ADA wins post intramural hoops title
April 5, 2012
FORT SILL, Okla.-- Shelton Moore, Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 3rd Battalion, 6th Air Defense Artillery coach, said his team needed strong guard play to beat HHB, 2nd Battalion, 5th Field Artillery team in the intramural basketball finale March 29 at Rinehart Fitness Center.
Sammie Martin, an ADA guard, made that thought reality turning the game in ADA's favor late in the first half. After a defensive stop, Martin raced up court on a fast break, but instead of laying the ball in against a defender, Sammie banked the ball off the backboard and teammate Derrick Nelson rose up, caught it and slammed it home.
That "full Nelson" jam brought the team back from the dead against a younger and faster 2-5th FA team as the 3-6th ADA went on to win 49-38.
The game started slowly as both teams struggled with turnovers. FA guard Brodrick Williams put his team up early with a couple good passes off drives to the basket. Taking the ball at the rim, he flipped a pass back to James Cleveland trailing who scored two, drew the foul and made the free throw for an old fashioned three-point play. Moments later, Williams hit Anthony Daniel, open in the corner, and Daniel knocked down the three-pointer to put FA up 6-1.
FA settled into a 2-3 zone that for much of the first half confounded the ADA offense. Numerous times ADA's offense consisted solely of drives across the lane and off-balance shots. However, FA, trying to press the advantage, committed several turnovers in a row.
Samuel Duffy got ADA its first bucket when he was able to split the defense on a drive to the basket. Then Sammie Martin corralled a loose ball and drilled a short jumper to get ADA within one at 6-5.
The two teams then either traded baskets or turnovers as the score stayed close at the 4-minute mark when ADA took its first lead at 12-11. But then, ADA went cold and FA poured in the next 13 points taking the score to 24-12.
FA guard Roger Green hounded the taller, but older, ADA team through much of the run. If he wasn't fueling fast breaks or taking a quick first step and breaking down the ADA zone defense, he was getting back on defense and harassing opposing ball handlers.
Cleveland and Darrell Freemen put the exclamation points on the FA run as each hit 3-pointers, but Moore saw something else- Green's explosiveness that led him to call time out.
"We changed up our defense and pressured Green to where FA had to use a second option to run their offense," said Moore.
ADA finally answered with a deuce then Nelson powered down his thunder dunk to shrink the lead below 10 points at 24-16. He then tipped in another missed shot and FA took a time out as ADA sliced their lead in half, 24-18.
Tough defense at both ends stifled further scoring, and the game went to halftime.
Humphrey Hills, 2-5th FA coach, wasn't concerned about the change in ADA defense. He said basketball is a game of runs.
"We just need to stay aggressive and attack a bit more and we'll be fine," he said.
Moore said ADA would continue its man-to-man defense. He also thanked the ADA faithful who cheered for their team.
ADA crept closer in the first three minutes of the second half as Duffy grabbed a rebound and scored from inside. Though the rowdy ADA crowd chanted "DEE-FENSE," Williams quieted them for a moment as he nailed a 3-pointer as FA increased its lead to 29-22.
That lead diminished to three at 29-26, and FA took another time out. But, momentum stayed with the air defenders as they ratcheted up their defense causing another FA turnover. On the ensuing trip down court, Marcus Barnes, ADA point guard, received a pass from Nelson and sunk a 3-pointer to tie the game at 29 all.
The ADA men then went to work on the glass at both ends of the court as they built a 34-29 lead, but Anteragious Bolton stopped that mini run when he snagged a rebound and scored. Then, ADA fouled Maurice Oldham in the act of shooting a 3-pointer to get three foul shots. Oldham hit two of three and FA clawed back into the game to trail by one, 34-33.
ADA then caught an unexpected break. In an explosive moment, Ryan Zimmerman went up strong to the hoop, but an FA player blocked his shot. A referee called a foul, which was hotly disputed by one of the FA defenders. The referee then signaled "T" for a two-shot technical foul.
Nelson hit both technicals and Zimmerman dropped one of his free throws to put ADA up 37-33.
With momentum clearly on their side and the crowd bellowing "ADA, ADA, ADA," Nelson rose up and hit a 3-pointer to up the lead to 40-35. That bucket would prove to be the game winning shot.
Nelson said the keys to the ADA victory were their ability to keep their composure despite not making shots early on, and Barnes, the team captain, recommending they go to a man defense. That change led to his momentum stealer.
"Sammie started the fast break, and I followed behind trying to figure out if he was going to give me a lob or bank the ball off the backboard," said Nelson. "I guessed right and was able to throw it down."
Nelson led the way for ADA with 24 points, Duffy contributed 13 as six air defenders scored. Daniel's dozen paced the 2-5th FA. Cleveland, Darrell Freeman and Williams each added six points. The teams began the final game with identical 11-1 records.