Heat victorious in Old School action, improve to 7-2
May 30, 2013
By Nick Duke
FORT BENNING, Ga., (May 29, 2013) -- With summer approaching, many local athletes are focusing their efforts on the softball diamond.
However, for the men of the Old School Basketball League, it is basketball season year-round.
The OSBL features teams comprised mostly of players 40 or older, with limited exceptions for players ages 37-39.
The league plays both a fall and spring season, and during this season, Fort Benning has two teams participating.
One of those teams, the Fort Benning Heat, came into last week's play with a 6-2 record, good for second in the standings.
On Thursday, the Heat improved its mark to 7-2 with a 67-53 victory over North Highland Assembly of God at NHA's gym.
NHA came into the game with a 3-5 record, but was able to keep the game close for a half before the Heat's full-court defense and strong offensive play in the paint helped it to build a big second half lead.
"We came together as a group, and settled on our optimal squad eventually," said Heat captain Michael Brown of MEDDAC. "That's why it was close at halftime. We were playing with some things to kind of confuse them, but then we really turned it up in the second half to show them that we can run."
Early on, it looked as if NHA's Frank Watts would will his team to victory, as he scored 18 of his team's 31 first-half-points, including a 3-pointer from five feet beyond the 3-point line as time ran out in the half.
That shot cut the Heat lead to 34-31 at the half.
Brown said the Heat players talked at halftime, and decided to step up the pressure defensively.
"As a team, we were playing lackadaisical," Brown said. "We were playing their game. We turned it up and kind of said that in the second half, we were going to play our game."
That increased defensive pressure helped the Heat to hold Watts to only four second-half points after his first-half outburst.
In the second half, Heat forward Carlos Rockshead set the tone early, scoring the team's first six points of the half to open up a 40-34 lead.
He was able to repeatedly get good position near the basket and finish in the paint.
"He's an awesome big man because he's kind of versatile," Brown said. "He can shoot the jumper also, so we use him down low and when he gets the other big man tired, we pull him out a little bit and we're able to get to the hole and get some easy layups."
The Heat would go on to lead by as many as 16 points, and never allowed NHA to cut the deficit to less than eight.
Rockshead led the Heat with 24 points, while Phillip Whittington had 14.
Watts led NHA with 22 points.
With the win, the Heat maintained its second-place standing in the OSBL.
"As long as we play well as a team and we go out there and give it 100 percent, we can beat anybody," Brown said.