The 56th Logistics Readiness Squadron intramural basketball team held off 56th Security Forces Squadron July 31 by winning 57-56 and evened up the regular season series 3-3 over the past six seasons.
Both teams went into the game with strategies to counter their opponents.
Omar Thompson, SFS, stated that they aimed to make the game as slow as possible with pressing and working the ball around on offense.
“Once the ball goes up we’re going to give it all we have,” said Michael Barber, LRS, prior to the game. “SFS is a big physical team. With us lacking in height, we’re going to try to get the ball and run.”
SFS struck first after Derek Geske, SFS, was fouled and sent to the line. Geske made both free throws to put SFS up 2-0.
As the first half played out, both teams struggled to build any kind of lead. LRS had the biggest lead of three points with 8:47 left in the first half.
“SFS gave us a different look,” Barber said. “This was the first time we’ve had a team pressure the ball as we brought it up the court.”
In the final 15 seconds before halftime, SFS tried extending their one point lead, but was unable to do the job. The first half ended with SFS leading 25-24.
The back-and-forth battle continued in the second half. Neither team was able to put together a lead bigger than 3 until there was 6:46 left in the game and LRS built a 6-point lead.
“We’ve been down by more many times before and have come back,” Geske said. “We have a good team and are capable of handling being down.”
SFS answered back by going on a 7-0 run giving them a 48-47 lead with 4:21 left in the game.
The intensity of the game was at its highest in the final two minutes as LRS had a six point lead.
SFS pressured LRS in the front court forcing them to make multiple turnovers to close the lead to two.
With 45 seconds left Miles Morales, LRS, went to the line for two free throws. He made the first and missed the second putting LRS up 53-52.
As LRS grabbed the rebound after a SFS miss, Therrion Grooms, LRS, was fouled and sent to the line. He hit both free throws putting them up 55-52.
In the final 10 seconds of the game, LRS had a 57-53 lead. D’Shaad Johnson, SFS, pushed the ball down the court and hit a three-pointer with 1.9 seconds left.
Due to SFS’s tough defense, LRS turned the ball over with 1.3 seconds left.
“With 1.3 seconds on the clock, all you can really do is hope for the best shot,” Geske said.
Barber stated that when SFS got the ball back he thought about SFS’s previous season’s buzzer-beater shot that gave them the win.
Johnson, SFS, received the inbound pass and put up the shot as time ran out.
As the ball was released by Johnson, both teams were focused on the ball going toward the basket.
With the ball falling short, LRS left the court victors.
“The game was just as we expected,” Barber said. “It was a battle all the way to the end. We’re fortunate to come away with the victory.”