Ho'okele Staff | Mar 17, 2017
Story and photo by Randy Dela Cruz
Sports Editor, Ho‘okele
No matter how many players arrive for their games, nothing seems to slow down the 647th Civil Engineer Squadron (647 CES) Bulls.
Despite starting their showdown against the 613th Air and Space Operation Center (613 AOC) with only four players, the Bulls picked up the pace with the arrival of Staff Sgt. Elvis Shaw and won by a score of 85-69 to notch their seventh win against no defeats in an Over 30 White Division game March 14 at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Fitness Center.
The 613 AOC, which entered the matchup in a tie for third place, fell to their third defeat against four wins.
“We live by the three and die by the three,” Shaw said about the team’s come-from-behind win. “If we get something in between, we’ve got guys who can drive to the lane to get an open shot. If they ain’t got no lay-up, they got us on the wing ready to shoot.”
Shaw, who arrived about four minutes after the game had started, wasted no time in establishing the team’s perimeter game.
Down 13-2 following an 11-0 run by 613 AOC, Shaw stepped up and swished his first shot from the three-point zone to stop the skid.
Then two minutes later, Shaw connected on another long ball from beyond the arc that cut the lead down to one at 13-12.
Shaw fired in his third three ball in under four minutes to bring the Bulls all the way back to tie at 15-15, before teammate Staff Sgt. Corey Doss sank his first trey of the game to put the Bulls in front at 18-15.
The 613 AOC fought back to retake the lead, but another Doss trey pulled the Bulls back to within a point and then, back the other way, Bulls guard Staff Sgt. Brian Sanders stole the ball and kicked it out to Doss, who banked in a lay-up. That gave the Bulls their second lead of the game at 30-29.
Sanders would go on to drop a bulls-eye from the corner for a trey just before the buzzer sounded to end the first half, with the 647 CES up by a score of 43-38.
The high-scoring battle in the first half resembled the three-point contest at the NBA’s All-Star game, as the Bulls pumped in eight shots from long range, while the 613 AOC fired in six treys.
Master Sgt. Tyson Weyer was high man for the 613 AOC with three treys in the first half, while Shaw had four and Doss put down three.
The second half started off the way the first half ended, with Sanders knocking down a jumper from three-point land.
Later, holding an eight-point lead, the Bulls began to pull away after Doss put his team up by 10 on a lay-up.
The lead rose to 14 at 58-44 on a basket-and-one by Doss with 12:27 remaining on the clock.
The 613 AOC began one final comeback and cut the lead back down to 10 on putback by Master Sgt. Matt Rall.
However, back-to-back treys by Sanders gave the Bulls a 16-point lead, which proved to be too much for the 613 AOC to overcome.
“We’re all competitive,” said Shaw about the team’s unwillingness to succumb under heavy pressure applied by the 613 AOC. “When we saw them locking us down and they were coming down hitting open shots, we had to talk to each other and say, hey lets get back together.”
With the playoffs for the Over 30 Division starting on March 21, the Bulls, who finished the division as the only undefeated team, are certainly the favorites to win it all.
While Shaw admits that there is a lot of pressure to finish the season without a loss, he believes that the Bulls are in the driver’s seat.
“We just got to come out and play our game,” he said.