Area I defeats Osan for Pacific hoops title
April 3, 2011
CAMP RED CLOUD, South Korea - All Army player Michael Smart led the Area I All Stars to the 2011 March Madness Pacific Regional Basketball Championship at Anderson Air Base, Guam, March 20-23.
Smart, who led also Company E, 302nd Brigade Support Battalion to the Warrior Country Basketball Championship in January, earned the Pacific regional most valuable player award as he helped to guide the Area I All Stars past Osan 95-89 in the championship game.
Coach Shannon Ollison from Battery B, 1st Battalion, 15th Field Artillery Regiment, praised his team.
"They were focused on winning that championship more than anything," he said. "We didn't want to let anybody down. They dug deep down, stayed focused and won the championship.
"I don't think there will ever be a more professional and talented group of guys that I will coach."
To advance to the championship game, the Area I All Stars dispatched Joint Region Marianas, Osan Air Base and the Guam National Team to earn a rematch against Osan Air Base, which it beat 102-97 in the quarterfinals.
In the championship game, Area I held a 24-17 lead at the end of the first quarter and a 50-45 halftime advantage behind the strength of 10-point first half performances by Michael Evans and Chris Saunders. Osan played Area I to a near standoff in the second half before falling 95-89.
Six Area I All Stars finished in double figures: Evans, 18, Smart, 16, Antonio Spann, 16, Antonio Battle, 12, Ronald Bartley, 11 and Saunders, 10.
Smart, Bartley, Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 1st Battalion, 38th Field Artillery, Spann, Co. G, 302nd BSB, Battle, Forward Support Company, 1-38th FA and Evans, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Heavy Brigade Combat Team were named to the all-tournament team.
The women's Area I All Stars also participated in the tournament, but dropped consecutive games to Camp Humphreys, 58-50 and 54-44 to bow out of the tourney.