NIOC takes care of business to overwhelm SDVT-1

Cryptologic Technician (Networks) 2nd Class J'mese White, Navy Information Operations Command (NIOC), attacks the basket during a Blue Division game against SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team-One (SDVT-1).

Cryptologic Technician (Networks) 2nd Class J’mese White, Navy Information Operations Command (NIOC), attacks the basket during a Blue Division game against SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team-One (SDVT-1).

Story and photo by Randy Dela Cruz

Sports Editor

On paper, it appeared that the defending champions Navy Information Operations Command (NIOC) and SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team-One (SDVT-1) were two teams headed in opposite directions, and once the game got underway, it became clear just how much they stood apart.

Entering the matchup, NIOC won six games against only one defeat, while SDVT-1, at 0-5, was looking for their first win of the season.

However on this night, SDVT-1 was left still searching as NIOC opened up a 27-4 lead at halftime and ran away to a 55-14 romp Feb. 25 in a Blue Division intramural basketball game at Hickam Fitness Center.

“We’ve been playing kind of lackadaisical lately and this game, we were finally able to get back to basics,” said NIOC sharp-shooting guard Cryptologic Technician (Networks) 2nd Class Michael Lyles, who pumped in 15 points. “When you lose a game, it’s a wakeup call that you guys aren’t undefeatable. So we needed to go back to basics and play hard.”

Right from tip-off, NIOC took control and only seven minutes into the game, posted their first double-digit lead at 11-2 on a put-back shot by center Navy Cryptologic Technician (Collection) 2nd Class Quentin Leathers.

Then just before halftime, Leathers asserted himself once again in throwing down a two-handed slam for a 20-point advantage at 24-4.

Right after intermission, NIOC immediately picked up right where they left off as Cryptologic Technician (Collection) 2nd Class Jomario Thomas completed a basket-and-one for a 30-4 lead.

Moments later, Lyles went off to put the game away for good.

Within one minute, Lyles scored on back-to-back layups off of two steals and then added two more hoops to put NIOC ahead at 44-7 with 9:36 remaining in the game.

Lyles finally finished off his amazing run by pulling up and nailing a three-pointer for the corner for a 51-9 lead.

“It’s a mental thing mostly,” said Lyles, who added that the huge lead helped him relax and play his game. “It definitely allows you more breathing room to get your fundamentals back together.”

Even though the game was in NIOC’s full control from the beginning, head coach Master Chief Yeoman Darrin Bobbitt said that it wasn’t time to take the night off.

“Well, me and assistant coach Senior Chief Cryptologic Technician (Collection) Chris Webb, said that we’re going to work on some fundamental things,” Bobbitt pointed out. “So we trapped a couple of times because we don’t want to wait until we get to a game situation to have to use it. And at the end, we worked on a different aspect of our offense, which is the four-corner.”

While it may seem like NIOC was pouring it on SDVT-1, Bobbitt said that the team needed to work on a few things at game speed and the lopsided game presented the perfect opportunity.

“I don’t coach to the score,” he explained. “What I always want my guys to do is give 110 percent because what we do on the court equates to what we do in life. When we talk to these guys, it’s not just about their basketball game. It’s about their whole life, the whole Sailor.”

In comparing last year’s championship squad with the new personnel on the current team, Lyles said that while a few faces have changed, NIOC still plays like winners.

“I think we’re there,” he said. “We’re a different team, but the heart and intensity that we bring is the same.”

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Category: Sports