NIOC Hawaii reclaims first place in Red Division

Crypotologic Technician (collection) 2nd Class Autoine Ford drives to the basket for a lay-up.

Crypotologic Technician (collection) 2nd Class Autoine Ford drives to the basket for a lay-up.

Story and photo by Randy Dela Cruz Sports Editor, Ho‘okele

According to Navy Information Operations Command (NIOC) Hawaii Shoot Out Intelligence head coach Specialist 1st Class Brett Flores, the basketball matchup against 647th Civil Engineer Squadron (647 CES) B team wasn’t about winning, but was about getting back into sync.

Prior to the Red Division game, NIOC had won nine out of 10 and stood only a half a game away from first place.

However, Flores said that between seeing players come and go, and winning their last two games by forfeit, Shoot Out has fought to gain consistency from the start to end in all their battles.

After having a full team for the first time in a while and watching them trounce the B team, 83-16, on April 12 at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Flores said that he may have found the consistency he has been searching for all year.

“Today was about being in sync,” Flores said. “We’ve been in flux for a bit. We’ve had people come in and out. We haven’t had a real stable consistent team. This week, everyone is here. That was really about it. Everybody was just glad to be back as a team.”

The game was a matchup of teams at the opposite end of the standings, with NIOC holding a 9-1 record, while the B team came in with a record of 1-9.

As expected, NIOC blazed out of the gates and started off reeling 19 points, before the B team even scored a point.

The team’s first five players set the tempo as three players contributed six points or more.

Leading the way was sharpshooter Crypotologic Technician (collection) 2nd Class Autoine Ford, who led all NIOC players with nine points, which included a trey, by halftime.

Midway through the first half, Flores kept the high-octane offense running strong by swapping out the first five players with another set of five.

Without skipping a beat, the next group picked up right where the first five left off.

The high-paced offense piled on the points and by halftime, NIOC went into the break with an unbelievable 45-5 lead.

A total of 10 players scored for Shoot Out in the first half and by the game’s end, 13 players inked their names in the scorebook.

“We’re trying to maximize the playing time everyone has,” Flores said. “We also want everyone to have a good time doing it. A lot of times, people are worried about getting the win. We’re more about just having a good time.

In the second half, NIOC had just as much fun as they had in the first half.

At the 13:52 mark, Cryptologic Technician (Collection) 2nd Class Charles Carpenter got in the score-book with a lay-up that jacked the lead by 50 points at 60-10.

As the clock wound down, things got even worse for the B team. Shoot Out took an amazing 70-point lead at 81-11.

Flores said that NIOC, despite its inconsistencies throughout the season, has been blessed to have so many interchangeable parts.

He feels that he can substitute his players at will and they wouldn’t miss a beat.

In addition, Flores said because he has players of all different sizes and heights, there isn’t a team on base that can outmatch Shoot Out’s versatility.

“I think our numbers alone is going to help us,” he said. “But at the end of the day, it’s going to be our best five I can put out there. If I have to go big, I put in all my big men. If I need to go small, we can play small ball as well.

“We’re looking to win it all. We want to incorporate having fun and the love of the game, but we also want to finish on a high note. That means winning it all.”

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Category: Sports