Minimum of players doesn’t keep 647th SFS from top

Power forward Staff Sgt. David Arline drives in the lane for two of his 18 points.

Power forward Staff Sgt. David Arline drives in the lane for two of his 18 points.

Story and photo by Randy Dela Cruz

Sports Editor, Ho‘okele

What do you do if you’re playing for the No. 1 spot with no reserves and your top scorer is having an off night?

If you’re the 647th Security Forces Squadron (647 SFS) you do what you’ve doing for the entire season: win.

In a battle of the top two teams in the White Division, Above 30 League, the 647 SFS arrived with the bare minimum of five players, but at the end of the 40-minute intramural basketball game, the team was still good enough to outlast the Old Bulls, 76-71, to claim sole possession of first place in the division.

The win gave the 647 SFS a division-leading record of 6-1, while the Old Bulls fell for only the second time this season and stand at 5-2.

“It’s really tough coming here and playing 40 minutes with only five people,” 647 SFS point guard Tech. Sgt. Chris Jackson said. “We tried to get out and run early and conserve energy, but at the end of the game, it got close. We did what we had to do to get a win.”

With no substitutions, the 647 SFS had to rely on everyone to provide a little extra, not only to get the win, but also to stay competitive.

The situation was compounded even further by the cold shooting of the team’s leading point-getter Staff Sgt. Corey Doss, whose perimeter game has been Steph Curry-ish at times.

Held to only seven points in the first half, it’s a good thing that Jackson and others were there to step up and pick up the slack.

Jackson was especially lights out as the slender point man attacked the basket from all angles to finish up the first half with 21 points, with 12 points coming from beyond the three-point arc.

“I knew that we were going to need my scoring a little more,” Jackson admitted. “Plus my parents are in town and I couldn’t let them down. Jackson said the shots were falling for him that night.

Another difference maker in the first half was the strong inside play of Staff Sgt. David Arline, who chipped in with 10 points on a variety of post shots under the basket.

However, it wasn’t until only 25 seconds remained before halftime that the 647 SFS got their first double-digit lead of the game at 41-30 on a steal and basket by Jackson.

While the 647 SFS got points from inside and outside, the Old Bulls kept the game within striking distance by throwing them down from beyond the arc.

In the first half, the Old Bulls got a total of eight treys, with four coming off the hot hand of Master Sgt. John Redmond.

In the second half, the Old Bulls tried to pull closer, but each time they crept to within a basket or two, the 647 SFS would somehow come up with a clutch shot to answer the challenge.

“Every time they (the Old Bulls) would make a run, we would get a decent shot,” Jackson pointed out. “We would get down low, go to our big men or we would hit a big three. That kept them off of us.”

The Old Bulls did make one final push and cut the lead down to six on a basket by Staff Sgt. Chris Miranda at 59-53 with 6:45 on the clock.

But for one final time, the 647 SFS went back to the well, got the points they needed and ran out the clock for the win.

Jackson led all scorers 27 points and got support from Ar-line with 18, 13 from Tech. Sgt. Dion Moore and even Doss found his range for 15 points.

“It feels good,” Jackson said about being at the top of the division. “We had that one loss because of a forfeit, so technically, we’ve never been beat on the court. Hopefully we can keep it going through the playoffs.”

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Category: Sports