. Teammate Tech. Sgt. William Veaman contributed six to lead the way to the overtime victory.

Pit of Misery pulled to within a single point two times in overtime on a couple of treys by Master-at-Arms 1st Class Matt Walker, but each time the team got close, the 8 IS answered back with just enough points to secure the win.

“We played with a lot of heart today,” Morris said. “We had one guy foul out and I had to run the rest of the second half, and I’m 39 about to be 40 years old. I just looked to my team to lead the way and they made it happen.”

While the 8 IS were able to steal the game in the end, it wasn’t an easy win by any means.

Pit of Misery opened up on fire from the perimeter. Cryptologic Technician (Maintenance) 1st Class Jason Brownlee hit a step-back jumper from 12 feet away to score the first basket of the game and season.

Walker also popped in his first trey of the game in the first half, but no one was hotter from the outside than Senior Chief Cryptologic Technician (Technical) Jason Townsend, who launched and connected from beyond the arc three times before halftime.

Townsend’s second trey of the game gave Pit of Misery a 19-10 lead, before the team took a 23-17 advantage into the break.

After intermission, the 8 IS started a rally after switching to a tough man-to-man defense that seemed to cool off Pit of Misery shooters.

The strategy was aided by strong effort from center Master Sgt. Todd Deralis, who controlled the paint with his aggressive and relentless work ethic.

Down by four points, the 8 IS pulled to within a single point, when Staff Sgt. Patrick Carroll pulled up from a fast break at the top of the circle and calmly swished a three-point shot.

Then, on the next time down-court, the 8 IS took their first lead of the game at 28-27 on a breakaway lay-up by Veaman.

From then, the game swayed back and forth until late in the second half, when Pit of Misery sank five of six free throws to take a five-point lead.

However, a basket and the bomb from Morris erased the five-point gap and set the stage for the comeback win in overtime by the 8 IS.

“We saw them actually get exhausted,” Carroll said. “That’s when we made the push to man and put the pressure on them. It was just perseverance, keep grinding, make every possession count and just one possession at a time, while protecting the ball.”

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Category: Sports