<b> HUNTER ARMY AIRFIELD, Ga. </b> - After losing the 2009 3rd ID intramural basketball championship, the 87th CSSB Base Warriors out of Fort Stewart, just weeks away from deploying to Afghanistan, were out for redemption this season. They got it March 4, when they defeated the U.S. Coast Guard Station, Savannah, 72-60 in the 2010 3rd ID championship.

"We came up short last year," 87th CSSB coach Barion Freeman said to his team after the game. "We've redeemed ourselves. Number one!"

The 2009-2010 Hunter champion Coast Guard-Savannah team opened the game strong, taking a 10-1 lead, led by three-pointers from Jay Twitty (21 points) and Jimmy Farmer (18 points).

But the Fort Stewart champs got it together and went on a 15-0 run, taking a 16-10 lead after five minutes with a defensive rebound by Shaun Watkins (26 points), who sent a long pass to Terrance Clark (16 points), who buried the one-on-one layup.

The Coast Guard answered, with Chris Battle scoring his team's first bucket in more than five minutes, and Jermaine Williams closed the gap 16-15 with a three.

Less than two minutes later, Watkins went off for three-straight buckets, including one three-pointer, putting the Base Warriors ahead 30-22.

USCG answered with a three from Farmer, and a three-point play by Battle closed the gap to 30-28.

With six seconds left in the first half, an Eric White layup gave 87th CSSB, part of the 3rd Sustainment Brigade, the four-point lead that they took into the locker room.

Both teams opened the second half with a three-pointer, and the game stayed tight for most of the half.

The Base Warriors started to blow it open with a 3-pointer from Watkins that gave his team a 45-35 lead. But Coast Guard had an answer with some field goals of their own, starting with the first of four in the half for Twitty, this one from 8 feet behind the arc.

"That's what we won by the whole season," said USCG team captain Tim Estip, referring to the 3-point shot.

In the second half, 21 of the Coast Guard's 32 points came from behind the arc.

The Hunter champs closed the gap to 45-40 with a layup by Ozzie DeLoach, but the Base Warriors answered with a behind-the-back pass from Terrance Clark to Marice Warren, who laid it in.

Another Coast Guard three-pointer was answered by a three-point play from DeAnthony Rosser, and Watkins grabbed a loose ball and took it in for a quick layup and the 53-43 lead.

"They were just good," said Estip. "We just didn't play well."

From there, Coast Guard again closed the gap to five points, led by two field goals in a row from Twitty, making it 65-60.

But with less than a minute to play, a slam dunk by Rosser all but shut the door on the Hunter champs, and layup by Clark put the game out of reach for the Coasties.

"Our motivation was revenge; we didn't want to lose twice," said Watkins, who led his team with 26 points. "Our game plan was just to play team ball, and play good defense, which we did."

After last year's loss in the Stewart-Hunter championship game, the Base Warriors weren't about to take the Hunter champs lightly.

"Our game plan was the same for us as always - play loose, man-to-man, team ball," Freeman said. "We could have been better at times, but we did what it took."

In the end, the men from 87th CSSB, who are set to deploy in the coming weeks, won a hard-fought game with finesse and by playing on the court as they do in the field - as a team.

87th CSSB-USCG Box Score
87th CSSB (72)
Shaun Watkins 26, Terrance Clark 16, DeAnthony Rosser 13, Eric White 11, Horace Bright 2, Josephy Phillips, Jr. 2, Mickey Campbell 1
USCG (60)
Jay Twitty 21, Jimmy Famer 18, Chris Battle 9, Ozzie Deloach 7, Eric Lawton 5
87th CSSB (32-40-72)
USCG (28-32-60)

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16