By Russell Sellers, Army Flier StaffMarch 31, 2011
FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- Distance shooting was the name of the game during a March 28 intramural basketball game between the Showstoppers of B Company, 1st Battalion, 145th Aviation Regiment and the U.S. Army Aeromedical Center.
Both teams came ready to show off their three-pointer skills, but it was the Showstoppers' Jay Irwin who turned out to be the player of the game.
Using a combination of speed and near-perfect accuracy, he helped lead his team to a 60-48 win.
"We're a solid team and it all just came together tonight," Irwin said. "I had some speed on the other team and I got some good looks and calls. Being aggressive was the way to go."
The Showstoppers gained a 10-point advantage early in the first quarter, forcing USAAMC to call a timeout and regroup. Irwin said he noticed after that brief pause, the aggression level of the other team was turned up a notch.
"They started coming after me a lot more after that," he said. "I didn't let it phase me, and my team really backed me up. We had to turn up our aggression, too."
Frank Wilson, Showstoppers coach, said his team performed well after working out some early-season issues in practice.
"We can win every game if our whole team is here," he said. "We really worked on our chemistry after our last loss. Working on defense was a big reason for our win."
Wilson said that he plans to keep working on the team's defense in practice to keep the momentum going as the regular season winds up.
"We knew tonight was going to be our night because everybody was here and the chemistry was flowing," he added. "There're still some things to work on, and we will, but for right now everything looks good."
Despite not pulling out a win, USAAMC had a few good moments during the game. Mike Kelly and Kevin Edwards, USAAMC players, were a one-two offensive and defensive punch with Kelly going for a series of three-pointers and Edwards managing the majority of his team's rebounds.
Fatigue and several missed play-calls held the team to only minimal gains throughout the second half, USAAMC coach L.V. Miller said.
"We came out of the 2-3 defense too late and there were a lot of unnecessary turnovers," he said. "It's hard to come back from an 18-point deficit. We should have changed to man-to-man defense earlier."
Miller said his team isn't done yet and plans to work on defensive plays in practice so it can make a strong showing in the rest of its regular season games.
"We wanted to come out aggressive in the second half, and it rattled (the Showstoppers) a little bit, but it wasn't enough," he said. "We'll address the defensive styles in practice and come back ready to play the next time."