By Nathan Pfau, Army Flier Staff WriterJanuary 24, 2013
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (January 24, 2013) -- The 6th Military Police Detachment Bulldogs started their intramural basketball season off right as they brought their strong defense to pull out a win in their first game.
The Bulldogs took on the 158th Airfield Operations Battalion Guardians, who proved to be a formidable opponent, at the Fort Rucker Physical Fitness Facility Jan. 22 and won 40-38.
"It was a good win for us," said Shelton Gure, coach for the Bulldogs. "Everybody played well as a team. This is our first game of the season and we're off to a good start.
"We won our last preseason game, which helped motivate us for this week's game," he continued. "We knew we had to play defense strong and that's how we won this game -- we played strong defense."
The game started as the Guardians took possession of the ball during the toss-up and ran the ball down court in an effort to get an early start on their opponents. The Bulldog's defense went to work, however, and prevented them from getting the early lead.
The 6th MP Detachment managed the first score of the game after the ball changed hands multiple times, but they wouldn't hold the lead for long as a foul allowed the Guardians to score two free throws to get them on the scoreboard.
Both teams seemed evenly matched early on and each team threw shot after shot but were unable to sink any baskets, and the score remained 2-2 well into the first half.
The Guardians broke the stagnation, however, and began to quickly sink baskets and pull away from their opponents. The Bulldogs tried to match the pace, but the opposing offense seemed too much for the team at this point.
The Guardians started to showcase their superior offense and continued to extend their lead by more than 10 points with eight minutes remaining in the first half.
The Bulldogs, determined not to be left too far behind, stepped up their game and brought a stronger defense to keep their opponents from pulling too far ahead. As their defense went to work, their offense was able to sink baskets to slowly close the scoring gap as the half wound down.
As the game progressed, both teams seemed to be able to find their groove, but the Bulldogs started to shine as they ended the half only 3 points behind their opponents.
It seemed anybody's game at the half, but the Bulldogs were going to have to step up their game to beat the Guardians.
The second half started and the 6th MP detachment took possession and wasted no time sinking a 3-point shot to catch up to their opponents.
Another quick turnover by the Bulldogs and they took the lead just minutes into the second half.
They wouldn't hold the lead for long, however, as the Guardians came back with a strong offense and managed to overtake their opponents once again.
As they seemed to find their momentum again and barely stay in the lead, their opponents followed suit to stay on their heels, and with another 3-point shot by the Bulldogs, they retook the lead, 32-31, with 10 minutes left in the game.
The lead bounced back and forth as neither team seemed able to get the edge on the other, and with less than two minutes remaining, the Bulldogs led by 1 point.
The 6th MP detachment barely managed to maintain their lead as the clock wound down, but were able to hold onto the ball and win the game.
Gure said he was confident in his team's ability and believes they have what it takes to make it all the way.
"I feel that we play together very well, and with this team, I think we can make it to the playoffs and even through the championship," he said.