FORT RILEY, Kan. -- The Fort Riley basketball team began its Central United States Military Basketball season with a four-game sweep during a two-day tournament Oct. 8 and 9. The opposition featured squads from McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas, and Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri.

The Fort Riley team took both games from McConnell AFB, 84-67 on Oct. 8, and 94-71 the following day.

They also defeated Whiteman AFB twice: 80-56 on Oct. 8, and 77-60 on Oct. 9.
Fort Riley's assistant coach, Cpl. Carlton Morris of 1st Support Maintenance Company, 541st Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 1st Infantry Division Sustainment Brigade, said all games were well played and he emphasized how close team members are.

"They played for each other, they played for the team, and they gave each other the help that they needed," he said.

In Whiteman AFB's games the Whiteman coaches used a small, aggressive line-up and the zone defense, but Fort Riley's defense was more than up to the task of keeping them at bay.

The following day, after the 77-60 win, Coach Sgt. Maj. Darryl Dunbar, Division Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 1st Inf. Div., said a slower pace made the going more difficult for Fort Riley. "It was a closely called game (and) that disrupted our momentum," Dunbar said. "But we pushed through. Fort Riley did a great job, and I am proud of every last one of my players and coaches."

In the games against McConnell AFB, the Fort Riley team faced a group that was without a coach. The McConnell coach had recently transferred duty stations. His place was taken by the team's point guard, a situation that, because of fatigue, did not help him coach his team.

According to Fort Riley assistant coach Regina Henry, spouse of Fort Riley's Spc. Davon Henry,1st Bn., 16th Inf. Regiment, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Inf. Div., and a member of the Fort Riley squad, this gave Fort Riley an advantage.

"Coach Dunbar is a great leader, not just because he's a sergeant major, but because he is fair and when it's time to get down to business, he's all about business," Henry said. "He's a collaborative leader, and open to listening to what the team has to say," Regina said.

Concerning the overall play of the Fort Riley team throughout the tournament, Henry said the team plays a strong, intense brand of defense, but offensively Henry said the team needs some work.

"But they played with heart," she said.